Ignite Phoenix Developer #3 Update

Due to a low number of submissions, Ignite Phoenix Developer #3 has been canceled.  We apologize to the individuals who submitted, but we didn’t want to half-ass an event. We will be planning another developer event in the near future, so keep watching our blog, facebook page and twitter for updates.

In the meantime, developers come join us at Gangplank for Hacknight each Wednesday from 6pm to whenever the energy drinks run out. This is an opportunity to share what you’ve been working on and ideas you have with a community of like-minded individuals. Perhaps a new venture or project will come of it. You’ll only know if you come participate.

Gangplank Updates

Looking to reserve permanent space at Gangplank?

You’ve been to Gangplank a few times and you like what you see. If you’re thinking about setting up a more permanent base of operations, we now have a “Gangplank Space Request” form to streamline the demand. You can find the form on Gangplank’s website under the ‘Participate‘ and ‘Collaborative‘ tabs.

There is no fee to make Gangplank your base of operations. Our wifi, conference rooms and podcasting studio are at your disposal. We simply ask that you respect the space and work of fellow Gangplank members, as well as be willing to collaborate with the community.

Um….brown bags?

We want you to there! Our guests are at their best with a live audience that keeps them on their toes with lively discussion and questions.

But if you absolutely can’t make it…

Yes, we are filming them. Yes, the video will be posted to the website as soon as is possible after the talk. We also will be posting summaries of the presentations and providing information about speakers to come. If you can’t make it to the brown bags each week, best bet is to bookmark this blog.

Have a speaker suggestion? Let’s hear it!

Gangplank to host Local Motors Co-founder and CEO Jay Rogers

Gangplank, Arizona’s biggest collaborative workspace, will be hosting Local Motors Co-founder and CEO, Jay Rogers, as a part of their recurring Brownbag series. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at noon. Rogers and company plan to open a new plant in Phoenix in the near future, and are a leader in open-source car design.

Rogers will be speaking about his inspiration toward open-source car design and the results this approach has generated. Members of the Local Motors team will be on hand to talk about the car-building process, meet with audience members and show off the Rally Fighter.

Gangplank owners met Rogers at South by Southwest (SXSW), a music and interactive technology festival, held every year in Austin and invited him to present.

“Local Motors and their open source philosophy is at the heart of our vision and mission for our collaborative technology and innovation space here in Chandler,” Jade Meskill, Gangplank co-founder, said. “We thought it would be a great way to introduce the valley to a cutting edge concept that will soon call Phoenix home.”

Local Motors designs, manufactures, and brings to market innovative, safer, more functional, lightweight, efficient cars through a revolutionary, local assembly and retail experience. These cars will revolutionize not only automobiles, but also the very structure of auto-making, auto-selling, and auto-servicing!

Rogers is helping to build a game-changing American car company. He is relentlessly passionate about cars and the industry which surrounds them. Rogers will discuss open source car design and the success Local Motors achieved as one of the first in the new generation of car companies.

The brownbag is open to the public, free of charge. Bring your lunch and explore the future of car design.

GP Book Club – The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save your Life

It seems only appropriate that after reading a book about death, we should read one about life.

The next title for the GP Book Club will be The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save your Life.

Not only dsurvivorsoes the book discuss impossible survival stories, such as falling out of a plane without a chute, but has a test you can take to determine if you have the survivor mentality.

You’ve got nine weeks to read or listen to the book, so no excuses. The discussion will take place on Wednesday, July 21 at 7pm. There may even be some baked goodies in it for you.

You can purchase the book at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe for 20% off (paperback) or at Bookman‘s.

Join the book club on Good Reads:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/27169.Gangplank

ATIF Takes Office Hours @ Gangplank

We believe that access to mentors, advisers and capital is vital in starting up new companies.  We are happy to announce that Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF) has agreed to participate in Gangplank Office Hours on a regular basis.  We will be inviting other key people in Metro Phoenix to do the same.  Don’t be shy.  Use these VALUABLE resources.  They are willing to give their time and you should take advantage of it.

First up is Paul Winandy ATIF’s Managing Director.  Grab a slot for Thursday March 18th before they are gone.  Here is some history about Paul.

Over the course of his 20 year career, Paul has been a leading contributor to four successful startup businesses; two of which were named to the Inc. 500 list and concluded with acquisitions by public firms.  Paul is an active angel investor and currently the Managing Director of the Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF), a local angel investing group.  Constantly attracted to innovative technology ventures, Paul enjoys helping entrepreneurs navigate the startup challenges and achieve commercial success.

Career highlights include:

  • Partner at Solutions Consulting, an IT consulting firm specializing in ERP and Supply Chain software applications (acquired by Perot Systems in March 2000)
  • Director at Khimetrics, a leading software firm specializing in revenue optimization (acquired by SAP in November 2005)
  • COO for SkillSurvey, a startup web-services firm providing online reference assessment tools (currently in expansion phase)
  • Managing Director of the Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF)
  • Screening Committee member for the Desert Angels
  • Awarded Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2008

Gangplank Jr Fire Fighters

Gangplank Junior spent a morning with the fine men and women from the Chandler Fire Department.  They went through the training facility and got a glimpse of what it takes to be a part of fire company.

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The got to operate the equipment that paramedics use on the scene of an accident as first responders.  They operated and toured both an Engine and a Ladder truck.  It was impressive to see the rigorous training that the fire fighters go through on a regular basis.

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We look forward to doing something similar with the Chandler Police Department in the near future.

What Exactly Is Gangplank?

We have found ourselves in the press and in front of powerful people more than we are comfortable with lately.  The first thing that people ask is “What is Gangplank”.  Our problem has always been explaining it in a sentence or two without feeling like we are doing it a complete dis-service.  We had been playing around with changing some branding, but ended up talking to Greg Head, of New Avenue, who has a bit of experience in positioning companies.  It made sense to wrangle him in and ask him to help us regain our focus and tell our story.

We went through a great exercise with him.  We started with trying fill out this template.

To target market, Gangplank is the category that provides unique benefit.
Unlike competition, Gangplank does x.

Target Market
– Metro Phoenix
– Knowledge Worker
– Creative Class
– New Economy
– Startup

Final: Innovative companies and creative people

Category
– Infrastructure Creator
– Creative Economy Catalyst
– Place
– Movement

Final: Collaborative Workspace

Unique Benefits
– New Economy Jobs/Companies Startups
– Infrastructure To Create
– People Who Can Help
– Fulfilling Work

Final: Infrastructure and community that creates the new economy

At this point we had hit the allotted two hours we set a side to start.  We were all curious to see what we considered competition and we were on a roll, so we listed some competition, but we never came up with the final.

Competition
– Traditional Companies
– Social Media
– Lone Wolf Entrepreneurs
– Incubators
– Coworking
– Executive Suites

Final: Not yet defined

Additionally, we never got to talk about the Gangplank does… We hope to hit both these in the future.  In the meantime, we came up with a pretty good focusing statement.

To innovative companies and creative people, Gangplank is the collaborative workspace that provides infrastructure and community that creates the new economy.

The most revealing thing to us and something that everyone else had clued in on better than us.  Gangplank is indeed a PLACE at it’s very core.

We struggled a lot with the target market.  Something that came up over and over in discussion was “people that get it” vs “people that don’t fit”.  So we decided to break down what that meant as the discussion went on.

People That Get It

hungry, passion, encouraging, ethic, collaborate, participate, plugin, help, connect, cooperate, creative, social, the new way, inspired, tribe, community, danger, adventure, future-minded, non-traditional, post-industrial, un-machine, excellence, learn, share

People That Don’t Fit

bureaucrat, 9 to 5 mentality, ego too big, loner, not familiar with new ethic, secretive, greedy, old school

It is important to note that this is a work in progress.

Update on Gangplank Move

Last month we talked about “Gangplank looking to move downtown“.  We have been actively pursuing a move since June 2009.  We knew that we wanted to be more involved in the creating of a new economy.

To accomplish this we need to be in a city that wants and values the same things we do.   We have been really happy with Chandler and over the last three months have really started to get involved with their downtown.  It became clear very quickly that they embody the same spirit as Gangplank when it comes to their civic planning and downtown.  The business owners, landlords, developers, council and staff all are rowing in the same direction and striving to be the leader in technology of the Phoenix-Tucson mega region over the next 20 years.  They have shown they want to be the place “Where the creative class grows up”.

They had four initiatives in place that we felt were necessary to pass before we could consider them as a viable option.  These initiatives were important for a number of reasons.  First and foremost their adoption meant they were serious about becoming a creative class city and committed to technology.  Secondly, it would prove that they had the ability to work together to make an impact in their city.

  1. Widening of Arizona Avenue (committed to being connected/walkable/creative class)
  2. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Connection to Light Rail (committed to being connected/major player mega region)
  3. Innovations Incubator (committed to innovation/major player mega region)
  4. Update to General Plan / Design Guidelines (committed to urban infill/density/creative class) next council meeting

Last week was the approval of #1 and in good faith was enough to solidify for us that the City of Chandler has the right mix and a commitment to the creative class.  We have engaged with land developers Desert Viking and Peter Sciacca on developing a 15,000sqft facility in the historic Thomas Building in downtown.  We will have more information as the negotiations progress and as things get underway.  We are excited to become immersed in the community and really get involved on a much deeper level.  Things are already underway that are making a major impact for both Chandler and Gangplank including new developments with Gangplank Junior.

Exposed Historical Wooden Trusses

Plans to Put on a Second Story (Stop Sprawl/Go Up)


St. Mary's Foodbank Food Drive Numbers

Today’s mail contained a thank you letter letting us know that your contributions helped feed 2,826 families in July. At a time when the economy was at it’s very bottom you helped many make it through. This holiday season will be one of the roughest on record for many families. Please continue to support St Marys and donate throughout the holiday season.