Tuesday Google Fiber, Hammerspace Makerspace, & a Flying Saucer!
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
It feels like it’s already been a week but it has only been a couple of days. My team consists of Bob Sopko, Bill Meyers, Ian Schwarber, and Matt Allen. All of us seem to mesh pretty well and get along well. I’m grateful for that. I’m the only female in the group but so far it doesn’t seem to bother them. Because I have kids, I can go with the flow so that makes it a little bit easier. We already seem to be pretty good at having a sense of humor, sharing food and not getting too wound up. That’s pretty important!
We stopped at Google Fiber Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri where we were able to pitch once again and get some feedback. I am disappointed that I’m not able to pitch or use any kind of speaking skills. The personalities are big in the group. Ray has been a great mentor to everyone on bus and to and already had me correct my speaking in responding twice and I’m grateful for that. This is why I wanted to do this competition. He pulled me aside and asked if he was being too hard on me and I said no- I had wished that I could be in the game a little more. I still believe I made the right choice in teams though, the subject matter is what I believe in and I can get behind what we promoting in research, development and the track where we are going. He encouraged me to work on pitching with roommates or fellow busmates on anything just to practice.
We were delayed at the community center because the bus broke down, which was fine because we worked on the site and the pitch and ate lunch at a wonderful Italian restaurant across the street. That evening we visited Hammerspace, a maker space and were able to talk at length with the owner Dave Dalton about being an artisan in a maker space and the need for training and certification. It helped us solidify the need for training in spaces others that may be different than his and gave us a feel for how different each space can and will be – there are no cookie cutter spaces. There will be artisans, there will be institution spaces, educational, etc. and we will need to differentiate these and really listen to his words and glean from them.
That evening as a team we really came together and unified at a local pub appropriately named the Flying Saucer and whose theme was a spaceship. Spacecraft was getting recharged and Ian almost got the red light to pitch the whole restaurant. The manager said ‘no’, but Ian was able to at least pitch the manager and the waitresses. (One more task off the Trello board goals) and they both thought it was a great idea and one worth pursuing. Our waitress wished us luck and told us she would be watching out for us. Throughout this whole time, the team has been stopping at makerspaces working on our website, perfecting the pitches by giving them to our mentors and teammates, a series of questions on a Trello board are also to be answered in a timely manner in regards to the business similar to putting together a business model.
Akron Maker Bus Sponsors included: MorganBurton D Morgan Foundation, Knight Foundation, University of Akron EX[L] Center, and the University of Akron Research Foundation as well as Wastebits, Cover My Meds, Balsamiq, Hotcards, Coffee and Code, Boxcast, LaunchNet, Cleveland Whisky, and Think[Box]. Thank you wonderful sponsors to Akron’s Startup Bus, as well as my GoFund me Sponsors, Ed’s Equipment and the EX[L] Center for making my trip possible.