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Hawaii's First Coworking Space

The Box Jelly is the hottest spot for techies to connect

By Mike Meyer

We’ve all seen them around town: groups of young people (or not so young people) in animated conversations at Starbucks, Coffee Talk or other caffeine-fueled gathering places. They are there for the Wi-Fi and the java, but often it’s not just a social event. In the tech world it can be serious business.

Coffee shops located near high-tech havens on the mainland, such as Woodside Bakery & Cafe in Silicon Valley, became famous as ad hoc tech incubators way before Wi-Fi even existed. However, coffee shops have their limitations. As meeting places they can be distracting and sometimes noisy. What’s more, management does not appreciate people monopolizing a table for hours on end for the price of a cappuccino.

So what’s the answer?

If popularity is any kind of gauge, the next big thing in meeting spaces is a Kakaako-based venue with the unlikely name of The Box Jelly.

Dubbed a “a co-working place,” it opened up inside Fishcake (a trendy furniture store) at 307c Kamani St. in Kakaako in September, and young entrepreneurs have been flocking there ever since.

And for good reason.

The Box Jelly has all the accoutrements any tech evangelist would want, including an 800-square-foot, brightly lit interior, high-speed Internet access, a plethora of electrical outlets, a color printer and plenty of parking. Naturally there’s a coffee station that features a locally roasted Wailua blend. You can also rent a desk for $7 an hour or by the month. Groups can rent the entire facility for events.

CEO Rechung Fujihira and his partners in the startup (all products of the Hogan Entrepreneurial Program at Chaminade University) say The Box Jelly offers something that a coffee shop doesn’t have: a much better possibility of connecting with like-minded colleagues.

“The whole idea of co-working spaces,” said Dan Leuck, founder of Ikayzo, Honolulu’s hottest Web development and social media shop, “is to attract like-minded tech and creative people for the purpose of facilitating spontaneous partnerships. Sometimes it’s as simple as a freelance developer discovering a great designer to work with on her current Web project. Other times what starts as a few brainstorming freelancers turns into a company.”

Said Fujihira, “We are here to learn from our peers and get things done. We are co-working.”

In addition to The Box Jelly, there are two other Kakaako co-working spaces: R&D and The Green House.

Whether the proliferation of co-working spaces is a fad or a technology bellwether is anyone’s guess.

Time will tell whether they can spawn the next Facebook or Apple.

Mike Meyer, former Internet general manager at Oceanic Time Warner Cable, now runs Islanda Managed Cloud Services, based in Honolulu. Reach him at mike.meyer@islandatech.com.

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HI Capacity FourSquare Hackathon, November 5th

HI Capacity will be holding their first hackathon for the season at The Box Jelly this weekend, Saturday, November 5th, 11am. The is a free event, open to the public!

Hackathon Rules for FourSquare

– Must write original code. All libraries that are used must be
documented (git submodule) or word of mouth ok. This is enforced only
casually. Be sensible!
– It’s ok to use other people’s ideas but come up with something
original. Of course this will count towards your score.
– Respect others during the hackathon. No sabotage!
– Code must be open source. Must commit to Github using a public
repository.

Voting Categories (Out of 5 points each)

– Originality
– Completeness
– Usefulness
– Design

You don’t have to be a software professional to join the event. HI Capacity will demonstrate examples and show how you can get started.

For more information read a message from James Wang, a maker at HI Capacity, by clicking here. You can also visit HI Capacity’s website, here.

To become a HI Capacity member click here.
To become The Box Jelly member click here.
To learn more about coworking in Hawai‘i click here.

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McDude

Hey, There are many reasons for coworking and this is definitely one of them!  I walked in McDonald’s the other night to grab some fries and I see McDude sitting there working all by himself.  Yo, no one has to work like this anymore!  There is a community out there to collab with and GSD (see Reasons for coworking #524 for definition) in a whole new way.  The coffice concept is getting plaid quickly, why? Because people who are serious about their work are stepping their game up and getting it done in cowork spaces. Cowork spaces cater to the true spirit of freelance entrepreneurship without sweating you for your seat, or making furniture uncomfortable, offering limited outlets and table space, all to keep you there for as short a time as possible.

I have heard entrepreneurs say, every time the blender goes off while they are with a client “there goes another $100 dollars” because they are losing money due to the unfavorable surroundings of these nowork spaces!

People prefer to work in an environment where there are people working together. By nature we help one another to improve our concepts through sharing and joint problem solving. You are not going to reach across the isle at Starbucks or McDonald’s and say “Hey dude what are you working on?”  These environments are not catered for networking and being social.  They want you in and out as quick as possible.

Last, who wouldn’t prefer to work in style, I mean if you had the option of being in an inviting atmosphere where you can feel at your best and collaborate with the brightest minds in your community, why not?

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Refreshments at The Box Jelly

Drinks at the Box Jelly are not just limited to tea, coffee, and water anymore. We now have a mini fridge filled with a variety of refreshments. To purchase the drinks, there is a money jar using the honor system. So far, Pellegrino seems to be the favorite! Give us your suggestions on what else you would like to drink while you cowork, info@theboxjelly.com.

$2 for  bottled water, coconut water, vitamin water, RZO kava drink, and Monster
$3 for Pellegrino

25¢ for Slimjim and Red Vines
$1 for Maui chips

Free* filtered water, tea, and Waiula coffee

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Hacking the Microsoft Kinect Sensor on October 27th

Starting the beginning of this month, the maker group HI Capacity have been taking advantage of The Box Jelly’s coworking space during weekday evenings and daytime on weekends. This Thursday at 6:30pm HI Capacity’s own, Kyle Oba, will be leading a talk on “3D INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMING FOR THE REST OF US – Hacking the Microsoft Kinect Sensor”. There is no charge for admission, so if your Thursday evening is open join us for an evening of design, technology, and experimenting down at The Box Jelly.

AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS
• Introduction to the Kinect sensor
• A short history of Kinect hacking
• Using the Kinect with very little programming
(Kinect with OpenFrameworks, Processing, PureData)
• Some short live demonstrations
• Audience participation as time permits

The goal of this social mixer is to introduce designers and developers about this tool and begin playing immediately! To read more about the event visit HI Capacity’s website at http://hicapacity.org.

To RSVP for the Kyle’s talk click here.
To become a member of HI Capacity click here.
To become a member of The Box Jelly, visit us inside the furniture, fishcake at 307c Kamani St.,
or call Rechung at 840-7337.

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Design & Flow at R&D

Tonight I stepped into R&D, our design inspired neighbors on  691 Auahi Street in Kakaako.  Ben Trevino was on post and I asked him what his favorite reads are and his recommendations.

He put me on to a serious book called Data Flow, which breaks down different ways of visualizing data.  He put it  to me like “it’s how you express yourself to the public” via graphic design.  Data Flow ventures into the various patterns of intent in six chapters covering innovative examples of information graphics, introducing new terms and concepts that are redefining information design today.

Just to put you on, “Datology” one of the new terms I came across, is the process of providing data with weight, space, texture and sensual experiences communicating through the entire bandwidth of human perception!!

Two other books Ben pointed out are Le Corbusier Le Grande, a visual biography of one of architechtures greatest innovators and The Story of Eames Furniture, which tells of furniture design icon Charles Eames and how it all came to be.  This is of certian intererst because we have one of his chairs in our lounge.  It offers a timeless sense of comfort with its warn leather that make it a Box Jelly favorite.

Last, I came accross a must have for the person who strives to improve their mixology game.  Check out Speakeasy, a text about NYC’s Employees Only bar and the redesign of the greatest cocktails.  You will find many ways to offer up liquid swagger to your guests, or something chic and fly to impress your date.  Learn how to serve up the classic Vesper shaken and not stirred or the Billionaire martini after you close the big deal.

Just to offer you a glimpse of what’s inside:

Vesper

2 oz Charbay vodka

1 oz Plymouth Navy Strength gin

3/4 oz lillet blanc (replaced kina lillet which is no longer in production)

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 lemon twist for garnish

By the way, that Billionaire’s cocktail, it’s made with 2 oz of Baker’s 107 proof bourbon and 1/4 oz absinthe bitters!  Step inside R&D and pick up a copy to get the rest of the ingredients to get started on your own Speakeasy.  

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Pioneer of the Cowork Movement Needs Your Help

 Amit Gupta, Entrepreneur, founder of Jelly,  and Photojojo, needs your help to overcome Acute Leukemia. He is now in need of a bone marrow transplant where the bone marrow pool is severly underepresnted by minorities.  Amit is South Asian, so if that’s you or someone you know see below for how you can help!

Amit is one of our movements heroes because of how he has inlfuenced us through his work.  Jelly is an informal way for freelancers, creatives and entrepreneurs to get together in their communities whether at someone’s apartment, coffee shop or anywhere there’s internet and somewhere to sit.  It helped kickstart the cowork movement because it gave us all the oportunity to get stuff done while working around smart and inspiring people.  That’s why we started The Box Jelly, to work the way we live and to share the cowork life with others!

If you or someone you know is South Asian please share this info with them!  We can make a life saving difference!!  Pass the word.

  1. If you’re South Asianget a free test by mail. You rub your cheeks with a cotton swab and mail it back. It’s easy.
  2. If you’re in NYC, you can go to this event my friends are putting on.
  3. If you know any South Asians (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka), please point ‘em to the links above.

*UPDATE 1* Organize a donor drive near you (the most helpful thing you could possibly do!) email 100kcheeks@gmail.comThey’ll send you kits, flyers, tell you what to say, and make the whole process easy cheesy.

*UPDATE 2* Want to get a free test, but not in the US. Here’s a list ofinternational donor registries that are globally searchable.

Thank YOU

 

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IP and the Law with Ryan Hew October 18th

Thank you for everyone who participated in voting for the subject matter of the next talk. After Social Media and the Law it seems everyone is still craving to hear about Intellectual Property.

So the next talk at Hawaii’s first coworking space will be “Protecting Your Brand: An Overview of Intellectual Property Law.” Here is the rest of the important information:

Location: The Box Jelly, located at Fishcake Furniture Store – 307 Kamani St.

Date: Tuesday, October 18th,  2011

Time: starts at 6:30 p.m., talk begins 7:00 p.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m., Q&A to follow

Description: The price of this talk will be $10 for members of The Box Jelly and $15 for non-members. A brief overview of intellectual property laws from the perspective of small business. Basics of trade/servicemark, tradename, trade secrets, copyright and patent laws will be discussed and the steps a business can take when navigating IP situations. Materials included.

In addition, I will be doing the Social Media and the Law talk, again on the following week on Monday, October 24, 2011 for all of those you that expressed an interest, but could not make it. The talk will follow the same format as the one just mentioned. Same starting/ending time, location, and price.

Also lookout next week on the Aloha Startups website, as I will be contributing a special post about the IP topic.

 

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Russel Cheng Coming to The Box Jelly October 19th

Career entrepreneur, Russel Cheng will be at The Box Jelly on Wednesday, October 19th to advise on business development and marketing. He offers specialized insight to non-traditional business models and generation.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Russel’s expertise are in entrepreneurship, startups, fundraising, web and mobile applications, business development and marketing in US, Japan, China and Asia. He won a Cannes Gold Lion and holds a patent for his mobile invention related to authenticating identity and verifying age.

Russel joined Oceanit as an entrepreneur to help commercialize nanotechnology, wind energy and mobile applications developed within the Hawaii-based science and engineering firm. He joined Oceanit from Microsoft in Japan where he built the Regional Marketing team and Branded Entertainment in Asia. Prior to Microsoft, he was the digital director at Beacon Communications, founder and managing director at Organic and co-founder and CEO of XM Asia.

He is currently co-founder of the startup Beebleo, an eBook marketplace and founder of StartupHui, a startup incubator designed to help web-technology startups build better products.

You or your party can reserve to meet with Russel on Wednesday, October 19th from 9am to 3pm at The Box Jelly which is located  inside the furniture store, fishcake.

Walk-ins are welcome, however reservations take priority. Call The Box Jelly at 808-429-0665 during operating hours (M-F 10am – 10pm, Sat-Sun 11am – 6pm), or email info@theboxjelly.com. See you there!

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