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Thursday Gathering

What is the Thursday Gathering?

This is a weekly event that attracts new and existing members of the innovation community. It is the foundation and lynchpin of the Venture Café program offerings, contributing deeply to all other aspects of the organization’s work. The Thursday Gathering combines opportunities to connect with others in an innovation community and a variety of high-impact educational sessions and programming. In established cities, Venture Café attracts over 450+ people per week, and approximately 30% of the attendees are new each week. This mix allows the events to remain both fresh and exciting and allows for deep relationships and a strong community to be formed over time. Over the course of one year, there can be 25,000 attendees and nearly 500 educational sessions as part of the Thursday Gathering. While we seek to reach as many innovators as we can, we aim to build strong communities, not just big crowds.

  • Conversations are the central purpose of the Thursday Gatherings. It’s an opportunity to meet like-minded innovators to create meaningful connections, exchange ideas and forge new collaborations. Solicitations are not allowed during these events so please no hard selling.
  • Programming in the form of workshops, talks, forums, pitch event, hackathons, etc. Organizations seeking to host programming during one of the weekly Thursday Gatherings can request to participate in each community.
  • Demonstrations of prototypes and new products. Thursday Gatherings feature local startups who want to share their prototypes and new products.
  • Office hours with experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and service professionals are available each week.
  • Info tables, are designed for partner organizations to share and promote information programs, competitions, and events relevant to the Venture Café audience.
  • Volunteer and help us make Thursday Gatherings happen every week. We need greeters, bartenders, kiosk attendants and really nice people to help make this happen each week.
  • Sponsor Thursday Gatherings as a way to show your support for Venture Cafe and the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and in-kind sponsorships are available in each location.


The Thursday Gatherings are now virtual! Find out what's happening this week


Collaborative Programming

2021 Global Sustainability Calendar:

Inspired by the UN’s 2030 goals for a more sustainable world, we see the Venture Café network as the perfect place to gather, inspire and connect innovators into action. We encourage our network to amplify sustainability innovation in their weekly programming.

We highlight innovators across the network via HAPPEN Stories. If you would like to collaborate around sustainability – connect with us!


The Happening: Connecting Innovators to Make _______ Happen

Our collective Global Thursday Gathering event, The Happening, uses the power of the full network to collaborate on making things happen. Now that our events are mostly virtual, we have the opportunity to bring our ecosystems together in new ways!

With 40+ sessions over 20 hours, we will explore ideas and innovative actions around a set topic. Take a look at our past events!