Minneapolis Archive

STEP-UP youth entrepreneurs return to CoCo

STEP-UP youth entrepreneurs return to CoCo

IMG_2827-e1367866006779Minneapolis high schoolers will explore high-tech careers and creative problem-solving during a daylong training session put on by Google for Entrepreneurs at CoCo Minneapolis on April 26.

The Google for Entrepreneurs team from Mountain View, California as well as entrepreneurs from CoCo will host the third annual “Entrepreneurs in Training” day for 75 Minneapolis high school youth who will be employed this summer through the STEP-UP Achieve jobs program. The training is designed to prepare these interns for their summer internships at top Twin Cities high-tech companies and equip them with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively think through problems and create a business plan from scratch to solve real world challenges.

IMG_2746In the afternoon team competition, youth will pitch their best “moonshot” project ideas, which will be judged by Google for Entrepreneurs team members and other professionals in the categories of Most Creative, Best Pitch, Most Likely to IPO, Most Daring, and Best Addresses Issue.

This is the second year that Google for Entrepreneurs, STEP-UP and CoCo have teamed up for this event. “This is an amazing experience for both the students and the mentors,” said CoCo co-founder Kyle Coolbroth. “It introduces the students to the value of thinking entrepreneurially and using creativity to solve real world problems. However, the mentors often leave more inspired, because the students’ energy and optimism is infectious.”

Media will have the opportunity to view and interview participating youth, Google for Entrepreneurs trainers, CoCo mentors and professionals from local high-tech companies.

STEP-UP Achieve—part of the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program — connects businesses with the next generation of talented and diverse workers, provides critical job training and hands-on experience for Minneapolis youth and builds a stronger Twin Cities workforce for our knowledge-based global economy. Learn more.

About CoCo coworking and collaborative space
CoCo is a community where entrepreneurs, freelance professionals, small businesses and corporate workgroups gather to share ideas, team up on projects and get work done. CoCo has locations in Lowertown St. Paul, Uptown Minneapolis and Downtown Minneapolis, on the former trading floor of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. CoCo is one of seven Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hubs in North America.

About Google for Entrepreneurs
Google for Entrepreneurs has programs all over the world to foster entrepreneurship, empowering the next generation of innovators to be successful. Learn more

Welcome to WoCoCo

What’s WoCoCo? It’s Women of CoCo (get it?), a monthly meetup of women at CoCo at all our locations. It’s an open forum for discussing the experience and challenges of being a woman in business. This event is for CoCo members and guests.

Next WoCoCo
Wednesday, March 26
@CoCo Minneapolis

  • 8:15-9 a.m. – Yoga by John (please bring a mat)
  • 9-10 a.m. - Breakfast! Yogurt will be provided, feel free to bring fruit, toppings, granola and anything else you’d like to share.

Join us for yoga, breakfast or both! Stay for the day to get work done and make new friends.


  • Free for members
  • Discounted day-pass rate of $15 for Unlea(she)d attendees! (normally $50). No need to make a reservation. Just check in and pay at the front desk.

January Events at CoCo

January Events at CoCo

4065980-the-month-of-january-done-in-vintage-letterpress-typeHappy New Year everyone! Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get moving on 2014 yes? What better way than to dive right back into the CoCo community. Join us for an event this month (and stay tuned for some exciting new events that we’ll be announcing this month)! Wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year!

MONDAY, JANUARY 6TH: Evening Coworking
Evening coworking at both DT MPLS and UPTOWN (the first Monday of each month only in Uptown). All CoCo members are welcome to stay and cowork until 8PM!

TUESDAY, JANUARY 7TH: INVESTyR // Fundraising Workshop – 7 Key Factors for Successful Fundraising
INVESTyR co-founders Patrick Donohue & Phil Pogge provide an interactive overview on why digital media is forever changing the world of money in business. This seminar unveils tactics on how to use digital media to achieve your business goals and raise money. Whether you’re a non-profit, a start-up or a $100 million business, we guarantee you will walk away with new insights on modern tools to use when raising capital and directly sourcing relationships with investors, dealflow and financiers. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

TUESDAY, JANUARY 7TH: GFE Google Developers Group Meetup (every other month on the 1st Tuesdays at CoCo)
Android Animations || Chrome Dev Tools

Topic1: Daniel Lew will present: 

“I can animate and so can you!”
Basically about how to think about animations on Android.  It’s in response to all the talks which show you specific instances of animation but don’t give you the bigger picture.

Topic2: Andy Gaskell will present: 
“An overview of Chrome DevTools”
I’ll cover inspecting the DOM, using the console, debugging JavaScript, monitoring network traffic, CPU profiling, tracking down a memory leak, and using DevTools on an Android device.


THURS. JANUARY 9TH: GFE House of Genius
The goal of House of Genius is to assemble brilliant, diverse groups of people to focus their collective creativity and experience to explore, discuss and solve important problems. We hold evening sessions once a month in cities around the world. We bring together a group of 15-18 wide-ranging minds and three business presenters.  The three presenters share their business and a key problem they are facing in rapid-fire fashion. Next, each attendee offers questions, insights, suggestions, or introductions that may assist the presenter. The true “genius” is in the collaboration – you’ll be amazed at the power of thinking that is evoked from the structure of the sessions and the synergetic format. FREE // OPEN TO THE PUBLIC // Complimentary food & beverages provided.

As part of the Google for Entrepreneurs at CoCo program we will have monthly sessions to help you get started building a real Ruby on Rails web application while learning best practices and fundamental web development concepts. Each session in the series will build on the previous session. Each session will take place in three parts: an introductory lesson, a group coding workshop and an ‘advanced topics’ presentation.  We’ll aim to provide documentation and tutorials to go along with our sessions, so newcomers can catch up and dive right in. Presented by CoCo & Google for Entrepreneurs.  FREE // OPEN TO THE PUBLIC // Complimentary food & beverages provided.

MONDAY, JANUARY 13TH: Evening Coworking (DT MPLS only)
All CoCo members are welcome to stay and cowork until 8PM!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 17TH: CoCo’s MEMBER ONLY Holiday Appreciation Shindig
Stretching the holiday cheer into January a bit so we can toast to our members! Please remember to RSVP HERE! Must be a CoCo member to attend.

MONDAY, JANUARY 20TH: Evening Coworking (DT MPLS only)
All CoCo members are welcome to stay and cowork until 8PM!

Third Tuesday of every month: 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
This is your opportunity to give an 8 minute pitch to other entrepreneurs in a safe environment. Pure Feedback from Peers. Plus see other entrepreneurs give pitches, learn from their presentation styles, and give them your feedback! OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22ND: MIMA January event: What Kickstarter Means For Marketers
When Robbinsdale’s only James Beard-award-winning restaurant outgrew their space, they needed additional funding to help support their ambitious new venture. So they turned to Kickstarter, home of crowdfunding projects from albums to gadgets to…restaurants? In a day, they doubled their fundraising goal, closing their project with over $250K to make their dream into a reality. Not too shabby. But crowdfunding is about more than just raising money. It’s about turning your patrons/users/fans into active partners in your endeavor. And in a state with more than one Kickstarter Cinderella story, it’s something worth talking about. We’ve assembled a killer panel of marketers/Kickstarter success stories to explore this disruptive new corner of marketing.

MONDAY, JANUARY 27TH: Evening Coworking (DT MPLS only)
All CoCo members are welcome to stay and cowork until 8PM!

This month’s meetup is hosted by CoCo staffers Vilay Dethluxay and Ashley Paguyo. We want to hear about women-focused events that you’ve attended in the past (local or non-local), ideas you have for women-focused events at CoCo, and in general…your feedback of what it’s like to be a woman at CoCo! We’ll provide the lunch — you contribute the food for thought. Please RSVP for the event via CoCoHQ.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31STA Chat with AJ Leon (author of The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit)
Join us as author AJ Leon pops into CoCo Uptown to talk about the story and inspiration behind his book, “The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit” followed by a Q&A session. “AJ Leon used to be a finance executive on Wall Street. He had a corner office and a great salary but there was one problem – he despised his job and his life.  Four days before his wedding, he had an epiphany and walked out on everything he knew to pursue a life that he would live with intent, on his own terms. Five years on, he is a successful writer, artist, entrepreneur and humanitarian, and travels the world with his wife Melissa while running their company, Misfit Inc. During this epic five-year journey, AJ wrote about his experiences in his journal, and then starting blogging about them. One year after walking away from a book deal with a major publishers, AJ decided to self-publish this collection of essays as a book called “The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit” and funded it with a Kickstarter campaign which raised a total of $38k with a goal of just $10K within 30 days.  This book is an ode to the Misfits, to the people who never felt comfortable conforming to the idealogues of a society that tells you to pursue money over happiness, and scalability over craftsmanship.” Presented by CoCo & Google for Entrepreneurs. FREE // OPEN TO THE PUBLIC // Complimentary food + drink provided.

Comcast brings 1GB fiber Internet to CoCo

Comcast brings 1GB fiber Internet to CoCo

comcastThere are two non-negotiables for our members: coffee and Internet. And starting soon, CoCo members will have access to an unprecedented level of Internet access, thanks to a partnership between CoCo and Comcast Business.

Comcast is supporting CoCo’s entrepreneurial community by providing CoCo with its 1Gbps (gigabit per second) fiber service – a vastly better grade of service than we’ve had in the past. In addition to the high speed fiber connectivity offers some distinct advantages:

  • It’s synchronous, which means data flows at the same speed up and down.
  • It’s a more reliable, dedicated circuit, which results in greater uptime.
  • It’s future-proofed: we will be able to expand network capacity over time, ahead of member usage.

But we’ll let one of our esteemed members describe the advantage of 1GB fiber for our more high-tech startups:

“The high-bandwidth, low-latency connection goes a long way to even the playing field with much larger businesses and tech centers with huge resources,” says David Middlecamp, a software engineer at Spark . “The symmetric bandwidth supports creators of content and services, rather than just content consumption, and facilitates working remotely across the globe, or collaborating across millions of connected devices.”

The service will begin immediately at CoCo Uptown and mid-month at CoCo Minneapolis.




CoCo joins with Google to launch Tech Hub Network

CoCo joins with Google to launch Tech Hub Network

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Greater access to Google and other tech hubs across North America will spur innovation, boost local economies

This morning, CoCo announced it will become part of an exclusive Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network. Comprised of seven hubs throughout North America, the network will support entrepreneurs and provide a stimulus for the economy in local communities.

“Not too long ago, entrepreneurs in Minnesota had to work and develop their ideas in isolation, without collaboration and support from mentors. CoCo has helped change that situation and as a result, we’re seeing more successes among our startups,” said cofounder Kyle Coolbroth.

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Google treated CoCo members to schwag and free food truck lunch to celebrate the launch of the Tech Hubs network.

Google will support CoCo and the other hubs in the network, both financially and technologically. Hubs will have greater access to Google experts and products, and will participate in a number of Google events each year. Most importantly, hubs in the network will have access to each other, with Google facilitating quarterly calls and bringing hub partners together in-person to share lessons learned and best practices for entrepreneurs.

“For CoCo, today’s announcement represents an enhancement of our partnership with Google, which was launched in February. This partnership has allowed us to host nearly 50 free-of-charge entrepreneur- and tech-focused events with more than 4,000 attendees,” Coolbroth said.

It is now easier than ever to start a high-growth company from almost anywhere, not just major coastal cities. CoCo helps startups capitalize on this development by providing desks for entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams, educational opportunities for talented developers, and a vibrant community for innovative startups.

Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network is the first formal network of this kind in the world. “Google heard consistently from tech hubs that they wanted to be part of a larger network, to learn from each other and collaborate together on ideas. We are happy to facilitate that,” said John Lyman, Head of Partnerships for Google for Entrepreneurs. “Our team has been incredibly impressed with the great work these hubs have done in their cities, and are excited to partner with them to do even more.”

The other six hubs in the network include: 1871 in Chicago, IL; Communitech in Waterloo, Ontario; Nashville Entrepreneur Center in Nashville, TN; American Underground in Durham, NC; Galvanize in Denver, CO; and Grand Circus in Detroit, MI.