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Meet a CEO for Coffee. Yes, it’s That Easy.

Are your emails to company representatives getting lost in overflowing inboxes? Well, there’s a new way to get the attention of industry executives – and even go for coffee with them.

TenThousandCoffees.com is a new initiative started by Dave Wilkin, a 25-year-old entrepreneur with a classic dream: to connect businesspeople with the next generation over a cup of coffee. And, surprisingly, it’s catching on not only with students, but with experienced executives as well. Why? Wilkin attributes it to knowledge sharing. As much as students want to hear about how people got to where they are today, top executives want to know what the younger generation is thinking.

That’s right students: now is your time to shine.

These “coffee dates” are casual and non-committal. Don’t think you’ll be walking into a meeting and walking out with a job offer. Instead, use the opportunity to ask questions, propose ideas, and get feedback from your business idols. Yes, increase your network, but increase your knowledge as well.

The website is free to join for both Experts (anyone with experience or advice to share) and Novices (students and young professionals). More than 300 industry experts have already signed up for the site – and these include well-known faces such as astronaut Chris Hadfield, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, Elle Canada Editor-in-Chief Noreen Flanagan, and even the blast-from-the-past co-founder of Bodybreak, Hal Johnson.

We’ve barely scratched the surface with these participants, who have all signed up of their own accord.

They want to meet you.

Go to TenThousandCoffees.com and you can browse the profiles of executives from LinkedIn, Cineplex, Corus, Toronto International Film Festival, Telus, Maple Leaf Foods, PepsiCo, L’Oreal, Metrolinx, TD, MLSE, NHL, Molson Coors, Canadian Red Cross, Samsung, McDonald’s, and many, many more.

The list of Experts includes comedians and actors, marketers and project managers, CEOs and Presidents, professors, lawyers, politicians, news anchors and columnists, publishers, restauranteurs, a fire chief, and an Olympian.

Can you learn from these people? Definitely.

All you need to do is sign up on the site, for free, and send a coffee request to anyone you’d like to meet with. If they accept, you schedule a date and time to meet – it can even be a video chat. Remember, all of these Experts have experience to share. Even if your one business idol hasn’t signed up (yet), get some practice meeting with other executives and listen to what they have to say.

The site is currently open to Canadians, but Wilkin has expressed a plan to expand to the US and UK in the near future.

Share your coffee experience with us on Twitter @StudentsDotOrg. Who did you meet? What did you talk about?

You can also follow @10kcoffees on Twitter and on Facebook.