Observation 1: “Youths often lack access to local and global network, information and opportunities”
Observation 2: “Cafes and Coffee shops have the ability to bring people together”. In many places around the world, local cafés and coffee shops (or local equivalent e.g. tea shops) are popular places of gathering, especially for youths.
Observation 3: “Coffee Chat is an invaluable networking tool”. A simple coffee chat, whether it is with a friend or an industry professional, can ignite a productive, creative conservation, can enable sharing and development of ideas, can facilitate professional and personal development and can open doors to exciting new opportunities
The CoffeeChat Café’s goal is to provide an interactive environment for youth, entrepreneurs, retirees, recruiters, experienced professionals around the world to come together and participate in a series of “coffee chats” (20-30 min conversations)
How will it work?
Create a CoffeeChat Café Account: First, to access the CoffeeChat Café, users will have to create CoffeeChat Café account. Each account is associated with a Linkedin profile. The application uses the Linkedin data to build the CoffeeChat Café Profile, which can be viewed by other users on the CoffeeChat Café network.
Formulate your “CoffeeChat” Ask(s): As part CoffeeChat Café profile, users will need to input their “CoffeeChat” Ask(s) (i.e. what is one specific thing you want to get out of coffee chat). For example of a CoffeeChat Ask might be “to learn more about that it is like to be a Product Designer”
1. Match & Connect – Based on the Linkedin data (e.g. location, professional experiences, interests, 1st/2nd connections, skills and endorsements) and the CoffeeChat Ask(s), the application will match and suggest potential coffee chat opportunities for users. Based on the suggested coffee chat opportunities, the user (i.e. the Host) can initiate a coffee chat by sending out a “Coffee Chat” invite to the individual or groups he or she would like to have a coffee chat with. If the Invitee accepts, the application will ask the Host and the Invitee to indicate their availability over the next two weeks. If they are unable to find a time that works, they can defer the meeting to a later time (This invite will be saved in the profile and can be reinitiated at another time).
Host and invitee(s) can decide whether they would like to meet in-person or virtually via eCafe ( an interactive, easy to use platform that facilitates virtual coffee chats)
2. Build Credibility, Trust & Reputation - Similar to the Yelp and Tripadvisor websites, users can build their credibility, trust and reputation based on
- The number of coffee chats they have participated in
- Ratings - How others have rated their coffee chat experiences with them (Note: At the end of each coffee chat, host and invitee will have the opportunity to rate each other on their coffee chat experience)
- Endorsements (Note: Based on their coffee chat experiences, the host/Invitee can provide each other skills/experiences endorsements)
3. CoffeeChat Referrals - Users can use the CoffeeChat Cafe application to provide referrals and explore referral oppotunities
4. CoffeeChat "Tip of Day" - User can provide subscribe to "CoffeeChat Tip of Day" and learn quick tips on how to have a effective Coffee Chat conservation
5. Find a Coffee Chat Event Near You - Around the world, universities, companies, local community groups and special interests groups often organize coffee chat events. Based on the information in the CoffeeChat Cafe profile, the application will notify the users of any coffee chat events that may be happnening in their local community or coffee chat events that may align with the user's interests or experiences.
6. eCafe Events: Based on the “CoffeeChat asks”, the application will identify common themes/topics that users are interested in. On a weekly basis, the application will host eCafe events to facilitate virtual coffee chat conversations on these key topics/themes (e.g. eCafe event on Design Thinking opportunities around the world).
At this early stage, we will prototype to answer the following questions:
- Are people willing to engage in coffee chat conversation with people they do not know or even people who might not be connected to their existing network?
- What is their preferred format for coffee chat meetings (in-person, virtual)?
- What are some of the key concerns and considerations when using a social media application like CoffeeChat Café?
- How do people identify potential Coffee Chat opportunities? (e.g. common interests, workplaces, life experiences etc..)
Prototype Idea #1:
• Map the process of how a typical user will engage with CoffeeChat Café application
• Go to schools and local cafes, walk through the process with members of the community and seek feedback
Prototype Idea #2:
• Create a group on Linkedin/Facebook to bring together people who might be interested in engaging in coffee chat conversations. Test out the different ways to convene users and meeting format (e.g. virtually, in-person)
Prototype Idea #3:
• Host or attend a Coffee Chat event in the local community
• Describe the Coffee Chat idea to the people at the event and seek feedback