Last night around midnight, I found myself Googling.
I was looking up things to see and do in Seaport (Boston MA), as I planned to go exploring the following morning, and had been given a hot tip by a dear friend back home that this was a place of innovation in action, must-see public art installments and entrepreneurial pop-ups.
As I clicked and scrolled through the bounty of options for ways to spend my day, one jumped off the page at me and screamed “Sarah! These are your people!”
It was the Venture Cafe at District Hall where they were hosting their monthly “meetup and coffee” shindig for entrepreneurs to meet and, well, drink coffee.
So I took myself along, not quite knowing what to expect… boy am I glad I did! I arrived before 9am and didn’t tear myself away until around 4pm (and even then it was only to beat the traffic).
I met people, I coffeed, I had a quick meeting, then set myself up in the comfort and convenience of the awesome free workspaces, and proceeded to knock out about a weeks worth of work in the space of a few short hours.
The atmosphere in District Hall was electric, quite literally (you’d think the constantly changing rainbow coloured flourescent lighting would be distracting, but strangely, no)!
I made more impromptu connections and even got the opportunity to have a brilliant sit down with one of the Directors of the Venture Cafe, to hear how it was started, how it was resourced and how it grew to become this exciting, living, breathing machine of possibility.
Seriously, what I (and no doubt thousands like me) would give to have a place like this within cooee of home.
District Hall was not at all hall like. And in terms of shared workspaces, it was so much more than just a modern building with practical furniture, free wifi, oodles of powerpoints and writeable walls. It is an enabler for lean start ups; it is an enclave for business and community events; an interactive learning environment; a living knowledge base; an incubator/investor hang out; a stage on which big dreams could become ideas, then plans, then actions … and who knows where they might go next?
I’ll tell you, in about 12 months.
I will now seek Venture Cafes out in every location I travel to. In fact, I’m visiting another one tomorrow in Cambridge, but that’s another blog post.
Image courtesy of https://districthallboston.org