New Year, New Ideas: One Year Later - Coalescence

New Year, New Ideas: One Year Later - Coalescence

Four months ago, the only thing in the dark windows of 300 East Main Street was a sagging blue sign that read, “For Lease, 3 Floors.” Now, anyone driving through the intersection or walking out of ComeUnity Café can see a bright array of photos.

Last year, Aaron Hardin, photography professor at Union University, pitched the idea for “The Coalescence,” a nontraditional downtown gallery space. Hardin proposed placing artwork in the windows of vacant buildings around town. There would be no fancy opening with silver trays of hors d’oeuvres, just placing art an unassuming place anyone could access.

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Made at theCO: Alternative Materials

Made at theCO: Alternative Materials

As the new year sets in, many of you are feeling the urge to try new diets, new experiences, and even new projects. As much as I'd enjoy talking about the weird things you're "forced" to eat now, I'd rather talk about what you can make at theCO! 

After deciding what you're going to make, next comes the decision of what material you're going to use. I've compiled a list of a few materials other than your typical sheet of wood that I've used and the outcome of the finished product.

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2017: Another Great Year in the Books!

2017: Another Great Year in the Books!

Every December I write this article reflecting on the moments, milestones, and amazing people that made 2017 a year to remember. From announcing another Best in the West business competition winner to accepting a state-funded grant in which we have been tasked with turning forty-foot motorhomes into rolling innovation labs, it’s been an extremely busy year for theCO.

However, overlooking the mistakes, the loses, and the setbacks for the year would be naive of us as an entrepreneur development center. Some of the greatest achievements and growth can be traced back to times of failure, and that’s perfectly okay! We’ve seen great ideas and potential businesses put on the back burner this year and understand that life gets in the way sometimes. Just know that theCO is here to help. Ask us questions, and tell us about your struggles. We want nothing more than to see you grow personally and help your business grow as well.

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CO:bots Participant Wins $1300 Grant

CO:bots Participant Wins $1300 Grant

At the Jackson Mathnasium, fourteen-year-old Abby Little fiddles with her robot. “There’s a fifteen-second period where your robot has to do all the work, so right now, I’m trying to get that to work,” she explained.

Abby first started doing robotics last March. A group of her homeschool friends had been attending theCO’s weekly meetup, CO:bots, so she decided to join and quickly became engrossed in the world of robot building and competition.

“I like that you can come and build, and there’s no other pressure,” Abby said. “It’s about what is your idea and how do you use it.”

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Great Risk Equal Great Reward at theCO

Great Risk Equal Great Reward at theCO

“This is typical Berlin hot air. The product is worthless,” wrote Heinrich Dreser, head of Bayer’s Pharmacological Institute, rejecting an invention by German chemist Felix Hoffman: the aspirin.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home,” scoffed Ken Olson, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp, in 1977.

“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible,” a Yale professor responded to Fred Smith’s paper, which proposed reliable overnight delivery. Smith went on to found FedEx.

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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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