I have a confession to make.

A few months ago, I wrote about the Boulder Open Coffee Club and how awesome it was.

However, my only experience with the biweekly meeting at Atlas Purveyors was through years of stalking the hashtag, #BOCC.

You see, BOCC meets at eight in the morning.

Eight in the morning. That is rulllll early for me to drag my ass outta bed, so I would always just backread the hashtag during my 9:30 class on Tuesdays (sorry, Dr. N.).

And even though the godawful early time was a convenient excuse, it wasn’t my only reason for waiting: I was nervous. I didn’t know if I’d be doing it right. I wanted my first time to be special.

Well, yesterday I finally decided I was ready and jumped into BOCC.

After all of my research, I knew that it was important to get there early so as not to be shoved up against the door. I chose a spot in the back and found a cozy spot next to a few more newcomers.

This week’s meeting was somewhat different than I expected, as a local company called Atoms launched right at the meeting. You’ll definitely be hearing more about them in the next couple of weeks, as they’re doing pretty cool stuff for kids (and kids at heart) using nerdy stuff.

After a brief demo, the group of around 40 people bounced from subject to subject, taking five or so minutes to share ideas and opinions.

What I found great about the experience was that even though it’s an event focused on tech and startups, BOCC has something for everyone. Even my friend Ashley, an international affairs major with more interest in DC than SV, was able to find elements of the conversation that piqued her interest. From patent laws to taxi drivers, the techy subjects of the day still had real-world applications outside our nerdy bubble.

BOCC is also a great way to whip your networking skills into shape. The people who attend the meeting come from all over the place and love to talk about anything and everything.

And like the Boulder startup community as a whole, the BOCC group really supports each other and wants to ensure that everyone is taken care of. At the beginning of the meeting, people had the opportunity to announce and solicit job openings, events, and services. While it can be scary and awkward to straight up ask people for a job or internship, I talked to two or three people yesterday who are currently working for startups and made their way into the business from the connections they made at BOCC.

Losing my Boulder Open Coffee Club virginity was definitely a special experience, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Jessica Ryan is a senior media studies major at CU-Boulder. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan

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