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Hawaii's First Coworking Space

Bow Wow Meow Pet Pop-up @ Fishcake

Happy Aloha Friday Jelly’s!

There’s a great event for you and your pets happening tomorrow Saturday June 29th at Fishcake, right next door to BoxJelly. It’s being put on by Art & Flea and Fishcake. BoxJelly member Rex Maximilian will be set up to take portraits of you and your pets! Everyone is invited!
BOWWowMeow

Art & Flea and Fishcake Present: Bow Wow Meow

Date: Sat June 29th

Time: 12p-4p

Place: Fishcake – 3087-c Kamani St (next door to BoxJelly)

FREE

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TRIPPIN’

Bloomington, Day 1 (Pt. I)
By Britney T-M

Bloomington

TRIPPIN’ is a summer blog series featuring coworking spaces, as BoxJelly intern Britney T-M travels to attend George Mason University’s Social Innovation Program. Follow the trip on Google Maps.

For those of you not familiar with Bloomington, a major fact is that it’s home to Indiana University. Because of the talent that pools here from this mega institution, it’s no wonder the coworking spaces in B-Town established quickly. With sucha  concentration of skills for the area’s labor force, you’ll see companies sprout up in very unique ways, explaining a sort of “wild-card effect” of the midwest in terms of innovation and industry.

Cowork Btown

Coworkin' hard!

Coworkin’ hard!

Cowork Btown

One of many pieces by Bloomington artists that were just recently put on display.

Cowork Btown started in the way most do. The founding members worked remotely for their companies. They met up at coffee shops and loved the social benefits of working together – chatting about the game, sharing info. about recent product releases, etc. But spending $20 every day and having to constantly feed the parking meter inspired them to find a space of their own. With one tweet, they found 10 more people to join them, and BOOM!, Cowork Btown was born.

I met with one of the founding members Aaron White, a lead designer at Formstack, who also works with Bryan and Brandon (trippy!). It’s located in a building with multiple tenants – a yoga studio and investment group are their closets neighbors.

It is a smaller space, only about four or five months old, but is equipped with all the essential amenities – common work area, meeting rooms, and soon-to-be lounge room. They might be able to acquire an extra room as well that they would turn into a copy room with more lounge space. The kitchen space and restroom is shared with the investment group, which is an interesting way that they are unintentionally coexisting with other working professionals. When first finding a space, they encountered a bit of misunderstanding with landlords thinking of coworking more as subletting. It was a reminder for me of how recent this industry has developed.

Back of the chalkboard walled reception area.

Back of the chalkboard walled reception area.

As our conversation continued, the topic shifted towards an area that I think a lot of coworking founders will find themselves in. “We need to partner with someone,” explained Aaron, “…to help manage the community. It’s just that we’ve got full time jobs…family and kids…it’s hard to work on the space.” Planning events, managing new member signups, making sure there’s TP in the restrooms – these are things that need to get done for a space to operate. As founders establish the needs of space creation, who will be there to maintain it?

The potential lounge room.

The TV wall in the potential lounge room.

The simple answer is those who need it. The needs of tech. parks and coworking spaces relate to each other in this way. If no man is an island unto himself, coworking spaces should recognize the channels for which they are part in the ‘archipelago’, or their connection to ‘the mainland’–quite simply, the surrounding community/city and industry ecosystem of which they are in. During our Business Scholars consultancy project, our recommendations continually pointed to institutional partnerships for the sustainability of our tech. park client. For example, Purdue, Notre Dame, Rose Hulman–all of these educational institutions have technology parks who are partnered with them. Universities provide the research and talent, tech parks provide the infrastructure and networks for that research and talent to be implemented and relevant.

There is soon to be a tech park in Bloomington as well. With the IU and a growing tech. community, Bloomington certainly has fertile ground to grow and prosper as a town. And with young and ambitious professionals such as Aaron and the team of Yellow taking their early career steps in B-Town, there will be much more to look out for.

Blueline

Blueline

Blueline

Revenge is never a straight line“, and neither is any journey. Exploring coworking spaces means exploring communities, and the stories of people in that community. It was only after speaking with Aaron that I knew about Blueline, a coworking space that finds its niche in the creative realm rather than the tech. space. So after Cowork Btown, I trip’d myself over a few blocks on 6th St. and a half block north up College Ave. to Blueline.

Founder Chelsea Sanders with Bertie.

Founder Chelsea Sanders with Bertie.

Founder Chelsea Sanders graciously agreed to meet with me on a moment’s notice. After graduating college from Illinois State University, Chelsea landed in Bloomington for an art director’s position at Auxiliary Services for IU. By that point, she had already started Blueline Media Productions, a creative agency doing full marketing and branding campaigns for companies. An artist of photography herself, she eventually wanted to have her own business and gallery to give local artists a chance to showcase their art and host shows. “With artists, it’s more than likely that the majority of people don’t have the money,” exlains Chelsea. “They’re just trying to have a show…it’s expensive to rent a studio or gallery space. So if you share, it’s just cheaper.”

The fashionista of "What I Wore"(whatiwore.tumblr.com)

The fashionista of whatiwore.tumbr.com. (Co)Work it, girl!

As she made enough money, she resigned from the director’s position to fill that gap. Fast-forward through a few locations and you’ll find Chelsea right off the main square. She’s livin’ her dream, working amongst other creatives – a copy writer, a video director, their corresponding employees and interns, and even fashion blogger Jessica Quirk!

Backroom.

Backroom.

At Blueline, there’s a reception/couch area, a general workspace, a laptop/desktop bar, and a dedicated office space in a back room that is home to three programmers from Three Amigos. The conference table is a center piece of sorts in the space, and for shows, everything is cleared to transform the space into a gallery. Most of the furniture are refinished pieces from an old furniture store, lending to an antique/vintage vibe.

Center table.

Center table.

Memberships break even on the rent, but making money isn’t the point. This gives her a chance to make her business and have like-minded people to work with, which is another one of those innovation metrics difficult to measure. The next steps she wants to take involve community oriented events. She is currently working with one of her clients to host a leadership workshop for Blueline and community members (which is arguably an added value for her client, in access to exposure and networking).

We have this same exact Atlas at home.

Trippy: I flipped through this Atlas at my house, right before flying out of HNL.

While conversing with Chelsea, we talked about the changing culture of competition. Even with Cowork Btown and an upcoming technology park, competition looks like it will take a backseat to collaboration. The challenge that Chelsea sees is basically more of a marketing issue – how people understand what the space is, how it is used, and the referral of members.

"Live what you love" + "Work the way you live" = Blueline + BoxJelly

“Live what you love” x “Work the way you live” = Blueline + BoxJelly

It reminded me of kayak racing and running track. Coaches would tell us the clock was our only competition. Co-working, co-operation, co-mmunity…the stories of these spaces are all conceived with the purpose of benefiting through co-operation. I have a feeling that there is a redefinition of the competitor happening along with this paradigm shift of the way we work.

Bloomington continued in Day 1 (Pt. II)…
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TRIPPIN’

Indianapolis, Day 2 (Part II)
By Britney T-M

Indianapolis, IN
TRIPPIN’ is a summer blog series featuring coworking spaces, as BoxJelly intern Britney T-M travels to attend George Mason University’s Social Innovation Program. Follow the trip on Google Maps.

Continued from Indianapolis, Day 2 (Part I)

Launch Fisher’s

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The space that took us out of the city was Launch Fisher’s. Megan from Indy CoZ actually referred this space to us (thanks Megan!). Fisher’s is a suburb in Hamilton County that has grown consistently in population and constantly on top lists such as “best places to live” or “safest place to live”. This visit would take Scottie and I 30 minutes north east of Indy, but we were so close that we just had to make the visit.

Upon arrival, it was a bit confusing to get from the parking lot to the front entrance. And when we got to the front entrance, we realized we were going into a library. And when we got to the library, the information desk was glad to point us in the right direction. The Fisher’s Library itself was already very impressing, so I couldn’t wait to see what this space had in store.

I always thought that coworking was the the next step in the evolution of libraries. With all of the resources and information that a library can offer coworking, and the utilization that coworking can offer a library, it would be…organic.

Behind every great man, there is a great Mama!

Behind every great man, there is a great Mama!

Organic is a term that echoed in my head after meeting with Launch Fisher’s founder, John Wechsler. Even though we just dropped in, John was eager to talk with us. “If you think about it, this has been almost 10 years investment.” Originally, John wanted to start a coworking space back in 2007. However, with the launch and success of Formspring in 2009, he had to follow the company’s expansion to California, and was just recently able to move back to Indiana. Launch Fisher'sThe space opened in 2012, unexpectedly as a non-profit, as part of the town’s effort to organically create startup activity. “They see this sort of space as community infrastructure, just as a road or bridge would be.” John described this as organic economic development. By providing space for startups (a previously empty library), in a region where startups have resources to grow (surrounding industry of Indianapolis, as well as central location of US), in a town where this ecosystem can take place (a growing population for the needed labor force), growth will be sustainable.

The work bar. John made the backing from repurposed book shelves, sourced from the library upstairs!

The work bar. John made the backing from repurposed book shelves, sourced from the library upstairs!

In building the space, John has gone with function, then form. Launch Fisher’s was designed to be configurable, and accomodate people without having to crowd everyone to do it. In the 16,000sq.ft. space, there is a coffeeshop+cafe area, couch lounge, general workspace area with desks, couches, and bar stool seating, a stage area (which is level with the ground and is used as a general workplace couch area when not in use), six phone booths (with soundproofing), a 100 person conference room + 50 person meeting room (both can be configurable to connect or disconnect with each other)…whew!

Yes, they even have a treadmill desk.

Yes, they even have a treadmill desk.

Events are held in this space so the general work area can remain available to working members), four 4-person rooms, one 8-person room, a 20-person room, a printing/mail system area, gallery space, and restrooms. There is also a room sectioned off for dedicated desk space. With 200 members, it seems like it’s a pretty successful formula.

Jackie!

Jackie!

If it weren’t already a great enough place, I ran into Jackie Mills – a classmate from Hanover. Jackie is one of those people who restore your faith in humanity. She was always a positive influence for me, and it was very fortuitous that John mentioned that she was a member and working there that day. She is now a researcher at Enterprise Strategies, and has even worked out of the Speak Easy.

Crowdsourcing flyering efforts from members.

Crowdsourcing flyering efforts.

On the drive back to Indianapolis, Scottie and I couldn’t stop talking about what we had just saw. As an example of organic economic development, it was eye-opening to see the analogous theory in action, AND seeing it executed successfully. With so much emphasis on “Buy Local” and “Organic” production means back home, it’d be nice to see more of this application in Honolulu.

Be sure to visit their website for more pics and event info!

Indianapolis First Friday’s

Yes, that is a flying cupcake...The Flying Cupcake Bakery, to be exact!

Yes, that is a flying cupcake…The Flying Cupcake Bakery, to be exact!

Indianapolis at dusk, from the Old National Centre

Indianapolis at dusk, from the Old National Centre

After six spaces in two days, I was finally finished! Now it was play time. Mark, his boyfriend Corby, and I were on our way to First Friday’s in Fountain Square when Mark goes: “I feel like going food trucking.” And as Mark’s luck would have it, we passed the Old National Center, and there it was – FIRST FRIDAY FOODTRUCK FEST (presented by Leinenkugel)! The trucks lined up along the sides, serving everything from cupcakes to delux mac and cheese, and bbq.

Retro 101 (@shopretro101)

Mobile clothes boutique, Retro 101 (@shopretro101)

There was even a boutique bus and corporate booths (such as Verizon and a Spring charging station). We chose the fried catfish and fried chicken sandwich, each coming with sides of coleslaw, fries, and spicy dipping sauce. The batter was not too thick, the oil was clean (in the same way that Honolulu’s Phuket Thai calamari and friend chicken are), and the catfish did not taste like dirt, letting the flavors and spices come through with a sensational amount of crunch.

The catfish plate from Chef Dan's Southern Comfort Foodtruck

The catfish plate from Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Foodtruck with Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

The coleslaw reminded me of my grandma’s – light on the mayo, and slightly sweet. Sitting next to the boutique bus under the parking lot foliage with our home-fried meals and Leinenkugel’s, it was a perfect summer picnic. It also made me anxious for the next Eat the Street!

Cultured Swirl in Fountain Square

Cultured Swirl in Fountain Square

After our food truck fill, we suddenly stopped off at the Cultured Swirl to feed our sweet teeth. An organic, home-made, customer caring establishment, the Cultured Swirl opened just this year. After the first sample, I couldn’t help but have a little of all six flavors (Dutch chocolate, strawberry, pomegranate berry, pineapple, mango, and vanilla).

Yes, fresh cut bacon.

Yes, fresh cut bacon.

Their condiment bar was stocked with organic goodies as well, and they even kept the peanut butter topping heated…HEATED peanut butter, people! I’ve never felt so loved as a customer. They also installed large swings in the store shop window for patrons to sit in, and a backyard area that connected to a pizza joint. Was there anything that could have made it perfect? Probably live music…which they had! I would go back to Indianapolis just to be ‘cultured’ again.

Outside of Murphy's

Outside of Murphy’s

For the night’s finale, we stopped at Murphy’s Art Center (which I just realized is owned and managed by Deylen Realty). It is a multi-level building repurposed from the G.C. Murphy’s department store. The building itself was constructed in the 1880’s, became Murphy’s in 1951, then closed down in 1998. It started its re-purpose as an arts and community center, but began to decline in 2006.

One of the rooms in Murphy, with a band and a bar.

One of the rooms in Murphy, with a band and a bar.

Then in 2009, Craig and Larry Von Deylen became the new owners and managers, and had the spaces on the second and third floors completely leased. At full occupancy, there are over dozens of rooms with tenants ranging from The Red Lion Grog House, to the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Arts, and even Blackline Studio.

Whimsical Funk's 99 Bottles of Funk on the Wall, Upland Brewery room

Whimsical Funk’s 99 Bottles of Funk on the Wall, Upland Brewery room

Upland Brewery has  their marketing office there, and was hosting IndyCog‘s $3 pint fundraiser to promote their Indianapolis ride guide map. We also stopped in People for Urban Progress (upcycling and innovation it’s finest!) and a few galleries as well.

The door of the Upland Brewery room

The door of the Upland Brewery room

Indianapolis seemed to be good at this repurposing thing – Murphy’s, the Platform, and even the Speak Easy are all repurposed buildings. Something to note when going through the rinse-reuse-recycle process for structures and spaces.

Next city: Bloomington, IN

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TRIPPIN’

Indianapolis, Day 2 (Part I)
By Britney T-M

Indianapolis, IN
TRIPPIN’ is a summer blog series featuring coworking spaces, as BoxJelly intern Britney T-M travels to attend George Mason University’s Social Innovation Program. Follow the trip on Google Maps.

Yesterday had me going from the moment I got off the plane, but the first full day in Indy took me all around the city. These four spaces visited took me uptown, downtown, and also out-of-town. Even though the Midwest is slowly growing its coworking scene, there have been a number of developments in the last few years, and had me quite busy during my Indianapolis stay. Day 2 rounded out a total of six different sites in the city, and will probably see a few more as time goes on.

Indy Coz

Entrance to Indy CoZ

Entrance to Indy CoZ

Wendy's!

Wendy’s!

In a neighborhood of office space buildings in the suburban area of Castleton, Indianapolis, it looked like what the Service Center’s lot used to be – bustling malls, loads of restaurant, and of course, covered in asphalt with no sidewalks. To get there, the bus line took me straight through the mall parking lots which was convenient, but dropped me at a stop on the side of the highway, which made me feel kind of like a hobo.Walking to the space, there were properties of companies such as Spectrum Technology, JBD, and even Wendy’s! Finally arriving at Indy CoZ, I was excited to see the layout of one of these behemoths.

Indy CoZ

Indy CoZ coordinator, Megan O'Donnell

Indy CoZ coordinator, Megan O’Donnell

 I met with Megan O’Donnell, a coordinator at Indy CoZ, who took me on a tour of what was once a church. Founder and building owner Frank Howard also acquierd EventzPlus which also operates in the space. There is a tiered membership pricing (base, midlevel, and high), with special discounts on use of the event facilities.

Event space

Event space

Large event space with stage and sound system

Event space w/ stage & sound system

 Although they do not yet have sponsorships, larger corporate entities (perhaps some of their Castleway neighbors?) would do good by having their employees work out of there for networking purposes and gaining the event space discounts for large events. With hotels and malls in the surrounding area, there is incredible potential for events such as regional meetings, company retreats, and team building purposes. They had just hosted a college athlete mentorship program in one of their spaces, which made me think of one of our members. I wish we could offer the same amenities!

Indy CoZ Member, Jared Laughlin

Indy CoZ Member, Jared Laughlin

Their members are mostly individuals whose companies have many tele-commuting employees, are B2B companies, or consultants. Jared Laughlin for instance, has been a member since opening. He happened to just stumble upon Indy CoZ one day, liked Frank and his vision (as well as the price) and decided to join. The company he works for is doing software development for the healthcare industry and is based out of Madison, WI.

Private conference room

Private conference room

Private meeting room

Private meeting room

When asked what some unexpected challenges were for the space, Megan said that getting their name out and translation and education of the coworking concept to people and what they are trying to do were the most difficult aspects. Their location probably doesn’t help with exposure or convenience to the individual worker, but if more companies had employees as Indy CoZ coworking members, their access to a network of other professionals and access to space would be entirely beneficial.

The Hinge Bureau

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Street view, taken from one of the private offices

After Indy CoZ, Scottie picked me up, and we traveled to the southeastern district of downtown known as Fountain Square. It is here that the neighborhood of restaurants, events, and ma + pa stores still thrive because of the spirited community in this historic district. A part of Deylen Realty‘s newest property, The Hinge, The Hinge Bureau is a coworking space in a ‘mixed-use’ building in an area between Fountain Square and downtown Indy. The Hinge features studio apartments, 1-2 bedroom apartments and loft style apartments, all with private balconies, terrace access, and a workout facility that may also be accesible to The Hinge Bureau members. Nestled right next door to the Bureau is Rook – the newest restaurant from the creator of Siam Square and Black Market.

The Hinge BureauThe Hinge Bureau is still under construction, Todd VonDeylen (president, Deylen Realty, Inc) was willing to show us around. Throughout our meet, Todd was quite busy answering construction questions, having conversations with contractors, and speaking with potential tennants, so I was incredibly grateful for the time that he set aside for us to visit.

The Hinge BureauAs Todd walked us through the space, it amazed me that he hadn’t been to many coworking spaces. “It’s always something we wanted to try,” he says. Even though it is still in the process of construction, I can say their first attempt is on point  – mailboxes and lockers right next to the recycling center, general work desk area, kitchenette, two conference rooms, three telephone booths, and ten private offices.

Second floor common area with telephone booths

Second floor common area with telephone booths

Nikki Sutton was enlisted for The Hinge’s interior design, and does an incredible job making the space aesthetically pleasing while leaving room for creativity and productivity to breed, and for functionality to take place. Sutton was also the designer for The Speak Easy, and has already made quite an impression with her work in the Indianapolis community. There were a couple elements that are similar to the BoxJelly – the red corrugated plastic panels and wood elements made me feel right at home.

Conference room

Conference room

Built to accommodate 54 members, The Hinge is positioned towards young professionals. There was an “if you built it, they will come” sort of mentality, which never seems very sustainable. However, Todd pointed to all the different vantage points that position The Hinge for its residents and users – the walkability of its location, the cultured neighborhood, the centralized location in the city, and the large number of independent workers in the software, tech, and creative fields in Indianapolis.

When asked what type of community he envisions for the coworking space, he sees a lot of creative types, writers, coders, and marketers. I thought it interesting when he said ‘writers‘; it seemed to indicate an understanding of and interest in the existing community they were entering.

RookOnce we finished touring the space, Scottie and I stopped off at Rook – a non-traditional banh mi shop featuring a menu that has Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, Indian, and American influences for their sandwiches.

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At the table with our sandwiches

I’m a sucker for anything in a peanut sauce, so I got the Black Wing which featured beef in peanut curry – the flaming spices were gently toned down by the smooth peanut curry and cooled with the traditional carrots, radish, and peppers. Scottie got the Crow’s Nest, which features Chinese BBQ pork – that salty and slightly-sweet taste tango danced me away to a feeling of satiation, and filled all of my palate’s desires.

The menu

The menu

Siracha

Condiment station and trash/recycling recepticles

It took a while for the order (probably because there was a table of 10 right before us), but looking around at all of the design elements was an inspirational feast. There was a paper roll for the menu, monochromatic billings from old performances in Fountain Square lining the walls and ceilings in the ordering station, and a condiment area that hygienically stationed the recycling and trash all into one compact space. But it’s when I saw the whole lineup for Siracha, all in the 28oz. bottle size, that I knew these people weren’t f*ing around.

Restroom lighting

Restroom lighting

Taste, design, and style are all important elements, but when all of that successfully incorporates functionality into a space, it is nothing short of amazing. The Hinge, the Hinge Bureau, and Rook – all of it was inspiring, even in the simple fact that knowing that places such as these not only look good in the plans, but also show promising signs during their fruition.

The Platform

The Platform

After such a delightful lunch, it was hard to get back into work mode. The thought of traveling into the center of the city (and later 30 minutes out of it), was slightly draining. But you don’t come all the way for nothing, then cry about it when you go home because you didn’t go big…so even without a confirmed appointment, I thought we needed to stop by this space.

20130607_133935Why I say ‘need’ is because The Platform is a coworking space with tenant organizations that are focused around social innovation – which is unique in the coworking industry in general, and exactly what we’ll be learning about at George Mason. An initative of LISC, with the city of Indianapolis, The Platform is geared specifially towards non-profits devoted to neighborhood revitalization.

Second floor common area

Second floor common area

As the old west wing of the City Market, it would have been demolitied if not for LISC’s idea to make a coworking space. The $1.5 million renovation of the 14,000sq.ft. space was funded by Rebuild Indy (Mayor Ballard’s economic development fund). I wasn’t able to schedule a meeting with someone from The Platform, but I thought I’d stop by anyways to see if we could have a general tour. Elise at the front desk was very accommodating, and took us around the space. She works with the Food Coalition of Central Indiana,  which operates out of the space and mans the front desk as part of a services-for-membership trade.

General coworking area

General coworking area

The first floor is composed of the front desk offices, a large general space which can be used for events and is used for the farmer’s market in the winter, and workplace area. The second floor has the tenant spaces as well as conference rooms and meeting rooms, and a lounge area. When going into the City Market, we realized that it actually connects to The Platform through the back of the LISC offices!

Looking down from the second floor

Looking down from the second floor

It describes itself as a design center where the Indianapolis people can design their communities. All tenants are related to neighborhood revitalization and building – Growing Places Indy, Indianapolis Coalition for Neighborhood Development, and Wishard Health Services are just a few tenants to name. It’s great when you’re working next to someone and get an answer to your quick question about WordPress plugins, so just imagine how that will translate to the next macro level of communication between organizations. Hours of research and barriers to information can be reduced, and the productivity needed for change and implementation can be increased to the next power of progress. It’s all very promising!

Indianapolis, Day 2 continued in Part II…

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TRIPPIN’

Indianapolis, Day 1
By Britney T-M

Indianapolis, IN
TRIPPIN’ is a summer blog series featuring coworking spaces, as BoxJelly intern Britney T-M travels to attend George Mason University’s Social Innovation Program. Follow the trip on Google Maps.

When I first landed in Indianapolis, IN, it was a grey and cold. It seemed so unusual, I almost forgot it was June. I packed with the anticipation of it being 90 and 100% humidity, but instead it was 65 and windy. There was no time to be self-conscious about my wardrobe though. As soon as I landed, it was off to the first space with my friend Scottie, who lives in Indianapolis and graciously took time off to shuttle me around/hangout/explore the city for $10/hour!

Service Center for Contemporary Culture & Community

ServiceCenter

Arriving to the Service Center for Contemporary Culture and Community was like coming upon a peaceful oasis in a midwestern wasteland of forgotten suburban shopping malls and streets void of sidewalks. I missed the opportunity to meet anyone from the Center, but found that the space spoke for itself.

‘Served’ by Andy Miller, during Lily Day of Service 2011.

The mural was the first thing we noticed – I mean, how could you not, it’s a huge wall mural. It was one of the murals commissioned as a part of 46 for XLVI, and was what told us we were in the right place. And by “right place” I mean the correct address, but also a positive state of being. In May 2011, Big Car converted this old tire shop in an abandoned mall lot into a community center that includes a library, computer lab, event exhibition space, and a coworking space. Big Car is a non-profit organization, run by a collective of artists, musicians, writers, and active citizens who couple art projects with economic development in order to uplift communities. The Service Center hosts events and offers a wide range of tools and services by and for the community to fulfill director Jim Walker’s intentions to include the community artistically.

Front driveway.

The space is very organic in that sense of development. This wasn’t simply made for a community, but a place that was to be made by the community. Vegetables grew in huge planter boxes atop the large asphalt parking lot, chickens clucked in the pens, and you could see the progression of the the ceiling mural of clouds and blue skies.

The Service Center chicken coop. I peered into the building from the glass of the garage doors into a space that may have been empty of people, but was certainly brimming with life.  There looked to be projects in every corner of the garage space with various tools and materials about. There were flyers up for Big Car and Service Center events, as well as events in other places around Indianapolis.

‘Unite for Culture and Community’, Clayton Hamilton, 2011.

My focus is in social innovation and placemaking, so this sort of space is like a realized dream. Staring from the outside in, it sort of felt like I was missing a really great party. In a way, it was a gentle reminder that community uplift and improvement are far beyond plans or instantaneity; it’s a cultivation and long-term investment, the benefits of which are collective among those in the present, and may not even be realized until the future.

Veggie garden

This made me think of all the development going on in Honolulu. Whether they are for community or commercial purposes, how sustainable will the projects be? Will they implement action by the community or be impositions upon the community? The midwest is often perceived as a dismissable region that’s only good for corn, but it’s organizations like Big Car and The Service Center that earn the title for the Heartland of America.

The Speak Easy

From the outside parking lot.

From the outside parking lot.

For the next space, I gave Scottie a couple hours off so I could use Uber to get to The Speak Easy. When I was looking at The Speak Easy’s twitter, I stumbled upon a retweet from Chris Nakutis about “$20 off your first Uber ride”. Uber is an on-demand request tool for private drivers. The app pinpoints your location, notifies a driver of your request, gives you an estimated time of arrival, and can even give you a fare estimate. Payments are charged through your app service account, so the experience was very seamless. I had the pleasure of riding with Moses. We chatted about Nigeria (where he is from), Hawaii, and his dreams of traveling to the Aloha state. He also asked if I was meeting Thomas, who has been working out of The Speak Easy helping Uber Indianapolis establish itself. “Oh, no, I am not,” I said, but I serendipitously ended up meeting him anyways while I was there.

Top: general work area; Bottom: view of general work area from loft.

It was also serrendipitous that I ran into a member outside who was able to grant my entry into the place. There are key cards for the door scanners, so its no wonder that the feeling inside is one of trust and security. Opened in January 2012, The Speak Easy is adjacent to DeveloperTown, a venture development firm and tech accelerator, who owns the building which houses the two, along with TinderBox and another organization I neglected to get the name of.

A coworking space for  entrepreneurs and startups, The Speak Easy has a large private classroom with chalkboard walls, four smaller meeting rooms, a reception area, book nook, large common area, kitchen and bar, as well as a lofted work area.

Meeting rooms with revolving doors for privacy.

Meeting rooms with revolving doors for privacy.

Unfortunately, Denver (exec. director) and I were unable to meet, but she graciously invited me to tour the space and use it for a webinar I had to attend for George Mason. The Speak Easy member Lily Smith and her coworking coworker who let me into the building, were also gracious enough to help me get acquainted with the space.

Classroom, with chalkboard walls.

Classroom, with chalkboard walls.

As I was attending the webinar, I picked up on words like “cities” “drivers” and “Uber” from the guy next to me. At this point, The Speak Easy can claim they are, in fact, fosters of serendipity. “The guy next to me” turned out to be Chris himself, the same guy that tweeted the Uber promo, and Uber Indianapolis’s AGM.

CYMERA_20130609_204539Once I was finished with the webinar, it was time to explore. At first I felt a little awkward in the space; in any coworking environment, being the ‘new guy’ is inevitable because you are walking into an apparently functioning community that has a culture and set of rules you are still being introduced to. It reminds me of when you are first introducing ideas as an entrepreneur, but instead of presenting business models, you’re presenting yourself. You’ve just got to jump in the water; even if you don’t know how to swim, you’ll never learn without getting in. The awkwardness quickly subsided as I talked to members willing to share their Speak Easy stories.

Member of The Speak Easy since May 2013.

Stephanie Timmons. Member of The Speak Easy, employee at 3rd St. Attention Agency.

Stephanie works for the 3rd Street Attention Agency (“basically an ad agency that’s more engaged with clients”). She likes sharing in the energy of the space and the relaxed atmosphere. Her company gathers at The Speak Easy when they don’t want to be virtual, and has offered to pay for her membership. As a 22 year old professional, it will be exciting for her to grow her career in an environment with such a network of developers, programmers, and entrepreneurs.

Members of the Speak Easy, and founders of App Press.

Grant Glas and Kevin Smith. Members of the Speak Easy, and founders of App Press.

Founders of App Press, Smith and Glass have been members from the very beginning. They said working at The Speak Easy  “…has made it easier. There’s opportunity to run problems [among other members].” They’re open to listening to others, and appreciate the proactive spirit for problem solving that’s ubiquitous among members. Chris also commented on this, even after spending just 16 days in the space.

Members of the Speak Easy, employees at Formstack.

Bryan Graham and Brandon Peters. Members of the Speak Easy, employees at Formstack.

Both Peters and Graham work for Formstack, which likes its employees to acquaint themselves with and become part of the community. “There are different distractions at Formstack,” mentions Peters,  “that are not here at the Speak Easy.” The dynamic spaces can lend a more social experience if they sit downtstairs, or a more concentrated environment if they work up in the loft or private meeting room. Formstack is a sponsor of the Speak Easy, so their memberships are paid for as well.

Pay It Forward board

Community board where members can post about capabilities/skills/resources they can offer, or ones they are looking for. There was even a post about starting a Speak Easy soccer team.

Talking to members, the ecosystem of industry in Indianapolis started to unfold itself into something bigger than I had fully comprehended. It’s location in relation to the rest of the country is strategic for companies that have a national or global spread; as a crossroads point of the mainland, its history of production and affordability lends much potential (and capability) for investment; there’s a high number of skilled workers (IU, Purdue, Butler, and a number of large universities are in the neighboring areas). with such a large population, workers as well as organizations have an immediate need to be innovative, and thus, have much more of a support system to be so. It seems like the coworking industry will develop similarly to the tech park industry in Indiana. It made me think of Hawaii’s ecosystem; what are our advantages? Where are our barriers? What are we doing that is inhibiting us? Within the past 2 years, Indianapolis already has five coworking spaces, while Honolulu only has one that is open. Scale is obviously part of this issue, but maybe we are not as progressive back home as we think we are.

I finally ended the day and got to Mark’s house, where I couch surf every time I’m in Indy. I met Mark at Hanover, and while his admission stopped after sophomore year, our friendship continued. As a graduate student of IU’s philanthropic studies program, his insight on funds and endowments in the area started to make sense for the resources that are available to non-profits and businesses. Granted, Indiana as a state tends to be urban-centric, neglecting problems in rural areas; but, the initiatives and actions of those in the Hoosier state are nonetheless amazing, and something the rest of the country would be smart to look twice at.

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Revenant Young Architects Exhibit

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Revenant Young Architects Exhibit @ BoxJelly

Date: June 3-July 10, 2013.

XMANIFOLD A.D.R.L.(Applied Design Research Laboratory), presents REVENANT: The Undeath of Ideas In Architecture. This exhibition features ambitious, architectural concepts from young architects around the world. With awe inspiring visuals and bold new concepts, these paradigm shifting visions of architectural innovation invoke both emotion and inspiration. The exhibition’s goal is to critically examine and protest the trend toward the lost and marginalization of bold, vanguard, and utopian proposals in contemporary architectural discourse, particularly in architectural practice and architectural education. Spotlighted in an article by Honolulu Weekly, this exhibit shows a rare glimpse into local architect Dimitri Kim ‘s vision of what contemporary buildings could be. Take advantage of this viewing opportunity at BoxJelly, Hawaii’s first and largest co-working space.

For More information on XMANIFOLD A.D.R.L.(Applied Design Research Laboratory), visit XMANIFOLD.COM 

More of the Gallery:

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Eidolon- Chao-Wei Su

 
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Eiodolon- Chao-Wei Su

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Back: Quantum Polis- Herman Lee, Front: Excavating Utopia- Matthew Hung

 
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Allegory of Tank- Dimitri Daniel Kim

Read more about the article

Honolulu Weekly

 

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Makkuro Makkuro Pop-up Shop at BoxJelly

Makkuro

Makkuro Makkuro pop-up shop @ BoxJelly

Date: Sunday, June 2nd / 10am – 6pm

Back by popular demand, Makkuro Makkuro will soon be poping up once again, this time at BoxJelly. Makkuro Makkuro is a quarterly pop up shop specializing in new and second-hand garments, accessories, and miscellaneous goods. Exclusive merchandise by local Hawaii designers and artisans will be showcased and available for purchase. Featured in Flux Hawaii magazine, Makkuro Makkuro has gained notoriety through its one of a kind pieces that have drawn significant attention and followers as they continue to walk the thin line between art and fashion. Come on down to BoxJelly for this exciting event!

About Makkuro Makkuro

Makkuro Makkuro is inspired by japanese anime film maker Hay Miyazaki’s makkuro kurosuke, tiny soot creatures that inhabit dark, desolate spaces. Much like the creatures that inspired it Makkuro Makkuro pop-ups are only open for a limited amount of time before retreating back into the darkness.

For more information, follow Makkuro Makkuro on Facebook and Twitter
 www.facebook.com/makkuromakkuro 
 www.twitter.com/makkuromakurro

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The Jelly Report (5/27-6/2)

The Jelly Report: Your weekly source for what’s happening this week at The BoxJelly. 

Aloha Jellys!

Here goes another installment of “The Jelly Report”, a weekly resource for what’s happening at The BoxJelly and within our member community. Please take the time to read through and find out what’s going down at The BoxJelly this week. Have a great week!

“BTW, for your convenience, this Jelly Report will always be posted on our bulletin board outside of the restroom.”

Cheers!
BoxJelly Staff

ANNOUNCEMENTS

** Meet the BoxJelly Interns
We are grateful to have some awesome interns working interns with us this summer to help us build a better BoxJelly community. Let’s meet them!

Britney

Britney

Aloha everyone, my name is Britney Taamu-Miyashiro. After graduating from Hanover College in 2012 I recently returned home to Honolulu, looking to make Hawaii a better place to work and live. My major is in sociology, and is complimented with a business concentration, lending to my primary interests in social innovation and place-making. This summer, I will be at George Mason University’s Social Innovation Program, attending their 5-week social entrepreneurship intensive. During June and July, you’ll be able to follow my summer journey on our site’s blog! The segment will feature other coworking spaces as I Jelly my way across the Midwest and East Coast. It has already been an inspirational and enriching experience working amongst you all. Keep up all the great (co)work! 

Fabian Fabian

Aloha. My name is Fabian Lewis, and I am an intern at BoxJelly. I am a veteran of the United States Army and recently was employed as a X-ray technologist at Tripler Army Medical Center. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Business Administration at Chaminade University, and I am a member of my school’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Program. I have lived in Hawaii for 6 years, as well as various places in Europe and the mainland. My hobbies include writing, training at UFC gym, and playing on my Xbox. I am here to help and learn all that I can, so please feel free to speak to me if you need anything.

Sonny

Sonny

Aloha fellow BoxJelly fanatics, I’m Bernardo Equila, but you may call me Sonny instead! I’m currently a senior at Chaminade University, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. I’m also a part of my school’s Hogan Entrepreneurial program. With my background, I hope to become a well-rounded Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Besides my career aspirations, I enjoy trying new cuisines, doodling, listening to live music, planning events, hiking, and body boarding. I am passionate about anything creative, social, or active. The BoxJelly has granted me the opportunity to meet people with similar passions, allowing me to thrive among brilliant minds.

** Box Jelly Member Profiles

Just another friendly reminder that this week our BoxJelly interns will be coming around to ask you a few quick questions about you and what you do, as well as take a photograph of you.
As part of a bigger initiative to update and redesign the BoxJelly website, we will be including profiles of our community members. This is not mandatory, if you do not wish to have your profile published on the BoxJelly website.

Thanks in advance for your participation.

** Take a Beer, Leave a Dollar

As you all have probably noticed, there is keg of cold and delicious locally brewed beer from Hawaiian Islands Brewing Company in the kitchen. It’s there for all members of the BoxJelly community to enjoy. HOWEVER, The BoxJelly does pay for the kegs and we do ask that you please donate $1.00 each time you dispense a glass of this frothy libation, so that we can keep the beer here.

Mahalo for your cooperation

EVENTS THIS WEEK

Hi capacity Industry Practices on UI x UX

Date: Wednesday, May 29
Time:7:00pm-8:30pm
Location: Classroom
Event Description: This talk is to inform others of the necessary steps in creating a website and the importance of UI (user interface) design.

Opent to Box Jelly Members?: Yes
Open to Public?: Yes
Price: Free
URL: http://hicap-uiux.eventbrite.com/

#StartupParadise Demo Day Afterparty

Date: Friday, May 30
Time: 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: BoxJelly, Main Room
Event Description: Afterparty for #StartupParadise Demo Day with Blue Startups teams. Beer and light pupus.
Open To Box Jelly Members?: Yes
Open To Public?: Yes
Price: Free
URL: http://demodayhonolulu.eventbrite.com/

Makurro Makurro Pop-up Shop @ BoxJelly

Date: Sunday, June 2
Time:10:00am-6:00pm
Location: BoxJelly
Event Description: Makkuro Makkuro is a quarterly pop-up shop specializing in new and second-hand garments, accessories, and miscellaneous goods. Exclusive merchandise by local Hawaii designers and artisans will be showcased and available for purchase. Makkuro Makkuro pop-ups are only open for a limited amount of time before retreating back into darkness.
Open to Box Jelly Members?: Yes
Open to Public?: Yes
Price: Free
URL: https://www.facebook.com/makkuromakkuro

 QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Every great accomplishment in the world happend because someone decided not to give up. Every inspiring story starts with someone who decided to do something and kept going.”

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Copyright © *|2013|* *|BoxJelly|*, All rights reserved.

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The Jelly Report (5/20-5/26)

The Jelly Report: Your source for what’s happening this week at The BoxJelly. 

Aloha Jellys!

We are happy to bring you the first installment of “The Jelly Report”, a weekly resource for what’s happening at BoxJelly and within our member community. Please take the time to read through and find out what’s going down at BoxJelly this week. Have a great week!

Cheers!

BoxJelly Staff

ANNOUNCEMENTS

A “Peace Out” Message From Bryan Butteling

bryan010As most of you know my time spent as being the BoxJelly General Manager has come to an end (don’t worry – Jim’s taking over my roll and thats a full upgrade!). While I won’t be on property every day to talk story, I will still be very involved with the growth of BoxJelly and the startup scene in Hawaii. I will be starting a new journey in the startup world as I will be joining the team of Nella Media Group as their Account Executive of business development. I’m stoked for this new opportunity to work with one of Hawaii’s fastest growing startups.So thank you to all of you who have supported the BoxJelly’s efforts and those of both Rechung and Tony. Please continue to be a positive disruption to Hawaii’s economy and if anyone wants to grab a beer sometime, don’t hesitate to contact.Don’t Suck, Get Shit Done…..I’m out! Bryan Butteling

bryan@intervalstudio.com
bryan@nellamediagroup.com
@braddahboots
808.281.5419

Jim DiCarlo Joins BoxJelly Team

We are stoked to welcome aboard Jim DiCarlo as General Manager of BoxJelly. Jim will be overseeing operations here at the BoxJelly, while helping to continue building a better BoxJelly community that serves our members.

Jim has been a proud member of BoxJelly since October 2012, and is founder of Each One Teach One (E1T1) Farms, a sustainable agriculture education and products company. E1T1 Farms is the creator of The Bokashi Bucket, a very user-friendly home composting kit.Jim has been in Hawaiʻi for seven years, and hails from the East Coast (NJ / NY). He has a professional background in advertising and marketing, having worked for various agencies in NYC.He is passionate about sustainability, entrepreneurship, branding and ideas. Go say “whattup” to Jim. He can also be reached via email for now at: info@theboxjelly.com

Box Jelly Member Profiles

Just a quick heads up that this week our interns Britney and Fabian will be coming around to ask you a few quick questions about you and what you do, as well as take a photograph of you.As part of a bigger initiative to update and redesign the BoxJelly website, we will be including profiles of our community members.

Thanks in advance for your participation.

EVENTS THIS WEEK

IDGA – Showcase Night

Date: Tuesday, May 21

Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Classroom
Event Description: Game developers showing off their creations.
Open To Box Jelly Members?: Yes

Open To Public?: Yes

Price: FREE

 

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