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At Venture Café we connect innovators to make things happen all over the world.
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Venture Café Providence connects a community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses through free, high-impact programming and events.

Venture Café relies on the generous support of our community in many different ways; from our volunteer ambassadors, to the expertise of our program partners and corporate sponsors.

Now we welcome you to support Venture Café with our new Venturer Program! When you become a Supporter you help us grow our mission and keep Thursday Gatherings free and open to everyone.

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UPCOMING EVENTS
August 1, 2024
Panel: The Past, Present and Future of Philanthropy
Thursday Gathering - Black Philanthropy Month Kickoff
August 1, 2024
Panel: The Past, Present and Future of Philanthropy
Past: Black philanthropy has a rich history rooted in mutual aid and community support. Historically, it was characterized by informal giving within African American communities, often through churches and social organizations. From mutual aid societies in the 18th century to the civil rights movements of the 20th century, African Americans have pooled resources to uplift their communities, support education, and foster social justice. These grassroots efforts laid the foundation for organized philanthropic endeavors and inspired a legacy of giving and mutual support. Present: Today, Black philanthropy is more dynamic and impactful than ever. It has evolved to include more formalized giving, with an increasing number of Black billionaires making significant charitable impacts. It encompasses a wide range of initiatives, from giving circles and community foundations to corporate and individual donations aimed at addressing systemic inequities. Despite these advancements, Black-led organizations often face significant challenges, including underfunding, a lack of representation in leadership roles, and systemic inequalities. The ongoing struggle to secure equitable funding and resources underscores the need for continued advocacy and strategic investment. Future: Looking forward, the future of Black philanthropy holds potential for transformative growth and greater impact on America’s nonprofit sector. Emphasis on leadership development, strategic partnerships, and leveraging technology will be crucial. Emerging leaders and innovative funding models are set to drive more inclusive and sustainable impact. By fostering collaboration, empowering new voices, and advocating for policy changes, Black philanthropy can continue to evolve, ensuring that resources are directed to where they are needed most and that the vision of a just and equitable society is realized. Key Topics for Discussion: Endangered Black Leadership: Addressing the underrepresentation of Black leaders in major philanthropic organizations and strategies to cultivate new leadership. Funding Disparities: Examining the gap in funding for Black-led organizations and initiatives, and exploring ways to increase support. Technology and Giving: How digital platforms, cryptocurrencies and Ai might shape the future of Black philanthropy. Intergenerational Wealth Transfer: The potential impact of wealth transfer on Black philanthropy and strategies for engaging younger generations. Collaborative Giving: Exploring models of collective impact and pooled resources to amplify the effect of Black philanthropy. Co-Created with The MUSE Foundation and RIBPM
September 19, 2024
RISD A I R Showcase
Thursday Gathering - RISD Arts Innovation Research (A I R) Showcase
September 19, 2024
RISD A I R Showcase
RISD Research presents A I R , its inaugural showcase of Arts Innovation Research in collaboration with Venture Cafe and Design Week RI. This interactive event exhibits the exciting ways that artists and designers investigate and innovate through interdisciplinary methods that combine art and design practices with science, emerging technology, industrial, health, Indigenous, and human-centered methodologies to address regional and global concerns. A I R will feature activations, installations, prototypes, video & digital media, flash talks, and panels allowing guests to experience the full dimension of research conducted by RISD faculty and students, including awardees of its SPUR Fund and Somerson Sustainability Innovation Fund (SSIF) grants issued by the Research office. A I R opens the way for Rhode Island’s creative and innovation communities of artists, designers, entrepreneurs, researchers, sponsors, leaders and the public to converge, network, and explore! Agenda: 4:00 – Check in begins at Venture Café Providence (in District Hall at 225 Dyer Street, Providence). Enjoy networking, beverages, and light bites throughout the evening in the first and second floors of District Hall. 4:00 – 5:30 – RISD Researcher Showcase. Explore a variety of work and engage with interactive displays throughout the space 5:30 – Session one 6:30 – Session two 7:30 – Event end, optional post-event reception, location TBD  
September 26, 2024
Innovation@Brown Showcase
Thursday Gathering - Innovation@Brown Showcase
September 26, 2024
Innovation@Brown Showcase
We’re back with the 2nd annual Innovation@Brown Showcase, in partnership with Brown Technology Innovations! The Innovation@Brown Showcase celebrates and builds on these developments, providing an opportunity for you to meet investors, academic researchers, entrepreneurs and regional leaders and learn more about this growing ecosystem around Brown. The event will include a keynote address, a conversation with Rhode Island startups, an award ceremony recognizing recent groundbreaking inventions, a technology showcase and opportunities to learn more about working with Brown and others leading the way in innovation. Agenda: 3:00 PM – Check in begins at Venture Cafe Providence (in District Hall at 225 Dyer Street, Providence) 3:00-4:15 PM – Technology Showcase & Networking highlighting the next wave of potential spinouts from Brown University. Tables throughout the space will feature 20-25 early companies and pre-companies interested in engaging with funders, scientific partners, and/or business professionals. During the showcase, enjoy complimentary beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres. 4:15-4:30 PM – Welcome and Opening Address 4:30-5:00 PM – Fireside Chat 5:00-5:30 PM – Keynote Conversation 5:30-6:00 PM – Awards Ceremony for Startup of the Year, Inventor of the Year, and Innovation of the Year 6:00-7:00 PM – Technology Showcase & Networking continued About Brown Technology Innovations: The mission of Brown Technology Innovations is to put Brown University’s technology first to drive commercial outcomes that benefit the University and society. With its responsibilities to manage the university’s patent portfolio, the Brown University technology transfer office, called Brown Technology Innovations is first and foremost focused on commercialization.
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