Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 3

More talent: from Colorado Academy
 Seeing the student art at Alexander Dawson School created a powerful hunger for more art. So, instead of lunch today, I headed for the art district on Santa Fe. Not surprisingly, I got on the bus headed the wrong way. A kindly soul inquired, "how long are you staying in Denver?" And the words of the well-traveled came back to me: don't read your map in public. "Was it the map that gave me away?" I ventured. We talked for a while, and I learned that there is an amazing synergy happening in Denver: a networking haven for entrepreneurs. My public transportation companion, who is studying entrepreneurship, is interning at the networking haven (Battery 621) and invited me for a tour.

Battery 621 is both pure genius and absolute simplicity: a place to share ideas and resources. There are glassed-in conference rooms for sit-down meetings and tall round tables for gathering and brainstorming.There is a full kitchen for planned or impromptu eating experiences- because food brings people and ideas together.

The space is open and expansive, populated by energetic folks involved in producing products and services that support the outdoor experience in Colorado. But that's not all: the space can transform. Merchandise displays are housed on large scale moving walls that can showcase the season's latest snowboarding attire -and a moment later become an neutral facade.

Entrepreneurs can rent space at Battery 621, joining clothing and equipment manufacturers, graphic designers, artists, marketing and advertising specialists. Or, you can rent a work-space by the hour. The concept has the support of the mayor and the governor and has received awards and positive press.

When I visited, the place was humming with activity. Kelly Mossoni, the networker/manager/organizer of Battery 621 and representative for Spyder gear speculated with me about the nature of collaboration. It just helps to talk things out, we agreed. This very morning we were talking about nurturing ideas in our morning break-out session. Brenda, an awesome librarian who was in our group, commented that she sometimes just needs to talk an idea through, and that having a good listener is essential.Then it hit me- the reason Battery 621 had my head spinning-: it mirrors the process of our AISL conference: talking, ideas, collaborating and networking. The value of birthing, nurturing and implementing ideas. What we generate through collaboration and cooperation can be spectacular. Finding that out was worth getting lost.

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