Coffee, Community, and Sobriety: Matt McKenna’s Decade at DENT

I first met Matt McKenna over 10 years ago at South by Southwest, where we connected through our mutual interests in technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Since then, Matt has become a treasured friend and creative collaborator.

This year at the Dent the Future conference in Santa Fe, I sat down with Matt to reflect on his journey as an entrepreneur and innovator, especially his decade-long relationship with DENT.

From Tech Startup to Coffee Shop Owner

Matt has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning in the tech world where he ran a successful mobile marketing company. Looking for a new challenge in 2017, Matt dove headfirst into the specialty coffee business, opening the doors to Imperial Moto Coffee in Miami.

Driven by his passion for quality coffee and community, Imperial Moto has grown into a thriving brand, with a second location recently opened in Aventura Mall.

The Connector and The Rep

Beyond coffee, Matt has a knack for spotting patterns and bringing people together. He founded Talent Alliance Group, helping friends like LeVar Burton and Zoe Bell leverage opportunities through speaking engagements and endorsements.

According to Matt, “It just happened organically, I was friends with a variety of talented people and decided to make a business out of it.” His broad network continues to provide opportunities for collaboration.

Early Days at DENT

Matt has attended every DENT conference since its inception, cementing his status as an OG. He fondly recalls having breakfast with Steve Broback and Jason Preston 10+ years ago, dreaming up this community-focused event.

For Matt, DENT represents “bonafide community, where every year new people enter my life and I stay connected with them.” From late nights to experiential workshops, DENT has become like a family reunion for Matt.

Coffee, Community, and Sobriety

This year, Matt and I shared deeply about our respective sobriety journeys. Now over 10 years sober, Matt views alcoholism as an allergy that led to regretful behavior. He credits the AA program for providing the tools and perspective to live an authentic, present life.

Matt beams that now, “I’m able to be there for anybody at any time.” His experiences highlight the power of community support.

Looking Ahead

As we closed our podcast chat, Matt’s passion for spreading coffee culture shone through. He aims to educate consumers about organic, ethical coffee, believing that “there’s so much bad coffee out there.”

Matt’s entrepreneurial hustle and collaborative spirit continue to make positive ripples in the world. He exemplifies the values of learning, service and community that DENT represents. I’m grateful to call him a friend after all these years.