Center of the Diamond

startup-diamond-in-midwest-5b9240f7dcdc0aa5b8d7cc5ceecf6441

Ted Serbinski of Detroit made the point in his May 8 post that the Midwest has an amazing amount of assets in this diamond.  For example …

  • 8 of the 25 entrepreneurial colleges (Entreprenuer Magazine)
  • 6 of the top 20 engineering schools including Chicago, Michigan, Carnegie Mellon, Illinois (US News and World Report)

Hey, what’s that in the center of the diamond?  That’s us – good old Fort Wayne right in the center of the entrepreneurial resources!

Fort Wayne’s Comic Con

appleseed comic con

The Appleseed Comic Con draws comic artists from all around the region to Fort Wayne each year.  But what makes me smile each year is the amazing number of highly talented comic artists from right here in Fort Wayne.  It’s always good to see so many local artists (or in some cases those who studied here and have roots here) creating so many great products.  See you next year!

You can browse through all of the Comic Con artists at http://appleseedcon.com/2013-guest-creators/.   Before you do, enjoy a few pics of some (not all. sorry) of the Fort Wayne artists.

Announcing Knowledge Base!

Kbase Home Page

UPDATE: Knowledge Base is now FREE!  We have turned off the paywall – didn’t feel right to us – and you can now “pay with a tweet” to support Knowledge Base at no cost to you – or donate to support Knowledge Base financially. Oh, and we are up to 221 articles.  Enjoy!

Yesterday Founders launched a new product called Knowledge Base.

So, you know how the internet is stuffed with some really great information about doing a startup, but how it is tough to find.  You often have to fight your way through an avalanche of news stories, the latest editorial gossip and hype, and today’s trending meme just to find it, right?

Well, we decided that it should be easy to find great startup advice.  So we have curated over 200 articles so far – PLENTY more to come.  We categorized them, and we tagged them so they can be found easily (you can search for a word or phrase, too).

And then we decided that because startup people value their time, we would summarize each article.  We write the 1-3 “genius ideas” we found in each article and a “tl;dr” section with a brief paragraph or some bullet points summarizing the article.  Of course, we respect the original authors – we don’t cut and paste, we link out to the original article, and our titles include the author’s name.

So, right now, for example, Knowledge Base includes 69 articles about creating your Product, 60 about Marketing, 52 about Funding – among many others.  Doing an SaaS venture and curious about the metrics to watch?  There are 7 articles for just that.  Managing a launch?  5 articles.  Hiring key employees?  5 articles on hiring process.

I’d say it goes on and on, but it doesn’t – it stops at 203 articles – today.  By the time you read this, there will no doubt be plenty more.  We add new articles each week.

A Marketplace of Ideas

A while ago, at Fort Wayne City Council, Eric Kuhne of CivicArts presented Headwaters 2.0, a vision for our downtown riverfront that builds on Headwaters Park.

Eric Kuhne at Fort Wayne City Council  Headwaters Park 2

In addition to a great civic architectural concept – which would dovetail quite nicely with my friend Kelly Lynch’s vision for Headwaters Junction – Eric presented an almost larger-than-life vision for downtown Fort Wayne.

Even more interesting to me was to hear Eric talk, in the midst of all this, about a concept that sounded awfully familiar.  Eric said that he envisions downtown Fort Wayne as a “marketplace of ideas”.  In our age, as he put it, “A city is more than a marketplace of goods.  It can now be a marketplace of ideas.  It is the true measure of a great city.”  Toward that end, he design of Headwaters 2.0 would bring people together and foster “that magical thing that occurs in a city – accidental encounters.”

When he said that, I immediately thought of Nick Arnett, who had introduced me to the concept of placemaking some time ago.  He had explained placemaking in much the same way – purposefully designing the physical assets of a place (typically downtown Fort Wayne in our discussions) in a way that structurally encourages chance encounters among creative people – to foster innovation and city vibrancy.  Hearing Eric say the same thing made me love the Headwaters 2.0 plan even more.

I also thought of my own business, Founders, where we are building an entrepreneurial community with the same goal in mind.  We are purposefully bringing entrepreneurs, creatives, and independents together in our coworking space – and happily watching as they combine forces to bring new things to life.  By the way, Founders is located within a stone’s throw of the southwest border of the proposed Headwaters 2.0.  We could easily go hang out there on a cool summer evening.  We could recharge our batteries with a walk along the riverfront.  I could ride my bike on the trails and River Greenway through Headwaters 2.0 to about two blocks from Founders.  Sweet!

So, to those who are reading this, I say throw your support behind Headwaters 2.0 and help create that “Marketplace of Ideas” – and a very cool park – here in downtown Fort Wayne!