#WaffleWednesdays: Networking event serves waffles, entrepreneurship

communities / Article

A tech presentation for #WaffleWednesday in the Wynwood Arts District in Miami.

It started innocently enough.

We had just signed the lease on our new office, a 2,000-square-foot warehouse-style space in Wynwood that would become LiveNinja’s new headquarters.

A few days after signing, I joined our director of marketing, Carolina Leon, and our director of community, Danielle Ungermann, on a quick trip to Target to equip the office with new supplies.

As we walked through the store, I noticed a waffle maker that was on sale for 10 bucks. I immediately blurted out, “We should make waffles every week for the team. It would be something we could all look forward to and we could do it every Wednesday…”

Carolina jumped in: “Waffle Wednesday! I absolutely love that idea.”

Credit: Alfonso MartinezPabla Ayala

When I mentioned the idea to my co-founder/mad scientist, Alfonso Martinez, he quickly took it one step further (as he usually does with everything) by telling us that he’s going to go “‘Top Chef’ on all of us.”

In that moment, #WaffleWednesday was born. What started as something we did for the team became an alternative networking event we now hold for the entire community. We look forward to it every Wednesday at LiveNinja headquarters in Wynwood.

We invite anyone from the local community to join us for the opportunity to eat good food and network with like-minded individuals. We want to enable you to make valuable connections to aid in your pursuit of success. The crowd is different each week but usually includes entrepreneurs, investors, coders, designers and business folk. The hope is that these could potentially be some of your next business partners.

Now thanks to new support from Knight Foundation, we can take #WaffleWednesday a step further. Here are some of the things you can expect:

  • Fresh coffee (both Cuban and American style)

  • The waffle of the week (traditional style offered as well)

  • REAL maple syrup (we mean no disrespect, Aunt Jemima)

  • Fresh juices (orange and grapefruit)

  • Fresh fruit (in case you’re not in a waffle mood)

  • A weekly presentation (a coding lesson, a design tutorial, marketing/social media strategy, etc.)

  • Awesome, like-minded people working on cool and interesting things.

  • Updates on local community events.

Now when it comes to the waffles, Alfonso backs up his talk. These are not your grandma’s waffles; these are gourmet creations. We’ve featured red velvet waffles with fresh strawberries, peanut butter and Nutella; fried chicken and waffles; s’mores waffles; a Fourth of July-themed Freedom Waffle (apple cinnamon topping); and even one named after Miami tech evangelist Brian Breslin, The Breslin.

We’d like for #WaffleWednesday to become something that people look forward to every week. We want it to be a place where connections are made, ideas are shared, friendships are forged and people are fed.

I know that I can speak for the entire LiveNinja team when I say, “We hope to see you next Wednesday.”

To stay in the loop with everything #WaffleWednesday, please visit facebook.com/groups/LNwafflewednesdays. The event happens every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 120 NW 25th St., No. 301, Miami.

Will Weinraub is co-founder and CEO of Live Ninja.

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