CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Kristi Woody

CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Kristi Woody

Like many of her friends, Kristi Woody grew up watching Disney movies (her favorite is The Great Mouse Detective). But she didn’t really fall in love with Disney until she visited Walt Disney World with her husband on their honeymoon.

“I had gone to Disneyland a few times growing up,” she said. “And I liked it; we had a lot of fun there. But then my husband and I went to Disney World in Florida for the first time together, and we’ve just kept going back more times every year. It’s just kind of like our thing together.”

Woody, a professional photographer, started a Disney-focused Instagram account to share photos from her trips to the parks.

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All About Our BizTech Roadshow

All About Our BizTech Roadshow

For the last few weeks, theCO has been rolling all around West Tennessee encouraging entrepreneurship through the BizTech Roadshow.

This year, one of theCO’s goals was to reach more counties outside of Madison through mobile outreach.

“We’ve been saying that for years, and really, that was the whole reason that the CO:mobile or a mobile unit even came up,” said Lisa Garner, Executive Director of theCO. “We knew we wanted to connect with these folks, and they’re not always just going to come to Jackson, so let’s go to them.”

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Two Students Representing Jackson in International Robot Competition

Two Students Representing Jackson in International Robot Competition

Of the 1,500 students from all across the world who will be descending on Louisville, Kentucky, for an international robotics competition later this month, two young robot-makers will be representing Jackson, Tennessee.

Ben McCarver, a homeschool freshman, and Joshua Bernheisel, a seventh grader from a Northeast Middle School, managed to beat approximately 170 students in Tennessee to take the robots they designed in CO:bots to compete with some of the best student roboticists from all of the world, from the Middle East to Australia to South America.

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Our Jackson Home: A Night of Storytelling, Vol. 6

Our Jackson Home: A Night of Storytelling, Vol. 6

A Night of Storytelling is a biannual Our Jackson Home event that seeks to create a warm environment for you to dig deeper into the people and places of our city by hearing personal stories from your Jackson neighbors. Happening Friday, April 13, right here at theCO, this event is family-friendly and free, and Stacey's Ice Cream Cruiser will be set up starting at 6:30pm. Click here to read about our awesome presenters and performers.

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Member Spotlight: Kelly Maust

Member Spotlight: Kelly Maust

Kelly Maust was fascinated by the jewelry that her mother-in-law used to send her from Ecuador. The stones were meticulously polished and shone in a variety of vibrant colors—except they weren’t stones; they were made from palm seeds.

Ecuadorians harvest the seeds, dry them out, and then colorize them with vibrant dyes. They then use the seeds to make lovely and eco-friendly beads, small toys, keychains, ornaments, and more.

Two years ago, when Maust and her husband were visiting his parents for Christmas, Maust had an idea.

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Introducing: Driving Innovation

Introducing: Driving Innovation

Starting this month, theCO is launching one of their best-kept secrets.

Using a grant from Governor Haslam’s Rural Task Force, theCO has been stripping out the insides of RVs to transform them into mobile platforms devoted to informing, equipping, and preparing our rural communities for emerging jobs. They’re calling the project “Driving Innovation.”

“Within the scope of our contract with the state of Tennessee, we will go to all nineteen distressed counties and half of the at-risk counties,” explained Bria Pittman, Program and Outreach Manager for Driving Innovation. “The purpose is to take resources to those communities. . . . So we’ll be rolling on in, literally.”

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Coding Skills Give Students Endless Job Opportunities

Coding Skills Give Students Endless Job Opportunities

Dev Catalyst is committed to preparing high school students for profitable careers in technology-based fields, such as advanced manufacturing.

According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, over the last five years, Tennessee has ranked in the Top 10 for the largest percentage increase in the United States in manufacturing GDP, which reached $49.1 billion in 2016, making it 17% of the state’s total GDP. Advanced manufacturing job creation in Tennessee, in particular, far outpaces the rate of national growth.

Technology has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. The incorporation of robots on the assembly line has led to quicker, more efficient production. Companies have also streamlined the manufacturing and production process by using computer-aided design software.

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Member Spotlight: Joshua Guthrie

Member Spotlight: Joshua Guthrie

Tell me about what you do.

I am between jobs right now. Since graduation, I worked at H&M Company, architects and engineers here in town, but then I started having a sense that this just wasn’t it as far as long-term career. It was a great job, awesome company, great to work for, but it just wasn’t fitting. And so, I decided to quit my job back at the end of the year. I’ve always known that I’m very left-brain, problem-solving, that sort of thing—but also very right-brain, creative, and I needed an outlet to experiment with that. So theCO has been a really great opportunity to try some ideas, work on some things that I’ve been thinking about for a while but just haven’t because I never had the time, so I don’t have a business per say, but I am considering trying to mass-produce what I’ve been working, which is a computer monitor stand.

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Made at theCO: Mystery Block Lamp

Made at theCO: Mystery Block Lamp

Anyone who has walked into theCO the last couple of weeks may have experienced a flash of childhood nostalgia—memories of sitting on the living room couch, game controller in hand, leading an Italian plumber past a giant, turtle-like being to rescue a kidnapped princess.

To illuminate the new shop at the front of theCO, Austin Thompson, founder and owner of Random Pieces of Wood, has built and installed a light shaped like the Mystery Block in Super Mario games.

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