Sticking it to them at MiniBar

Last Friday Alex M and I demo-ed Snagsta at MiniBar (London’s pre-eminent monthly Internet networking event – is that what I was supposed to say Christian?).

It’s a tough place to present. Being a Friday night the audience tend to neck the free beer and will happily chat throughout your pitch (no, we weren’t being boring!). So we thought a little audience participation to demonstrate elements of the Snagsta algorithm might do the trick. We used a series of questions (and lots of coloured stickers) to establish people who had similar tastes. We then asked the folks with the same stickers to suggest books or restaurants to each other and see if they were of interest. I am not sure we quite pulled it off but from the photo I think you can tell we had a lot of fun doing it!


Here’s our interview afterwards with Hermione Way of Newspepper fame and her overview of the night.

Today’s list was inspired by Fabio De Bernardi, a good friend and the co-founder of Veedow, a social shopping site that recommends products in line with your own interests and taste. (Fabio is a surprisingly bad dresser for an Italian… I guess that’s why he started Veedow!)

London’s best Internet networking events according to my esteemed co-founder, Alex M:

1. DrinkTank

This one was set up fairly recently from the nice people at Huddle. Unlike other events they are fairly selective about the guest list. The last one I attended was very full, a lot of fun and good for business. No presentations or long speeches – just lots of beer and conversations.

2. MiniBar

One of the more informal gatherings on the circuit. Noisy and sometimes difficult to hear what the presenting companies are saying but still worth the trip to this wonderful part of East London. I have met some great people at this one.

3. Second Chance Tuesday

These happen infrequently but are excellent. The auditorium where it’s held (The Royal College of Physicians near Regent’s Park) is a great place to actually hear what the speakers are saying. The networking sessions both before and after the interviews in the library is also very well attended.

One of my favourite events – they should hold them more regularly.

4. Chinwag

The best name of any event by far and run by the amiable duo Sam Michel and Deirdre Molloy. This is another panel discussion event so most of the networking is at the end. The topics discussed are always well thought out but the event can be a little hit or miss depending on the quality of the panel members.

5. Mashup*Event

This is a more formal sit-down-and-listen-to-expert type event. I have only been once but learned a lot. The one minute pitches at the end of panel session are fun to watch.

6. Open Coffee

Inspired by Saul Klein and the insightful folks at Seedcamp. Takes place every Thursday in West London. I have been 4-5 times and have met a wide variety of people each time. It’s a good place for those who are thinking about taking a leap and becoming an entrepreneur as it’s a rich environment to test out your idea on other people.

7. Imperial entrepreneurs

I haven’t been to this one yet but my business partner Phil has been to a couple of these and has seen some excellent speakers present. Student run so takes a long summer break each year.

8. Facebook Developer Garage London

I went to one of these a few months ago. Not an event I would rush back to but useful if you’re a developer looking to network with potential clients looking to build applications.

9. Social Media Café

I haven’t been to this yet but I plan to get there soon – we’ve heard good things about it.

10. Bootlaw

AKA ‘the Danvers and Barry show’ in reverence to Danvers Baillieu and Barry Vitou of the law firm Winston & Strawn. Have yet to attend but it looks like it could be a very useful event for online startups to pick up some free legal advice and meet lots of other fellow entrepreneurs.

Have a great weekend.


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2 Responses to Sticking it to them at MiniBar

  1. Fabio says:

    I agree on the list. And I’m quite honoured to be of inspiration for you guys! 🙂

  2. […] Blog: Sticking it to them at MiniBar (and London’s best internet networking events) – and see Best London/UK law firms for startups(as recommended by OpenCoffee members) […]

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