The dream of a free lunch is alive in Portland Lunch 2.0

As the year draws to a close, it’s only reasonable that we start looking to the new year. And planning for ways to improve and strengthen the connections in the Portland startup community. And given some of the feedback I’ve received throughout the year, I can’t help but wonder if we should reboot Portland Lunch 2.0 as something more than a Portland Startup Week activity.

You see, back in the day, Portland Lunch 2.0 was a really effective means of connecting the community, celebrating wins, giving people an option for networking during business hours, and allowing businesses who were hiring to both show off their office spaces and introduce potential employees to current employees.

Sound interesting? Well it’s pretty easy. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up to host Portland Lunch 2.0
  2. (Optional) Cap the number of attendees
  3. Help spread the word that you’re hosting Portland Lunch 2.0
  4. Check in the week before to get an idea of how many folks are going to be showing up
  5. Arrange to cater enough lunch — with gluten free and vegan options — that attendees can eat. For free. (Need help? Spork Bytes)
  6. Bask in the glory of being a consummate supporter of the Portland startup community
  7. Sign up to attend the next Portland Lunch 2.0 to get your free lunch

You don’t even have to plan programming. It can just be people milling about and chatting. But if you’re into programming, that’s fine too. Some people make speeches. Some folks set up tables and tradeshows. Some turn into a job fair. Still others combine forces with peers to help defray costs and responsibilities.

Yes. Companies really did this. A lot of companies. And it really worked. I think it could work again.

Admittedly, I may be blinded by nostalgia. But this seems like a gap in the community at this point. One that is easy to fix. And one that definitively helped many folks in our community meet and form bonds. Best of all, it brought out a whole new group of people who were unable to attend happy hours and evening events. And that seems like something that our community could use right now.

If you’re on board and interested in hosting or simply want to be in the loop should there be the opportunity to attend, please visit Portland Lunch 2.0.