Where Innovators Meet Up: The Greater Seattle Coffee Cluster, Part Two

11/21/08Follow @gthuang

A week ago, Xconomy Seattle published a list and an interactive map of the coffee hotspots around town where entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators like to gather. It generated a fair bit of attention and a really great response from our readers. So I thought we should post an updated list here with a bunch of new additions for the Seattle area. There are 50 coffee spots and counting—and yes, Eastside and West Seattle, we heard you, and you are certainly not devoid of coffee-based innovation. Let us know if there are other spots we’ve missed.

Now, a few more coffee tidbits I’ve picked up from the community:

On finding a prospective Yahoo buyer: In the past few months, there have been reported sightings of Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer at the Overlake Village Starbucks in Redmond, and at the Clyde Hill Tully’s.

On the stalking of wireless carriers: Dan Shapiro of Ontela says he used to have meetings with his advisory board at Victor’s in Redmond. He adds that it’s where Microsoft and AT&T folks go to “have meetings away from prying eyes.” But the “best place to catch AT&T people in their core habitat” is the Starbucks in Redmond Town Center, he says. “Some wireless startups will nurse a cup of drip there for hours, waiting for the right person to come through.”

On rags to riches: Ken Myer of the Washington Technology Industry Association says he used to work in the Uptown Espresso on 4th Ave. in Belltown when he was a consultant, before he moved into his current WTIA office on Alaskan Way. That was about two and a half years ago.

On coffee-shop IP protection: Martin Tobias of Kashless says he has interviewed all his employees at Caffe Fiore in Queen Anne, and “can tell a lot about someone by the coffee shop they ask to meet at.” When asked to elaborate, Tobias said, “I consider my coffee shop/personality trait matrix to be proprietary information.” He added, “Suffice it to say that certain coffee shops are ‘cooler’ than others.”

On a little-known fact of local coffee innovation: Not only is Caffe Fiore beloved by entrepreneurs and VCs alike (with branches in Queen Anne, Ballard, and Sunset Hill), but it’s also owned by Michelle Maclise of the Robot Co-op, makers of the popular social sites 43 Things, 43 Places, and 43 People.

Other notable additions to our list and map were contributed in the past week by Bill Bryant of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Scott Darling of Frazier Technology Ventures, Rebecca Lovell of Alliance of Angels, Matt Hulett of WidgetBucks, Max Ciccotosto of Wishpot, Dave Schappell of TeachStreet, Jeff Lawson of Twilio, Ethan Lowry of Urbanspoon, and others.

So please check out the updated list here, and leave a comment or send further anecdotes to me at gthuang@xconomy.com. In the meantime, hope to see all of you out there enjoying your coffee (or other beverage of choice), and working on the next big thing.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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  • http://gpsforhiking.net Mike

    It sounds like which coffee shop the start up was incubated would be valuable data for the IPO, to give it the appropriate cachet.