Gangplank Open Forum Live Blog (11am)

Can’t make it to Gangplank today for the Open Forum? Follow the conversation here and leave your comments.

GP Brownbag: Live blog for Chad Smith on 'Animation' (noon)

Can’t be here for this week’s brown bag discussion? Follow Being Studios, Chad Smith, in real time as he gives his presentation. Comments welcome!

Fat Off 2010

Gangplank exists to help startups and entrepreneurs get on their feet. Part of that mission means providing infrastructure and resources – and part of that means being a kick in the ass.

And sometimes that can be a fat ass.

Starting a business doesn’t mean neglecting your health. The first Fat Off sought to help participants lose weight…and collectively they lost an entire person.

Fat Off 2010 will go one step further. We are challenge participants to not only lose weight, but develop a long lasting healthy lifestyle.

Over 12 weeks, participants will compete for both the most percent of body mass lost, and number of challenges completed. Gangplank volunteers will host 32 challenges that will earn participants points. The challenges will introduce new exercise techniques and healthy eating habits, with activities ranging from yoga, to nutrition classes and roller hockey.

Fat Off competitors can earn additional points by selecting healthy meal options at participating local restaurants and working out in groups outside of the challenges. We encourage participants to record their progress over social media, which will also earn them extra points.

Fat Off 2010 is about community and participation. Only 30% of a participant’s score will be based on weight lost. 50% will be based on challenges completed and the remaining 20% on participation (weigh-ins and social media posts).

The cost to participate is $25 (cash only). To register, come to Gangplank July 6-8. Registration will open daily at 8am and close at 7pm. You can participate without registering, but will not be eligible to win prizes. You may also register after the July 8th deadline, but will have to make up any missed challenges on your own.

Information can found under the Projects tab on the Gangplank website.

The kick-off meeting will take place on Saturday, July 10th at 1pm at the new Gangplank location (250 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler AZ 85225). We will be discussing how to make the most out of the next 12 weeks and proper goal setting. We will also provide some at-home workout techniques.

GP Brownbag: Chad Smith & Open Forum

When you think of animation, most likely the first image that pops into your head is either a Disney or Pixar character. Ever since that black and white mouse came onto the screen as Steamboat Willy, animation has taken a place in our minds as an entertainment medium.

Yet, there is so much more to the animation field than we are aware.

Chad Smith of Being Studios, will be our featured speaker for Wednesday, June 30th’s brown bag presentation. Smith has recently taken up residence at Gangplank and has already created a series of hilarious cartoons based on the regular activities taking place inside our walls.

More than that, Smith will be talking about the many opportunities available in the animation field, and how businesses can use the medium to tell their stories. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about animation will be answered, and perhaps you’ll even end up as part of Smith’s Gangplank cartoon collection.

Something a little different

Some of you may recall that a few months back, Derek held an informal discussion about the future of Gangplank after a brown bag. We are planning on making this a regular occurrence, to hear your thoughts and share updates about Gangplank. These open forums will take place the last Wednesday of the month, before the brown bag presentation.

This open forum is for the curious, new members and Gangplank veterans alike. Want to know what Gangplank is? We’ll cover it. Want updates on the move? Come and ask. The open forum will begin at 11am. Stick around to catch the brown bag.

Downtown Chandler Zip Bikes

All paper work is signed and we are on our way to a new downtown Chandler location.  As part of that plan we are serious about a walkable/bikeable city.  We are going to assemble a half dozen bicycles to be used as “zip” bikes.  Similar to ZipCar‘s only with no cost associated.  Reserve. Ride. Return. It’s that simple.

Authority Labs has donated our first ZipBike. (below)
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In true Gangplank style we are looking to build the rest of the fleet from scratch.  Our first project bike is an “Overkill Chopper” from Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines.

We need your help.  We are looking for some one to loan us the following tools to help us complete this project.20100624 qr5iu84ijt15w4jpfejp8378yc Downtown Chandler Zip Bikes

  • Metal Cutter
  • Angle Grinder
  • Welder (for tack welds)
  • Pipe Cutter
  • “Shoe” Pipe Bender
  • 15″ Rim

We have plans to build several more and partner with local businesses and Heat Sync Labs to have a wicked stable of ZipBikes for your enjoyment!!!!

Please email katie@gangplankhq.com if you have access the the above equipment or want to get more involved.

Jay Roger’s Brown Bag

Local Motors CEO and Co-Founder, Jay Rogers, was kind enough to come share his vision of the future of the car industry with us last month. Rogers explained the traditional model of car building and how that model is no longer sustainable. He shared the history of Local Motors, as well as how open-source car design localizes a vehicle and involves the purchaser in the process. Below is his presentation for your enjoyment. Local Motors will be hosting an Open House for their new factory in Phoenix at the end of July. Check back for details about the event.

Jay Rogers

Announcing Gangplank JR Book Club

Gangplank Junior has decidStargirl large 205x300 Announcing Gangplank JR Book Clubed the grown-ups shouldn’t be the ones having all the fun.

Starting next month, the kids of Gangplank will begin hosting their own book club. Each month’s book will target a different age range, from 7-15, though all children are welcome to attend any of the book club meetings. We will post the reading grade-level of each titles, as well as caution parents for any strong language or themes.

Our first meeting will be Tuesday, July 20th at 6pm inside Gangplank HQ. The discussion will be led by Brittany Neighbors, a Queen Creek High School Junior.

For our first title, we will be reading Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. The book takes place in Arizona, with main character Stargirl Caraway making a splash at her new high school. Having been home schooled for the majority of her life, Stargirl moves to beat of her own drummer in dress, behavior and personality. In this book, Spinelli “captures the collective, not-always-pretty emotions of a high school microcosm in which individuality is pitted against conformity”.

Recommended ages are 10-14. 208 pages.

GP Brown bag: "The Art of Celebrity Impersonation"

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Dennis Keogh as 007

Gangplank, Arizona’s largest collaborative workspace, will be hosting celebrity impersonator, Dennis Keogh, as a part of their recurring brown bag series. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at noon. Keogh

has been performing as celebrity Sean Connery for a number of years, making appearances all over the Phoenix-area, Las Vegas and Canada.

Keogh will be speaking on what is required to become a respected A-list celebrity impersonator and the professionalism you must maintain to stay on top. He’ll discuss tips on how to get booked regularly and drum up new business – useful advice for a start-up in any field. Keogh will also share a few humorous and true stories of his life as Sean Connery.

“It is all perception – not deception,” explains Keogh. “If guests of my impersonation ask ‘Are you Sean Connery?’, I have several comedic answers.”

Keogh began performing full-time as Connery in 2006, after retiring from Bell Systems at age 53. As a Sean Connery impersonator, Keogh is invited to corporate parties, exotic car auctions, movie sets, Hollywood parties and charity events to add a buzz and work the crowd. He loves to walk the red carpet and mingle with guests, posing for photographs, and signing autographs.

Keogh thoroughly enjoys his work, even if it a bit unconventional. “We are all given great opportunities in life. A wise man,realizes them and acts upon them,” said Keogh.
I chose to jump through that window of opportunity while the window was still open.”

The brown bag is open to the public, free of charge. Bring your lunch, have a few laughs and enjoy rubbing elbows with a star (impersonator).

Why you shouldn't miss Hacknights

Hacknights were started to provide an opportunity for like-minded individuals to connect, share ideas and launch new ventures in the community. Every Wednesday around quitting time, a hodge-podge of developers, bloggers, artists, techies and entrepreneurs are thrown together in one giant room – and crazy things happen.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend a Hacknight, here’s a taste.

Last night, more than 40 people showed up to Gangplank for Hacknight. Our first ever roller-hockey game was played in the loading area behind the building. Josh Strebel of Page.ly acted as videographer, riding around on the new Gangplank bike shooting the bloody battle. Injuries were sustained, with the Conrey-Hurst-Charland team pulling off a 3-1 victory. Who says girls can’t play?

In the midst of the game, lots was going on inside Gangplank. Nicholas Dibiase and Brandon Franklin struck up an impromptu jam session, playing percussion and guitar for attendees enjoyment. Also on the music front, Stern Savage stopped by to drop off a sneak preview of his mixtape, to be released July 31st.

Hacking activities were in full swing as well. Heat Sync Labs set up a lock picking table, with various levels to challenge Hacknight attendees. Nick Hammond managed to pick all the locks, save the hardest.

And of course, what’s a Hacknight without a ridiculously awesome YouTube video about college sports?

Even with all the distractions and activities, Hacknights main draw is the amazing conversations between people. Artists, musicians, dating advice bloggers, marketing consultants and coders discussing sports, differences between the sexes and getting to know one another. These initial meetings are the stepping stones that create projects and passions that move the world.

Why miss out?

Linchpin Meetup Recap

Last night, 40+ people assembled at Gangplank to discuss the book Linchpin, written by marketing guru Seth Godin. The book discusses the idea of making yourself so good at what you do that you are indispensable, and that causing disruption by rapidly eschewing traditional models for new ones is a worthy endeavor.

The Linchpin meetup, put on by Tyler Hurst and Stealthmode, broke attendees into groups to discuss key concepts from the book, including overcoming fear, qualities of leadership, our current education system and the importance of learning to lose. Each group presented on their topics with a discussion portion following each presentation.

Many of the participants had recently left Corporate America and were starting ventures of their own. Their interest in attending the event stemmed from wanting to meet others that were in a similar positions for encouragement, ideas and general networking. Throughout the evening connections were made, relationships were formed and attendees walked away with some insight into their own status as a Linchpin, and where they might improve.

For coverage of the event, as well as an interesting take on startups in this economy, check out ABC 15′s video. Also, listen to Gangplank Studio episodes 35 and 36 to hear attendees discuss what the word Linchpin means to them.