Get help to start in a new direction.
We share startup experience and we brainstorm the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at the Englewood (Colorado) library.
(Bad time or place for you? We'll start a new meeting. Contact John@SmallBizChamber.org .)
Join us when you aren't sure what you are going to do Monday morning. Life's too short for any of us to learn from just our own experience!
You can RSVP here or via a link on our Facebook Page to Facebook event, see http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber
Our business meeting for our Englewood group, open to everyone, is held at 12 p.m. the first Thursday of each month to discuss changes in the meeting, and to sign up volunteers to chair meetings for the next month.
What is the IDEA Café?
Since 1994, IDEA Café meetings have helped people who are starting a new career, a new project or campaign, or a new business.
We take our name from our 4-step entrepreneurship model: I- Inspiration; D- Develop Alternatives; E- Evaluate the Alternatives; and A- Take Action! Once we take action we get new information and we go through the process again. This is very similar to the heavily researched Babson College startup cycle of acting/learning/building/and- acting again described by the new book Just Start (http://just-start.com/) (click).
How do we help?
Each month at Englewood we devote both our monthly meetings to a particular theme. We work closely with up to four entrepreneurs that want to start new projects or businesses so that they have the benefit of our assistance and the assistance of the other participants.
Our first meeting of the month involves discussion by the hosts and those who attend (including you, we've all started something) of the topic of the month. We then share startup experience, brainstorm using the IDEA method, share information about upcoming events, and resources that we have all found helpful based on the theme.
Each participant chooses which of the alternatives they would like to begin work on and sets goals around what they want to accomplish before the next meeting. Participants exchange information so that they can reach out to each other and the hosts for help and to create accountability to themselves.
All of the participants return to our second monthly meeting to share their wins from taking action on the alternative courses of action they chose to implement. If participants need more help they are free to start a self directed learning group to continue work on their projects. We will close our second meeting with feedback from each participant about what was helpful and what would make the process better.
And sometimes the most valuable part of the session is the meeting after the meeting when discussion continues between new friends, which may evolve into a new Franklin Circle Peer Advisory Group.
Although we feel that working with groups of four is the best way to make sure every participant gets the attention they need, attendance is not limited to just four. We welcome up to four additional entrepreneurs who would like to watch the process to see if they think it would be helpful. Here is what some past participants have to say about our IDEA Cafes.
“ What a great concept, and it created a lovely opportunity to meet with other people in the community. Starting a business can be a lonely venture; I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking to break that cycle. ” Megan Tackett on May 7, 2011.
“ This was a good experience for me. I enjoyed the people and the brainstorming. Since we all face challenges of some type, I would heartily recommend it to anyone involved in a startup activity. Jack Rouff on Apr 30, 2011.
“ Great format, small group works best for this. I encourage everyone to try this group if you want some help getting started. ” Anthony Sanchez, Marketing Club on Sep 25, 2010.
Meetings are free and open to everyone, we just ask that you bring your brain for the brainstorming!
Who should attend?
What we now call the Denver IDEA Café has been meeting since 1994. Anyone who is starting a new direction, starting a new career, new project or campaign, or starting a new business is invited to join us for a boost at the end of the week, and we especially encourage members of local chambers who are interested in helping their local chamber to provide more help to startups.
Join us any of our meetings in the Denver Metro Area when you are headed in a new direction with your work and need a boost at the end of a long week, or when you are willing to share your startup experience. All meetings are listed on our Facebook Page at http://Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber (http://facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber)
If you have any questions, contact John Wren at (303)861-1447begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (303)861-1447 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or John@SmallBizChamber.org