What does one plus one equal? It’s one of the most basic mathematical equations. However, I believe many people don’t take the time to think through the potential answers. Many would say it equals two, focusing on mathematical or practical solutions rather than seeking creative possibilities. However, I’d argue that it can equal eleven. By simply moving the first one next to the second one, you add nine units of mathematical value. For me, this is how I think about problem solving. What ingredients could be added together to create a greater value by working with others? The answer is nearly always seeking new ways to solve problems, with a focus on collaboration.
Our team at Emerging Prairie loves to stack events. We just held TEDxFargo the day before TEDxYouth@Fargo, drawing more interest and involvement from the community. We often host guest speakers for small groups before 1 Million Cups or schedule Startup Drinks during high impact weeks like the upcoming Build Conference. By integrating community events with industry events and special opportunities, our community leaders are able to collaborate and create greater outcomes for more people.
One of the great treasures of our growing community of risk takers and collaborators is the commitment to sharing opportunities, resources and ideas. We are watching the concept of collaborative consumption – an economic model focusing primarily on access versus ownership – thrive in our region. In 2014, we will watch the Prairie Roots Food Cooperative open its doors (although they’re online store is up and running at prairie-roots.coop), Great Rides Bike Share will launch after hundreds of hours of college students’ dedication, and CoCo will open its collaborative work space model outside of the Twin Cities for the first time. MELD provides folks the chance to learn about 3D printing by renting space and hours, the DIY Wood Studio continues to engage folks with a membership model to use power tools my Dad would never let me touch as a kid, and the Fargo Startup House will be the first residential home in North Dakota that will have fiber Internet to be shared among six world class entrepreneurs.
Collaborative Consumption is not new. Most have checked out a book at a library or rented a movie through Netflix. However, our entrepreneurs and creatives are learning new ways to build organizations and companies creating sustainable models. It’s not just good for business, it’s good for our community, the environment and possibilities. One plus one really can equal 11 for all of us if we push ourselves to think with an abundant mindset, focus on possibilities and seek solutions with an open mind.
What is happening in the startup community?
CoCo is a coworking and collaborative space that will be opening in August on the second floor of the Merchants National Bank Building on Broadway downtown. cocomsp.com
Fargo Startup House
This house, which will kick off in September, will bring entrepreneurs together under one roof to help bring their ideas off the ground. fargostartuphouse.com
Prairie Roots Food Co-op
This food co-op store will bring all natural, organic and local foods under one roof. prairie-roots.coop
Great Rides Bike Share
This bike share program will allow citizens to rent a pass on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. There will be docking stations located across town that will allow people to utilize any of the bikes.facebook.com/GreatRidesBikeshare
TED Talks are an international program that brings speakers to talk on a variety of topics. Fargo holds a regular TEDx and a TEDxYouth.
MELD is a workshop that allows creators, designers and inventors to bring life to their ideas with a variety of tools including 3D printers, laser engravers and much more. facebook.com/meldworkshop
1 Million Cups
This is a weekly event that brings local entrepreneurs to present on their startups and receive advice from an audience of peers and mentors. emergingprairie.com/1-million-cups-fargo
This networking event put on by Emerging Prairie brings entrepreneurs together for food and drinks to mingle and discuss the entrepreneurial community. emergingprairie.com/startup-drinks