Edinburgh has loads of groups that cater to startups, tech and social media, and all the options can be overwhelming to a sane person’s diary. What’s out there? What is the group like? How can I jump in? Whether you’re new to the scene or looking to venture out beyond your usual appearances, here’s a run-down of some of the meetups we love:
Dorkbot Alba: A fornightly-ish get-together for creative hardware tinkering and learning. Ever had an idea for a clever gadget or contraption, but not known how to start building it? Want to learn more about hardware and electronics? Got some interesting parts you pulled out of a skip years ago thinking they might be useful? Or maybe you’re already a well-established basement inventor, and want to help teach others? Then come along to the Dorkbot Workshop. This is intended to bring all these people together to encourage and support each other to pursue their interest.
Workshops are approximately fortnightly usually on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 8pm at Edinburgh Hacklab in the Drill Hall of Leith Walk. Do check their calendar to confirm and sign up for the newsletter to be in the loop.
E-Club: Fun talks by impressive entrepreneurs, often from the Silicon Valley, with business pitching competitions each term as well. As a bonus, you’ll get the latest announcements on funding, events, free stuff, etc. to keep you in the loop. Attracts a mix of MBAs, recent grads, and real grownups from the community. If you come, be sure to stay for the casual networking afterward with free wine and crisps until about 9pm, and chat to Sarah if you need any business match-making – she rocks.
Meetings are approximately weekly during the academic year (usually on a Tues or Wed), 6:30pm in the UofE Business School LT1. The banter continues at Doctors or Teviot Library Bar from 9pm. @EclubEDI
Edinburgh Coffee Morning: Lovely creative media group, coffee morning is wonderfully informal and bounces from around 15-25 cheerful attendees (I’ve never seen a grumpy one). Publicised as a Web 2.0 meetup, it attracts start-ups, bloggers, and all sorts working in digital/creative industry. Very friendly group culture with regulars welcoming the newbies, and you can find the group active on 38 Minutes. Jump in, get a coffee, and look up your new friends on Twitter afterward – it’s worth the early start.
Meets weekly, 8am Friday mornings at Centotre on George St – look for a caffeinated bunch at a long table in the back. Just turn up and stay as long as you like (the crowd dissolves from about 9am-10:30am, depending on work’s urgency). @38Minutes, #EdCM
Internet Marketing Meetup: Cozy group for people whose businesses heavily rely upon online marketing or for anyone who wants to learn more about the art of SEO, social media, and the like. Organised by a team of internet marketing fans, each meeting features a speaker with different expertise, and the gathering is a comfortable size for group discussion. Sit around the table with a can of beer, relax, and exchange stories and tips with other attendees.
Meetings TBD. Try to RSVP online beforehand as they like to cap at 20 spots.
Mobile Apps Group: an Informatics Ventures initiative which brings together people interested in mobile applications development. Barriers to developing and selling mobile applications are lower than for any other technology type. We aim to lower them even further with a unique community of support and tools. Meetings follow an informal style, with a couple of short presentations on a relevant theme, an opportunity to meet others interested in mobile applications, and free pizza and beer.
Meets approximately monthly at the School of Informatics Inspace, 7pm usually on a Thursday but join their mailing list to hear the latest.
MoMo: Mobile Monday Edinburgh lunches are now being held monthly with a delightfully friendly and knowledgeable group. Organised by a strong team of local mobile startups and supporters, MoMo Edinburgh is more business-like than a Tech Meetup but not at all pretentious, and you’ll get an enjoyable meal with wine & coffee for about a tenner. The real value is in the conversation though, as a couple prepared questions will spur all sorts of chat and debate in the mobile realm. Welcoming anyone interested in mobile, from app developers to mobile advertising companies, you are sure to leave with new insights and questions.
Generally meets the first Monday of each month, 12:30pm at Centotre on George St – book ahead through the MoMo Edinburgh website (there will be a link in the discussions) to pay for your approx £10 meal.
OpenCoffee Club: An informal gathering for all sorts of business movers and shakers. Aimed at entrepreneurs, developers, and investors, these meetups attract a real variety of folks reaching beyond the techie realm. The only structure to the morning is the coffee machine, tea selection, and tasty biscuit assortment, so you’ll need to use your caffeinated spirit to start random conversation. Organised by Cloudsoft, it’s as open as the name suggests – a good place to mingle with fresh faces or catch up with folks you may have spotted offhand at previous events.
Meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 10am in Appleton Tower 8th Floor or Informatics Forum 4th Floor balcony (summer getaway). No need to RSVP or turn up on time, but check the website for location updates.
Refresh Edinburgh: a community of web developers and designers interested in cutting-edge web technologies. We want to gather great minds, share our knowledge, promote local talent, and be more than we think we can be. We also want to drink and talk geek. If you’re in or around Edinburgh and interested in attending community meetings, sign up to our mailing list and we’ll keep you informed.
Meets monthly toward the beginning of the month in alternating pub locations. Check their calendar and join their mailing list for less vague details.
Scottish Lean Circle: A monthly group for customer-focussed, metric driven internet startups following Lean Development processes. In these sessions internet startups will share the details of their proposition, customer development activities, tools and techniques. The strategic aim of these sessions is for companies to learn from each others mistakes and successes and for startup teams to have an environment to support each other.
Meets monthly typically on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 7:30pm at the Winterwell offices (Grassmarket).
Tech Law For Startups: A monthly meetup for individuals planning, developing and growing high-growth businesses, primarily based around new technologies. By providing an open forum for individuals to come along to share knowledge and experiences, we are building a network of people who can learn and support each other in dealing with business issues. Follow us on twitter (@techlaw4startup) and feel free to suggest any particular topics that you would like covered at an upcoming meetup.
Meets monthly at MBM Commercial office on Castle St – check the meetup group website for specific dates.
Tech Meetup: Monthly ‘geek fest’ (as explained by anonymous commercialisation director) with 3-4 technology related talks and demos. Succeeds in getting people to mingle informally with beer and pizza, but don’t be shy or you’ll leave hungry. Attracts an impressive crowd of about 70-80 people incl. programmers, entrepreneurs at different stages, miscellaneous techies, and a VC.
Meetings held monthly in both Edinburgh (Appleton Tower 8th Floor) and Glasgow (Saltire Centre 2nd Floor, Glasgow Caledonian Uni), 7pm. Typically the 2nd Wednesday of the month is Edinburgh and 4th Wednesday of the month is Glasgow, but check their calendar for variations. Just turn up, and don’t expect to be finished much before 10pm – pub anyone? @TechMeetup
UX Bookclub: Edinburgh UX Bookclub meets every other month to discuss a book that we’ve chosen to read together. We are a varied bunch, but all interested in learning more about User Experience. All welcome!
You can follow them on Twitter @uxbcedi or join the Meetup group to get the scoop when the next events are scheduled.