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279 Thursdays

In November 2018, we anxiously anticipated the first visitors of our first Venture Café Thursday Gathering. The kiosks were new to us, most of the nametags still read “1,” and the concept of a free, weekly mini conference of innovation and community stakeholders was a novel concept for just about everyone.

Backstage Capital takeover at Venture Cafe in 2019

279 Thursday Gatherings later, Venture Café has become a household name – and gathering for the innovation community. It’s a place you know will be brimming with people, ideas, and opportunity each week. From celebrity bartenders, fireside chats with thought leaders, panel discussions demystifying the process of raising capital, and bites of entrepreneurship featuring culinary innovation, Venture Café has continually delivered thought provoking content, interesting speakers, and unlimited possibility.

For anyone keeping count, that’s 800 sessions, 1,800 speakers, and 34,000 visitors over the last five years.

The first Venture Cafe Philadelphia Thursday Gathering in November 2018

We asked a few Venture Café regulars to complete the sentence, “If not for Venture Café….”

“…our founders to funders program would not have made the impact that it did this year. This year we held our first in person kick off and pitch competition. Being able to have Venture Cafe as a partner has given our founders access to resources, a community and so many other things that were actively seeking to support and grow their business.” – Tanya T. Morris, Mom Your Business

“…I would not have known how to navigate the nebulous small business resource network as smoothly as I have. The resource ecosystem in Philadelphia is very tricky and my experience attending the Thursday Gatherings has provided a space for me to connect with the right people who have been willing to advise and mentor me along my journey. This has been a great place to build my network and has allowed me a space to offer my guidance to others in return.” – Oneal Latimore, The Vaulted Group.

Travis Sheridan giving welcoming remarks at the launch of Venture Cafe Philadelphia in November 2018

“…I wouldn't have been as open to as many new opportunities and challenges, especially in this past year. I have a great community behind me supporting me in so many ways, and I know I can always come back to a place full of supporting friends and colleagues even when I'm at my lowest. As an independent consultant and creative, it's always a struggle to find your tribe, but I think I've found mine at Venture Café.” – Ken Huang, Venture Café Ambassador

And finally, Michael Klusek, a Venture Café Ambassador since the very beginning, shared that Venture Café “made me more outgoing and comfortable talking to strangers. To this day, I still refer people I meet to come to the Venture Cafe, enjoy some drinks and conversations and see for yourself how welcoming it is.”

  • Thursday Gathering in June 2023

Find your tribe at Venture Café Philadelphia, every Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Celebrate the Venture Cafe's Anniversary event us tonight!