How To Keep Momentum After Startup Week Fort Collins

As Startup Week Fort Collins nears its epic end, let’s make a plan to keep the momentum into next week and beyond. Whether you got your first taste of coworking, got your mind blown by a musician or felt a much needed boost in motivation as a freelancer, it’s important to not let this enthusiasm dwindle.

Step 1: Outreach

Reach out to everyone in that pile of business cards you collected. Mention something that they said that really resonated with you. Invite them out for a coffee or beer just to talk and get to know one another better.  Ask to take a tour of their company. Mine through the Sched again and pull out company names or people you really enjoyed meeting. Follow them on twitter, like their Facebook pages and read their websites.

Step 2: Digest Your Notes

Did you take as many notes in your awesome FCSW17 notebook as I did? Now is the time to go back through all your notes. Check out the books, blogs or resources that you wrote down. Pull out action items and put them on your list to tackle next week. This post you’re reading right now was actually a footnote in my notebook. Look at me! Taking action!

Step 3: Participate OR Amplify

My key takeaway this week is a new awareness of how many people are doing AMAZING things in our community. Now is the time to participate in those activities by attending meetings or helping to push us forward as a group. If you can’t possibly take on another task, then please be an amplifier. Tell your friends and coworkers about the great progress that is being made. Awareness is the first step to Amazeness! Here are some things I learned about this week:

What are you going to take action on next week? Tell us in the comments below.


A Guide to Current and Alumni Coherians Speaking at Startup Week Fort Collins


Members of coworking spaces love to support their fellow members in their endeavors. Here’s a cheat sheet to ALL the Cohere members, current and past, who are speaking at Fort Collins Startup Week. Don’t waste another day working from home. Fo(co)works has put together free coworking every day of Startup Week so you can try all of the Fort Collins Coworking Spaces.


How Coworking Can Save You From Destitution (Angel Kwiatkowski, Julie Sutter, Current Members of Cohere)

In a world where you can work from anywhere, why cowork? Hear from members of four Fort Collins coworking spaces about how being a part of a coworking community can supercharge your skills, connections and success as a solopreneur, freelancer or non-profit.
Moderator: Angel Kwiatkowski, Founder, fo(co)works (Fort Collins Coworking Alliance).
Julie Sutter (Cohere)
Aaron Todd (Cohere) Only he’ll be stuck in Canada waiting for his work visa to renew :(
Logan Hale (Articulate)
Sara Durnil (The Music District)

FREE Drop-In Coworking at Cohere

Enjoy FREE drop-in coworking each day of Fort Collins Startup Week courtesy of fo(co)works, the Fort Collins’ coworking alliance. If you’ve been coworking-curious, cooped up your your home office or fighting over power outlets at the coffee shop, this FREE event is for you to try out all the amazing coworking communities. To attend, simply show up at the space you would like to visit on their free day. You can cowork for a few minutes between sessions or up to the full day.
• Monday 9a-4p: Cohere at 418 South Howes Street

2015-06-26 17.05.52-1 (1)TUESDAY

Getting Started with Your Startup (Ariana Friedlander, Recent Graduate of Cohere)

Wish you felt smarter about starting your own startup? And had some quick start tips & tricks to get there? We’ll walk you through a business model canvas quick start… You’ll leave this session knowing just what you need to tackle, next —  to create or scale your own startup!

Endurance is the Price Tag of Achievement (Kristin Mastre, Alumnae of Cohere)

Startup life is all about tenacity. Sometimes your plans may become obsolete as society (or technology) evolves. Sometimes the community doesn’t hold as much value in your product as they once did before. And sometimes the toll of startup life almost kills you. I’ve been there. Most (sane) people throw in the towel and quit when the going gets tough, and I’ve found that “fail fast” doesn’t always work in Fort Collins. Entrepreneurs generally aren’t sane nor do they quit easily. I’ll share how our foray into market research got us ready for a pivot and how burnout led to new business perspective.

Sourcing and Valuing Local Marketing Creative (Julie Sutter, Current Member of Cohere)

How do you find the talent located in your own back yard? What is your true cost in sourcing your photos, video,written content, web design, logos locally? Hear from local creators and experts about the added benefits of using local firms and artists to fulfill your business marketing and strategic goals.

I’ve Looked at Clouds That Way (Brian Fromme, Alumus of Cohere)

This talk will help entrepreneurs to better understand their own need to learn about cloud technology. Most non-technical people think of the cloud as a place to store data. But, the cloud can be used to make your rapidly-changing business processes more lean. In this talk, you will learn about aspects of cloud technology and how you can utilize it in your startup to grow more quickly without adding headcount.

Startup Music Videos and VR Show and Tell (Shane Zweygardt, Current Member of Cohere)

Join us for an hour of locally produced and directed music videos in the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater.

From Soloprenuer to Multi-Person Business (Nick Armstrong, Mary Merritt, Alumni of Cohere)

Calling all Solopreneurs! This month’s Fort Collins Internet Pros meetup is a collaboration with Fort Collins Startup Week. Look forward to a 45-minute roundtable discussion with local business owners, followed by audience Q&A. Panelists will share their tips and experiences as Solopreneurs—growing their businesses from one-person shops to team-supported enterprises.

Integrating Social Media with WordPress (Jeremy Green, Current Member of Cohere)

Whether you blog, design, code, sell, or anything in between, if you use WordPress then you belong here. Even if your just interested in finding out more about this powerful piece of software, please feel free to join us!

We will be discussing all things WordPress, including themes, plugins, security, blogging, and business uses. There is so much you can do with WordPress. So whether you are just getting started, have mastered the basics, or are a WordPress core developer, we have a place for you!


Access to Capital: Show Me The Money (Ryan Stover, Alumnus of Cohere)

Are you seeking funding for your small business but are unsure of where to begin? With all the options available for small businesses today, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed! The Larimer SBDC and Innosphere are partnering to bring together several types of funding sources and respective experts for you to ask questions and get answers.


Work-life Balance for Entreprenuers: Staying Happy and Healthy While Building a Business (Chrysta Bairre, Current Cohere Member)

Learn how the 80/20 rule applies to your work and life as we discuss how to build a successful business without sacrificing your health and happiness, including top tips for creating healthy habits, improving productivity, and focusing your efforts on what will get results in your business without burning you out!

Crowdfunding for Today and Tomorrow  (Ryan Stover, Alumnus of Cohere)

Crowdfunding is an ever growing trend to get early stage ideas off the ground. Colorado leaders in the crowdfunding arena let us know where it is today and where its headed. Get the inside scoop on how startups and entrepreneurs are accessing billions of dollars of usable capital through this innovative financing method.

Startup a Music Business (Angel Kwiatkowski)

Starting a business is hard. Starting a music-focused business can be even harder when it comes to tight budgets.  Music businesses must learn to balance their affinity for helping musicians with the reality of the cost of doing business. Come by The Music District to hear from local professionals that have been able to create and sustain music related businesses over the long-term.  Bring your curiosities and questions to learn about music entrepreneurship.

Startup Music Software Stories (John Dawes, Cohere Alumnus, Rob Viola’s Company Vionza, Current Cohere Member)

This panel will feature stories and experiences of music software’s creative leaders.  This is an opportunity to both meet and learn from the folks that make great ideas great.


How to Self-Publish a Book Without Losing Your Shirt or Soul (Ariana Friedlander, Recent Cohere Graduate)

Ariana will share the story of how she applied Lean Startup Principles to write and self-publish her first book, A Misfit Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Business Your Way so it was profitable within a few weeks of it’s release. She will then challenge attendees to begin re-imagining their idea with a Lean Startup lens and provide insight into how to maintain your soul while steadying yourself for success. This engaging and fun talk is relevant to anyone embarking on a creative endeavor that is entrepreneurial in nature.

Meet the Female Founders (Maria Gregori, Cohere Alumnae)

The Typo That Cost $620 Million (Molly McCowan, Current Cohere Member)
What do NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. government have in common? They’ve all paid the price of a missing hyphen, misplaced comma, or rogue letter.
Hear the true stories of companies that have lost millions of dollars, trashed their reputations, and even gone out of business because of one typo.
In today’s world of instant connection, Autocorrect, and the ubiquitous screenshot, one mistake can spread around the world and take on a life of its own—with just the click of a button.
Learn why it’s worth the time and money to hire a copyeditor or proofreader to look over your company’s written content (including proposals, whitepapers, contracts, blog posts, email newsletters, and marketing collateral) before you click “send.”

Happy Hour Networking for Musicians at Cohere Bandwidth (Angel Kwiatkowski, Tim Massa, Current Cohere Members)

(free beer/drinks)
2014-12-09 08.48.12

Mark Your Calendars: Denver Coworking Week Is Coming!

Denver Coworking Week

Coworking, as you know, is ALL about community, and that community doesn’t stop at the borders of your neighborhood or city.

We’ve got great friends and allies in the Denver coworking community, and love to support or join in their community-building efforts whenever possible. That’s why we’re excited to announced the first ever Denver Coworking Week coming up next month!

Denver Coworking Week is happening May 6-10. Experience events & coworking for free at all six alliance locations!

The event is a function of Denver Coworks, an alliance of coworking spaces in Denver that are working to make our communities stronger while building awareness of the exciting coworking movement. Businesses choosing collaboration instead of competition? Way to practice what you preach, Denver!

Denver Coworking Week is your chance to visit six unique Denver coworking spaces, while meeting lots of smart, talented people and maybe learning a thing or two yourself. Each day will offer workshops, meet and greets, space tours, and lots of high fives. It all culminates on Friday May 10th with a kickball tournament…and who doesn’t love kickball?!

You can attend individual events that interest you or grab a passport that gets you into all of the weeks events. Check out the entire schedule at!



Local Business Spotlight: KDragonfly, An Agile Talent Network

kdragonfly logo


Coworking is about people. Yes, it’s also about productivity, and community and collaboration. But without people, it’s just a space with desks and wifi. When you add people, connections become possible. And it’s these connections that make independent professionals so powerful and successful.

We do a pretty good job of forging our own connections at Cohere, but if there’s one thing I swear by, it’s using an expert whenever there’s one available. I recently had the pleasure of stumbling upon a local, woman-owned company in our area that specializes in putting people and projects together. Called KDragonfly, this people-centered effort believes strongly that the way we work is changing, and they want to help Northern Colorado professionals lead the charge.

If you’re looking to land more gigs, or collaborate with local independent professionals outside the Cohere family, this could be the resource you’ve been waiting for!

Interested? Here’s what you need to know:

Q. What makes Kdragonfly different from other Contracting websites?

A. Kdragonfly recognizes the importance of 1099 Compliance and has built Vetting into our Guru Profile process. In addition, Kdragonfly personally vets any Guru Member who signs up for the Best Package. Look for the shaded dragonflies. Kdragonfly is powered by people. Gig Managers and Guru Coaches assist Gurus and Employers with customized, solutions.

Q. What if I just need help getting set up as a contract worker, aka freelancer?

A. The Kdragonfly Contractor’s Tool Kit can help get your business set up and provide tips and tools to spur ongoing success. The Kdragonfly Contractor’s Tool Kit is included with the Guru Better and Best packages but can also be purchased as a stand alone download for $49. Included in the Tool Kit are business forms and templates to help you set up your business and perform on a 1099 Contract basis. The Tool Kit also offers information on invoicing, insurance, tax filings, and business planning to help with business sustainment.

Q. How much does it cost to search for local professionals or post a gig?

A. Kdragonfly packages start at $149 a month, but for a LIMITED TIME you can take advantage of their Launch Package for absolutely no charge. Test drive the service until 5/1/2013 with the ability to post 3 gigs, unlimited guru search capability, and the ability to contact gurus directly for FREE!

Got more questions? Contact KDragonfly at, 970.325.5080, or follow on Facebook.

We Need YOU To Help Build A Wicked-Awesome Coworking Wiki!


Think about some of the words we use to describe the awesomeness of coworking:







We love coworking because it’s always new. Unlike a coffee shop, which is always a coffee shop, or a  home office, which is always lonely, a coworking space evolves into what we need it to be on a daily basis. Exposed to this marvelous flexibility, most of us laugh at the idea of returning to the isolation of a traditional office.

But what about the rest of the world? Millions of freelancers and entrepreneurs are still trapped within the confines of old ideas about where work can happen. These brilliant minds needs to be set free. They need to hear the gospel of coworking. And that means you have to become a missionary.

The Coworking Wiki is how a lot of people discover coworking (it’s consistently in the top 3 search results for “coworking” online). It gets about 500 web hits a day, and right now it doesn’t make a very good impression.

The Wiki was meant to grow the movement by sharing “Getting Started” tips, strategies and business models for space owners, and collaborative tools, but many of its sections are empty or incomplete. There are tons of broken links and outdated contact information. It has some great resources, but they are hard to find. Coworkers around the world have decided that we can do better.

The Coworking Wiki Upgrade Project is an international, collaborative effort to rebuild the public wiki into something that will be easy-to-use, useful, and inspiring.

Here are the Project’s ambitious goals:

A New, Map-Based Coworking Directory

Resources for Present and Potential Coworkers

Resources for Space Owners and Catalysts

A Platform for Greater Collaboration

Improved Organization, Layout, and Usability

Who’s going to do all the hard work it will take to accomplish these goals, you might ask? Well, that’s where you come in. Here are two different ways you can help.

1. Volunteer your time and skills to clean up some key areas of the Coworking Wiki. Sarah Cox of Cospace is coordinating wiki volunteers, and so email her if you have some time to chip in.

2. Donate money. Even just $10 goes a long way toward making sure this project is successful. Your donation provides for project management and oversight, community outreach and involvement efforts, and the development of new technologies, like the redesigned Coworking Directory. None of this would be possible without you. To say thank you, the Coworking Wiki Team will list you on the donor page, give you a twitter  shout-out, and mail you some schwag .

Want to learn more about the Project, Timeline & Budget, and the Team that’s making it all happen? Click here. You can also get updates about progress on the Project’s blog.

Image via Chris Owens/Flickr

Spring It On! Top 5 Ways To Be More Productive

spring time pinwheels

Happy First Day of Spring! It’s a fresh, new season, and that means it’s time to de-clutter both your space and your mind so you can be more efficient throughout the workday. We took some time to compile our collective business “best practices” to work—and from our desks to yours—here’s our Top 5 Ways to Be More Productive at Work.

1. Clean Up Your Work Space: You can’t be productive when you’re surrounded by chaos. If your desk is  buried in papers, books, power cords, and unread mail, you’re going to feel distracted and boxed in. Bonus: if you don’t feel like cleaning, just come work at Cohere, where the desks are always clutter free!

2. Set Manageable Goals: This probably sounds obvious, but how many of us actually begin the day with a clear strategy for productivity? Make a list of small, easy to accomplish goals that can be tackled as soon as you sit down. Don’t overwhelm yourself with large bulk tasks that you know you can’t do in a single sitting. Crossing things off the list will motivate you to do more.

3. Start A Social Media Diet: How many of you start your day by sleepily opening email and dicking around on social media until you remember something that needed to be done 10 minutes ago? Social media is fun and for many, a necessary part of marketing our businesses. But it can also be a huge time sink and distraction. Find tools that will allow you to schedule business-related social media posts throughout the day, so you can keep the tab closed for most of it. Set boundaries as to when and how much time you will spend monitoring your profiles, so productivity continues uninterrupted.

4. Track Your Time: The level of productivity you achieve is not directly proportionate with the amount of time you spend staring at your screen. The key is to be more mindful of your time and understanding your own internal work flow. Using a time tracking tool can help you understand how and when you work, so that you can make the most of your time. Check out Last5 (created by a San Francisco coworker!) a time tracking tool that improves mindfulness by managing and recording where your attention goes when you’re working on the computer. Tracking your time also makes invoicing way easier.

5. Delegate and Collaborate: News Flash – You can’t do everything. As your business grows, you’ll find yourself turning down work because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And that blows. But why limit yourself when there’s an entire community of coworkers that can be your wingmen (and wingwomen)?! Instead of turning down that new project, think about delegating some of the tasks to a coworker who’s going through a dry spell. If the project’s scope exceeds your capabilities, think about collaborating with one or more coworkers to provide comprehensive services your client wasn’t expecting. You’ll forge new working relationships, and everyone gets a slice of the spoils. #win.

How productive have you been this week? Do you have more productivity tips to share? Go ahead and share them in the comments below!

Image via Flickr/Pink Sherbet Photography


4 Factors That Prove Coworking is a Way of Life

I’ve been thinking about what environmental and personality factors make coworking attractive for some and utterly horrifying for others. A text from a homeless friend early this morning helps illustrate what I’ve been thinking AND that these concepts span across all situations making coworking less of an office trend and more of a way of life.

Text message I got: “I felt weird about going in to Wal-Mart this morning to brush my teeth. When I got to the men’s room, I found a small Chinese man already in there taking a bath in the sink. So I’m like screw it, I’m ALL IN too.  I met a total stranger and now we might become roommates!”

What does this story have to do with coworking? It might be hard to tell at first glance but hang with me a bit longer.

Fulfillment of a need: my friend and his budding roommate needed to take baths and brush their teeth. They went to the same place to do it. In coworking, members need a place to get stuff done and they all come to a shared coworking space.

A container for those actions: when you’re homeless, getting a shower is just a matter of finding a public restroom that works. Coworkers need wifi, desks, chairs and a sprinkling of other people. Coworking spaces are the container.

Something in common: it was easy for my friend to join in the restroom hygiene routine because someone else was already doing it. It normalized the behavior! Coworkers attach to a coworking community faster when they find things in common with one another like the same client problems or the inability to get off social media when procrastinating!

A sense of adventure and openness: taking a sink bath isn’t anyone’s first preference but because both my friend and the man were OPEN to what might happen they will probably end up mutually solving their housing problem by sharing resources (rent). Coworkers who merely want a desk are unlikely to enjoy the experience of coworking. Coworkers who remain adventurous and open to what *might* happen themselves collaborating and having richer experiences within the community.

If you need a place to go, want people to have something in common with and have even a little adventure/openness in you please don’t put off trying us out! We won’t be bathing in the sink but we might be coloring pictures of unicorns. Are you willing to make coworking your way of life?

Join us for our Fall Potluck on Friday 10/14 from 6p-8p.

Image credit: mathplourde





Why Private Offices Crush The True Spirit Of Community

Private Office Keep Out

Several years ago, I asked my mom where she keeps the plastic wrap for leftovers. She replied, “I don’t believe in it.” My initial reaction was that she was crazy! It obviously exists! You can buy it and lots of people use it every day. She said, “well, I don’t really care about those people, it has never worked for me.”

Mom, I love ya.

When people ask me where our private offices are at Cohere I now reply, “I don’t believe in them.” Sure, hoards of coworking spaces have cropped up that provide a mix of private and open spaces. They probably make a nice rent from those boxes with doors, but private offices impede collaboration and crush the idea of community that coworking is designed to foster. Here’s how:

Physical Barriers To Creativity: Let’s start with the simple stuff- doors and walls make it harder to innovate and be creative with any sort of spontaneity. Think back to your office job…how did you feel when a problem or question forced you to knock on the boss’s door? Intimidated? Unwanted? Annoyed? While not so pronounced, private work areas in a coworking space conjure up the same feelings. Instead of allowing the physical density of true coworking to encourage ideas and natural sharing, doors and walls require people to knock, schedule meetings, and sit on opposite sides of a desk from one another.

Mental Barriers To Collaboration: Did you feel like you could collaborate effortlessly with your boss when he or she sat protected and alone in their corner office? Probably not. Will the brand new freelancer feel like he or she can collaborate effortlessly with the experienced independent or small business sitting in that protected corner office? Probably not.

Status Symbols: The beauty of coworking at Cohere is that no one has a corner office,  a special rare-wood desk or a gold plaque on their workspace. Seasoned freelancers sit right next to broke freelancers who are still trying to decipher a LLC from a sole-prop. Independents making 6-figures are free to ask questions and toss around ideas with newbies that are still looking for their second client. Sure, the established freelancers could probably afford their own office space, they’ve just acknowledged that that the richness of their community experience would diminish because of it.

Have and Have Not Mentality: The traditional workforce has conditioned us to believe that “when you make it, they give you a private office.” The oak desk, brass nameplate, and corner office are no more than the white collar equivalent to a dick measuring contest. Do private offices really make the people who sit in them more productive or professional? Doubtful. While it might not be so pronounced, this damaging mental caste system is resurrected in coworking spaces that segregate the work area.

I’ve visited more than a few spaces where true coworking was surrounded by private offices. Those who could afford it scurried away to their cubbies and closed the door, completely ignoring the potential for collaboration, creativity, and hell– just general socialization, that was swirling around in the middle. Likewise, coworkers in the middle sections kept to themselves, knowing that they were a different “class” of worker and feeling like their work wasn’t important enough for a door… which leads me to:

Doors are bullshit: We only have 3 of them at Cohere, one for the phone room, one for the conference room and one for the toilet. Doors are made to shut things out, and/or protect you from what’s on the other side. So unless there’s gonna be profanity, a power-point, or poop involved, it doesn’t need a door.

What do you think about private offices? Are they evil or necessary? Do they crush the true spirit of coworking or provide a place for the community to grow? Share your thoughts in a comment.

Image Credit: Flickr – annette62

My coworking internship at Cohere

Cohere Intern Betsy Brookshire

Betsy: Cohere intern

Two days prior to being hired at Cohere in Fort Collins I had never even heard of the concept of coworking. My coming to be an intern at Cohere can be described in two ways: 1) pure luck; and 2) a perfect example of one of the many benefits of coworking.

My story begins with getting an email from CSU with a job posting for an internship at Articulate City, an arts and culture social club in Fort Collins. I was immediately impressed with a business that puts “the art in party”. After a few exchanges of emails I was offered an interview.

The interview took place at the quaint little coworking space in Old Town Fort Collins known as Cohere. At this time, I had no idea what coworking was and certainly had no idea how much it was going to benefit me in the very near future. For as it turns out, I did not get the intern gig at Articulate City. But because these lovely ladies were part of the Cohere community, they knew that Angel, the Madame of Cohere, was also seeking an intern. And, because they’re awesome, they were kind enough to forward my e-mail and cover letter to her and suggest I may be a good fit for Cohere. So, included in my rejection letter from one business was a referral to another great business. And I had a message from Angel waiting in my inbox asking me to come in for an interview. Let me tell you, being offered a job immediately following the rejection of another definitely takes away the pain.

So I ended up getting an internship at a place I didn’t even know existed, a place that did something I knew nothing about. In my first few weeks at Cohere, I’ve been privileged enough to meet and witness over thirty members with different job duties and interests working independently together. And as a graduating senior who will soon be venturing out into the bleak job market, it is extremely encouraging to see people successfully working for themselves and loving their jobs.

Why Niche and How to Get Started

Niche statements for freelancers

So…how’s that niche statement for your business coming along? “What’s a niche statement?!” you ask? Well, I suggested a couple weeks ago that finding your niche should be a New Year’s resolution. And I’m still curious if you’ve thought about yours.

Why nicheing out matters.

This may seem like an exercise in semantics or in marketing—but I promise you, having a niche statement will help you grow your business. How? Because not only does it help you narrow in on the core of what you currently do or want to be doing—it also helps other people remember and understand what you do. When you can succinctly and easily tell someone you’ve just met what it is you do, they’re more likely to remember it—and keep you top of mind the next time they need a designer/developer/writer/etc.—than if you spend 5 or 6 minutes fumbling around, trying to explain your business.

Nicheing out isn’t easy—but here’s how to get started.

Why do you think copywriters charge a bundle to help a company write a tagline? The tagline may be only a handful of words—but those words are so telling, so important, that it takes crafting, honing, splicing & dicing to get just the right tagline. Your niche statement will take a little bit of thought, too. On the start-up and marketing blog A Smart Bear, there’s a series of 10 questions start-ups should ask themselves monthly (and, honestly, most of these are questions you should consider asking yourself as a freelancer or independent, too). Go check out questions #1 and #2.  I think they’ll really help you create your niche statement.

And it will behoove you to think about this…because there will soon be a wall in Cohere that will feature your photo, name and niche statement. (Sounds awesome, right? It will be!) This wall will offer another way for you to get to know your coworkers. And, perhaps, get new business.

Stay tuned to the blog on Wednesday for more about niche statements. And in the mean time, share in the comments section what your niche statement is. Not sure yet? Share what your struggle is in developing it. Who knows–other Cohere members just might be able to help you!

Our blog is pretty awesome.
What are you looking for?

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay in touch with news and events from the Cohere community with a monthly subscription to our newsletter.

The only spam we like is fried. We assume you feel the same.