What is now a vibrant and expanding community of innovators began with a small group who got together for shared work time. In March of 2014, Levi Baer put out a call for anyone interested in a productive Saturday morning to join him at a local restaurant. A handful of people showed up, some knew each other and some didn’t, but for the next couple hours the group shared stories and latest accomplishments while sipping coffee and tapping away on laptops. Although unsure if the experience could be replicated, Levi saw the potential for communal productivity and continued to organize Saturday morning get togethers, every other week. And with that, Coffee & Conversation was born.

During the first few months it became clear that the type of people drawn to the gathering were those with drive—both to do more than the typical 9-5 job, and to share their experiences with others. Many of the initial participants were aspiring entrepreneurs looking to get advice and resources from others in the trenches of the startup world. Having your own company was not a requirement to attend, however almost everyone was the type of person that would come home from work and dive into their passion projects.

This community of ambitious, enthusiastic, and engaged individuals continues to grow steadily. Group members represent a variety of disciplines including fashion, food, tech, and education. The richness of skills and industries present at the table make for a perfect space to brainstorm, refine, and develop concepts. People come with ideas and leave with action plans. “Don’t Google it” has become a mantra, referring to the dynamic of shared learning that occurs when discussing a question with a group rather than conducting a static online search.

Coffee & Conversation is a community full of potential. Collaborations are just the beginning, as members have already begun to combine their efforts into shared projects like community meals, student seminars, and pop-up shops. The future of the group is open and exciting, fueled by the common desire to do more, together.