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Posts Tagged ‘co-working spaces’

Gather, Flock, Learn, Co-Work

Monday, September 9th, 2013

This weekend, I traveled out of town to RDU.  Luckily, I also had the opportunity to hit the grand opening of Gather NC.  The cool thing about it is that it s a co-working and co-learning, co-entrepreneurial space, in that they sell co-working packages to the entrepreneurial, offer classes (mainly for the creative entrepreneurial spirits), and sell retail goods made by local owners (not to mention a pop up coffee shop).  Really – what more could you ask for from a retail space?

I also recently wrote for the other blog a list of some of the offerings for co-working spaces in Indy.  And I read that NYC is working today on a space for their NYC Media Lab for those in film (and really, these days, who ISN’T into digital storytelling?)

What does all this smashed up mean?  Well, a couple of things:

1. We’re all entrepreneurs now – if you haven’t realized this yet, I thought it was worth mentioning one more time.

2. Cities need to think small for entrepreneurs now, not big – If anything, we all should have learned that big corporations shutter pretty much overnight in this crazy economy.  Thus, the safer bet for cities and states are to continue to support big business, yes, but focus even more on smaller businesses, because that is where the growth is for the future.  Big businesses are not going to rule the world for much longer, methinks.

3. We need to support entrepreneurs in a different way now – This might not be as obvious, but I wanted to post it and state it bluntly: a city that does NOT get on board with supporting their citizens with ways not only to work together, but also to co-learn in lower cost, meaningful ways is going to lose their entrepreneurs to cities that WILL.  I’m talking about the reality that a lot of small business owners also happen to have part-time to full-time jobs on the side as well.  The world in which we work (a la the 40 hour full time work week) is changing.  We’re headed to the 2-29 hour work week, thanks to healthcare reform and globalization.  So, cities that can figure out how to help their people maneuver this sea change are going to have and keep the best and brightest.

4. Formal education isn’t enough anymore – Every mayor and head of a chamber should pay special attention to the quantity and quality of education BEYOND higher education that a city or state offers its citizens now.  For example, one of the coolest things about Gather NC is not that they offer classes, but the content in their classes.  For example – one class coming up in September is on branding and packaging with paper.  I’ve never, ever seen a class like that offered ANYWHERE where I’ve lived. There’s nothing in IUPUI’s continuing learning network on this, and I won’t even go there with the college campuses – classes like these just don’t exist.  This is a TOTAL and COMPLETE fail of higher education – to offer real world, practical skills coursework.

There.  So, while I’ve been quiet this weekend, I really was out in the universe taking notes on my fellow entrepreneurial-kind.