I’ll Take My Success Hot and Black

So everyone knows caffeine is critical to success, right? Well, in San Francisco’s Mission District, you can get your latte hot and your business humming all in the same place: The Summit, a new coffeehouse that not only serves up pastries and cups of joe but also startups.

Based on the idea that some of the biggest deals in Silicon Valley are sealed over cappuccino and cream cheese Danish, IO Ventures, a fund that helps early-stage startups accelerate their growth, opened

The Summit, which is one-third coffeehouse and two-thirds office space, to mingle the energy of a largely tech startup scene with the good vibes of a trendy café.

IO Ventures partner Paul Bragiel says the coffeehouse is like the businesses’ “living room,” offering startups access to hundreds of customers a day who come in for the free Wi-Fi, the coffee and a conversation. “We have built a workspace that we feel is conducive to open exchanges, exposure to new ideas and random encounters,” Bragiel says. “Plus, one of our partners, Jim [Young] is super addicted to coffee.”

If you’re super addicted to success, The Summit might be just the place to try your hand at being a mover and shaker. You’ll get all the bits and pieces for an office, a lively startup community and invitations to periodic small biz events.

A recent startup, Prepay, used the coffeehouse as a testing ground for their product, a loyalty rewards program for the iPhone where users “prepay” a favorite merchant with, say $100, and then get $120 worth of credit. “Prepay was able to launch and test their product in our coffee shop and, since then, have been growing quite rapidly from all the feedback they got piloting it in-house,” Bragiel says.

The Summit can house just under two dozen startups at a time, but you won’t just find techies and biz whizzes in house. “One of the weirdest side eff I have seen is the type of random people The Summit has been attracting,” Bragiel says. “We have everything from local artists coming in to hang out to foreign dignitaries coming in to check it out and see what a microcosm of Silicon Valley looks like.” And all with a hot cup of coffee.

For more insight on creating your own start-up, read our article– Why You Should Start Your Own Business


Deborah Huso is a Virginia-based freelance writer specializing in business, lifestyle, and travel subjects. She is also a regular book reviewer for SUCCESS. Her publication credits include FamilyFun, Military Officer, Appraiser News Online, Women's Health, GORP.com, USA Today magazines, Alaska Airlines Magazine, WellBella, and The Progressive Farmer, where she serves as contributing editor. Huso also publishes a popular blog on love, motherhood, and work called "I Only Love You Because I Have To" at www.deborahhuso.com. Visit Huso online at www.drhuso.com, or follow her on Twitter @writewellmedia.

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