Which Comes First? The Coffee or the Coworking?

Giant Tech German software maker SAP is hoping to draw a walk-in crowd of techies — and perhaps raise its own Silicon Valley profile — by selling high-end coffee with a side of free Wi-Fi and programming advice, according to an AP News story.  SAP has opened a cafe inside a former cinema in downtown Palo Alto. The spot is not far from a slew of tech startups, Stanford University and the headquarters of Facebook, Hewlett-Packard and several venture capital firms that invest in new companies.

While many companies operate employee cafes, most aren’t open to the public. SAP, which sells software to large corporations, said patrons at the new HanaHaus cafe won’t necessarily be SAP employees or SAP’s usual customers.  Instead, SAP’s Sanjay Shirole says he wants to foster a creative environment where anyone can sip coffee, swap ideas or pound their computer keyboards alongside others “who share a passion for technology.”

The AP story notes:  “The cafe seems unlikely to make money for SAP. But veteran tech analyst Rob Enderle said it might help a staid, older company make new friends, especially among startup founders and young programmers who are often heavily recruited by better-known, ‘hot’ companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook.

“We feel we need to be engaged beyond our walls,” Shirole said.

Read the Associated Press full story

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