Networking site Ten Thousand Coffees connects questions with answers
Students spend years in post-secondary trying to learn everything they need to start their careers only to be told time and time again that it’s not about what they know, but who they know. Having spent most of their lives in classrooms with other students, the vast majority of the people they know are finding themselves in the same frustrating situation with lots of questions and very few people to turn to for answers.
This year, 25-year-old entrepreneur Dave Wilkin launched the digital platform Ten Thousand Coffees to link questions with answers by connecting students, recent graduates, and young professionals with industry leaders.
The website, TenThousandCoffees.com, allows anyone to sign up as a Novice to send coffee invitations to Experts in any field. Even before its official launch, more than 300 industry professionals, including Chris Hadfield, Justin Trudeau, Bruce Croxon and George Stroumboulopoulos joined the movement and thousands have since followed suit.
When asked who the most popular Expert is right now, Wilkin noted that, “A lot of requests are going to people that aren’t bigger names, but who have advice to share.”
“Ten Thousand Coffees is for everybody,” said Wilkin, who explained that a Novice can be “anyone who wants to take their career to the next step,” and “Experts are not just CEOs and global leaders. They can be someone just in the first years into their career.”
Someone could be both a Novice and an Expert just as they could both ask and answer questions.
Experts on Ten Thousand Coffees currently run the gamut from CEOs like John Betts of McDonald’s Canada to Freelance Writers across the country, all looking to answer questions for anyone willing to ask them.
Wilkin’s plans for Ten Thousand Coffees include going global by the end of the year because, “People need this.”
Wilkin modestly credited his own career success to a conversation he shared five years ago with Mia Pearson, co-founder of public relations agency North Strategic. He had reached out with an invitation to meet for coffee and was surprised when she accepted. Pearson had encouraged him to start his own millennial marketing agency, which now employs over a dozen professionals.
“Without that coffee opportunity, I wouldn’t be where I am,” Wilkin said.