The Montclair area is full of professionals and creative types — either who own a small business, are looking to break through as an entrepreneur, or work in corporate and are looking to connect with like-minded people. In return, there are a number of organizations and groups that host regular meetups and events all in the name of networking. Read on to get a comprehensive list of networking events to attend in Montclair and the surrounding area.
Montclair Starts Up | Montclair State University — 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair
(Photo credit: Montclair Starts Up)
Montclair Starts Up is a free event series hosted by the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation (FCE+I) at Montclair State University. The events bring together current and future entrepreneurs for an evening full of top-notch speakers, startup pitches, and networking opportunities.
“The FCE+I has always had a robust meetup community, but Covid obviously impacted our ability to gather and network in person,” said Liz Rich, Director of the FCE+I. “We were galvanized to bring back large-scale, in-person networking events to inspire and celebrate our vibrant entrepreneurial community here in Montclair and the surrounding area.”
The first event took place in February and welcomed over 100 attendees, who gathered to hear pitches from community startups and learn from a panel of startup investors about how best to prepare when seeking funding. The most recent event in April welcomed seasoned entrepreneurs from the CPG, health, and beauty spaces as guest speakers. The group plans to hold three more events this year in June, September, and November.
The Wise Women Collective Monthly Meetup | VeroLuce Studio — 5 South Willow Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: Wise Women Collective)
This meetup is for all who identify as women in business — for those who run their own, have a side hustle or dream, or work in the corporate world. On the last Thursday of each month, the group gathers at the VeroLuce photography studio in downtown Montclair. Each meeting begins with mix-and-mingle time, then transitions into workshopping a topic of the month through round table discussion, breakout groups, speed networking, and more.
Skye McDonald, a solopreneur, author, and former schoolteacher, is the host and discussion facilitator. Skye said, “There are business benefits to being part of the collective, however, what makes us special is the fact that we are very education and experience focused. We create opportunities to practice and improve networking skills, informational sessions on how to boost productivity and leverage SEO, and much more.”
The next event will take place on Thursday, April 27th. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.
beSure | Locations Across New Jersey
With multiple locations around the North Jersey area, the beSure organization groups focus on business development and work on being a positive presence within one’s very own community. The group does have a Montclair-based group called beSure Montclair that holds events in the area. beSure hosts two in-person meetings each month, a Zoom meeting, and an after-work event.
Women in Business Meetup | Eagle Rock Cafe — 202 Bellevue Avenue #1B, Montclair
(Photo credit: Eagle Rock Cafe)
On the first Thursday of each month, Eagle Rock Cafe in Uptown Montclair hosts a free Women in Business Meetup. The event series is the brainchild of Melissa Freeswick, a customer of the cafe who frequents its co-working space, in partnership with cafe owner Ikbal Tokat. Melissa was craving connection with other women in business, and knew that Eagle Rock had an incredible space to host such events.
Each event welcomes anywhere from 25 to 50 women, many of whom continue to return each month and have come to enjoy seeing familiar faces. The most recent event welcomed its first speaker with Kathryn Lancioni, an internationally recognized expert in the field of public relations, who spoke about how to create your personal brand. Future events will delve into similar business topics that empower and inform, and will feature a mixture of speakers and mixing-and-mingling.
LeTip of Montclair | Horseneck Tavern — 11 Bloomfield Avenue, North Caldwell
LeTip of Montclair is a diverse and energetic networking group that meets for one purpose — to give and receive business tips that reward everyone. According to Marqus Aycart, Membership Chair and Business Mixer Host, what makes LeTip of Montclair different is that they focus on quality versus quantity, positive energy, and building camaraderie and strong connections.
On the first Thursday of every month, the group meets at the Horseneck Tavern in North Caldwell. And in May they’ll be adding a second monthly mixer event at The MC Hotel rooftop in Montclair. These monthly events are free to attend, and the group also hosts experiential events every quarter in partnership with WE CONNECT. The next one is a wine-tasting event called Celebrating Women In Business on April 26th.
Third Thursday — Female Business Owner Meetup | Headshot + Brand Bar 271 Grove Avenue Building 1 Suite E, Verona
Carley Storm, Owner of Headshot + Brand Bar, created the Third Thursday meetup to hold space for anyone who identifies as female to connect, share and grow. “I’m on a mission for more small businesses to be successful and full of profit, passion and financial and time freedom. Many of my clients and women who come to my networking events started their businesses so they could both make money but have flexibility to spend time with their families.”
Events are hosted on the third Thursday of the month at Headshot + Brand Bar in Verona. The meetup rotates through topics every three months, switching between mingling, intros, and bringing in an outside speaker who talks about something relevant to small business owners. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.
NJ Networking Events | Locations Across New Jersey
(Photo credit: NJ Networking Events)
NJ Networking Events doesn’t just organize events — they also help professionals find ones happening across New Jersey. The site shares networking events from many different organizations and groups, making it a useful tool for professionals to find and attend upcoming events.
Their self-run events are all-industry and open to everyone, taking place in a relaxed social atmosphere. The goal is to help professionals expand their sphere of influence. “Attending one of our networking events is a great way to meet other professionals who may need your product or service,” said Kurt Steinbruch, Co-Founder of NJ Networking Events.
Events are typically held once per month in a restaurant, bar, or brewery (March’s event was held at Montclair Brewery). The next event will be co-hosted with the Bergen County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, May 25th at Morton’s The Steakhouse, located in the Riverside Square Mall in Hackensack. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
North Jersey Professionals Monthly Mixer | Locations Across New Jersey
These events typically happen during the third week of every month, at various locations across North Jersey. Organizer Hanneh Kalyoussef changes locations between Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, and Essex counties, in order to bring together people from different areas and of different professions.
At these mixers, guests can expect a social environment with people connecting from all walks of life. There’s no charge or obligation to be a member, and many become friends. “I believe that personal interaction and establishing relationships lead to trust, which builds better relationships in business and in life. You never know who you will meet,” said Hanneh.
The next event is taking place on Tuesday, April 18th at Bahama Breeze in Wayne. RSVPs are being collected on Eventbrite.