Made at theCO: How to Make a Giant Lite Brite

Made at theCO: How to Make a Giant Lite Brite

It didn’t start with a plan, but with a 55-inch TV hitting the ground.

About two years ago, Ben Ferguson, one of theCO’s CO:founders, helped his dad pick out a new television at Best Buy. They brought it to his house, set it up on the mantle, and were celebrating in the kitchen when they heard the sound of something heavy falling with a resounding smash.

The television had toppled over and shattered on the ground.

Best Buy couldn’t take the broken TV back, so Ferguson brought the monitor, which still glowed when turned on, to theCO.  

A couple months ago, Lisa Garner, executive director, had the idea to turn the TV into a giant Lite Brite.

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Dev Catalyst: Raspberry Pi Workshops

Dev Catalyst: Raspberry Pi Workshops

At the beginning of the school year, Molly Plyler’s five- and seven-year-old daughters were asking for a new computer. So she gave them a Raspberry Pi, keyboard, and monitor and told them that if they could figure out how to put it together, it would be their school computer. In less than fifteen minutes, the seven-year-old had her computer running.

“It’s kind of a skill that’s lost,” said Plyler, who runs Dev Catalyst, theCO’s student program that aims to improve technology education. “If you go back to the 80s, when you were working with a computer, there was some command-line code that you were kind of used to because that’s how the computer worked, and now we give kids an iPad, and there’s very little understanding of how it works or what it looks like on the inside.”

Raspberry Pis are mini-computers that are relatively inexpensive, costing about $35. Dev Catalyst is currently offering workshops for middle and high school students that teach how to use a Raspberry Pi.

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Meet our Best in the West Finalists: Pyyros, LLC.

Meet our Best in the West Finalists: Pyyros, LLC.

While serving in the military, Adam Nichols experienced some of the worst conditions in nature, which taught him what elements are necessary to withstand a crisis: power, fire, and light. In his garage in New Mexico, he began constructing a flashlight designed for wilderness survival: Pyyros, an emergency tool and flashlight.

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Meet our Best in the West Finalists: ApeGrip Training Products

Meet our Best in the West Finalists: ApeGrip Training Products

Brad Royer wasn’t getting the most out of his workouts. Whenever he lifted weights, the white chalk on his palms slid onto his wrists in ashy rivers of sweat. He tried researching alternative products, but he couldn’t find anything that sufficiently kept his hands dry and grip strong. So he decided to invent a product himself: ApeGrip Xtreme Liquid Chalk.

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Meet our Best in the West Finalists: The Farmer's Perk

Meet our Best in the West Finalists: The Farmer's Perk

Like many entrepreneurs, Nelson noticed a hole in the market: no one at the West Tennessee Farmers’ Market was offering coffee to the patrons who came out on Saturday morning to browse the colorful selections of vegetables, herbs, and goods. Nelson invested $400 in obtaining a coffee pot and bags of coffee beans, and during the summer of 2012 he began a business that he would later name “The Farmer’s Perk.”

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Best in the West: Top 10

Best in the West: Top 10

theCO recently hosted its second edition of the Best in the West competition to foster entrepreneurial spirit in West Tennessee by connecting local entrepreneurs to funding and a collaborative community. Contestants from all sectors and industries pitched their original ideas. Among the many applicants, here are the ten ideas that stood out the most; find out how you can support these emerging local businesses.
 

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CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Krista Paul Event Planning

CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Krista Paul Event Planning

How did you get started with event planning?

In middle school, we had lots of parties—the good kind! But I was the person who coordinated where the parents should drop their kids off and what time to pick them up and which friends were bringing drinks, snacks, and cups—and all the details. So I really started as a kid. But officially I started in college when my friends asked me to coordinate their wedding because I’m a really organized person, and I have a lot of energy. So I did that in 2012.

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