Featured Startup Week Fort Collins Must-Attend Sessions

Gosh, half the battle of being in a tight-knit community is Just Showing Up. That’s what we need next week. All sorts of Coherians have put their hesitation on the back burner and their talents on stage to create amazing workshops for you to attend. FOR FREE as part of Startup Week.

Here are direct links to register for the free events, workshops and classes being put on by Coherians next week! If a session is full, go ahead and register for the wait list AND show up to the session. Only about 50% of people show up to the event so you can almost always get in even if you are wait listed.

Monday 2/26 Coworking Panel: Supercharge your business and have fun doing it. Feat. Angel, Chrysta, Mark and Beth http://sched.co/DbmH.

Tuesday 2/27 Voice and Visuals: Demystifying the Branding Process. Feat. Becca http://sched.co/DbmO.

Tuesday 2/27 Pricing 101: How to not be broke. Feat. Angel behind the scenes changing the entire stock presentation she was given. http://sched.co/DbmT

Weds 2/28 Mega Software Meetup. Feat. all our software meetup friends who use Cohere on evenings and weekends. http://sched.co/Ds6G

Weds 2/28 Meetings People Want to Attend. Feat. Carrie Bennett (session is at Cohere how convenient!http://sched.co/DbmU

Thursday 3/1 Selling Your Services Without Being Salesy. Feat. Chrysta http://sched.co/DbmJ

Thursday 3/1 She Leads Giant Happy Hour for Women sponsored by and happening at Cohere. Feat. Chrysta http://sched.co/Deuo

Friday 3/2 Free Coworking Day at Cohere Feat. All of Us http://sched.co/DMjI

Friday 3/2 Overcoming Imposter Syndrome. Feat. Chrysta (session at Cohere) http://sched.co/DbmL

Friday 3/2 The First 7 Years: What I Wish I had Known When I Started My Business. Feat. Jeremy (session is at Cohere) http://sched.co/DbmM

Friday 3/2 Revitalize Your Illustration Vocation. Feat. Courtney (session at Cohere) http://sched.co/DbmS

See the full calendar of events here https://startupfoco.com/schedule/

10 Must-Know Facts About Networking (And Why Coworking Does It Better)

networking and coworking

For freelancers and small business owners, networking is absolutely essential. Getting to know people–what they do and what they need–is the fastest way to build connections, and by extension your potential customer base.

The only problem traditional networking SUCKS. Business card exchanges, 5 second elevator speeches, feeling like you’re trapped at a used car salesman’s annual conference–all of this makes me want to gag.

Unfortunately, nothing is more effective at building your professional reputation and creating customers like face-to-face interaction. The good news is, thanks to a wealth of communication technologies, traditional networking events aren’t the only way to get to know someone.

The infographic below breaks down some interesting statistics about the impact of face-to-face networking, how the mobile workforce is changing the look of networking, and the types of situations that demand a handshake vs. those that can be accomplished over the phone or on a video chat.

But before you start scrolling through all that visual goodness, just remember: coworking is the ultimate networking event. Every time you come into Cohere, or visit another of the thousands of coworking spaces around the world, you’re expanding your collection of contacts, colleagues, and friends. Better yet, you’re not doing it in a contrived, forced, squint-at-their-nametag-and-pretend-to-be-interested kind of way. You’re doing it in a totally casual, genuine way.

Coworkers get to know each other as friends and office mates, with no hidden agendas. We ask about each other’s projects, clients, and experiences, and as we grow closer as community, there are often reasons to refer work or collaborate. It’s 21st century networking that’s effortless and efficient. And doesn’t make me want to gag. Wins all around.

Face to Face Networking
Source: GreatBusinessSchools.org

Did you like that? Here are more coworking resources that don’t suck.

Image via opensourceway

Unsolicited Advice for Displaced Galvanize Coworkers

So your coworking space is closing. That super sucks. You’re all entrepreneurs and self starters: problem solvers of the quickest kind. I’m hear to say to you STOP. Do not take action on a lease right now.

I’ve been working on coworking and community in Fort Collins and around the world since 2009. That’s three years before Galvanize incorporated for its first space. At the time of Galvanize’s closing, Cohere was/is on a wait list for membership. I think I’m worth listening to…at least when it comes to coworking in Fort Collins.

Please Hold

I was on hold with Comcast but I use this photo every time I want to indicate that I am exasperated.

Do not make decisions right now.

You’ve had a big crushing blow to your heads when it comes to office space. The great news is, you can office from literally anywhere these days. You could invite your employees into your living room and probably get in a solid day of work. A small gap in well-equipped office space is not a crisis. Spaceships won’t fall out of orbit. DO. NOT. MAKE. DECISIONS. RIGHT. NOW.

All the displaced coworkers need to take a collective deep breath and process what the fuck happened in your spaces and communities. Because you didn’t own the space, you might not understand why your space is closing. On paper, your space closed due to lack of money. In my mind, your space closed due to lack of community and an overzealous interpretation of the market research about how many people wanted to pay $26,000 to learn how to code. The fact that you didn’t know your space was closing until you got the announcement is proof that your space lacked one of the key values of coworking: transparency.

Do not sign a lease and especially don’t try to keep the Galvanize lease.

That Galvanize building will be one of THE most expensive buildings in Old Town. You don’t spend a few million on a renovation and thousand dollar desks to cut a great deal to the poor displaced members. That space has NOTHING to do with Galvanize’s success or failure. Okay, I’ll admit it was absurdly expensive but the space didn’t do much to foster community. At all. Don’t even get me started on the caste system of placing people on higher levels based on how much they could afford. Ugh.

If you love your current startup or business, you will hate being a Community Manager.

I bet you want to start your own coworking space. I bet that feels easy since you’ve been a member of one for a little while. Being a member of a space and running a space are really different. It took me TWO full time years to get Cohere off the ground. Even now, I have a small army of part time people to help me attend to all the details of our relatively small community. If you don’t want to abandon your other job, do NOT start a coworking space. Also, there is far less money in coworking than you might think.

Explore your existing coworking options first.

There are at least three shared spaces in Fort Collins that are not at capacity. Please give those a chance before trying to start your own. The Articulate, Digital Workshop Center, and Office Evolution. The fact that you were all in the same world (startup and tech) is actually a disservice to your companies. You’ll grow more when surrounded by people in different stages of growth including those people who have dialed in their businesses and are NOT in startup mode as well as the freelancers that are keeping everyone’s small businesses afloat.

cohere-member-wallHire me so you can have ^^ this many friends in your coworking space.

You don’t have to do this alone. I will encourage and teach you how to engage your budding community before you sign a lease so we don’t have to read about your closure in 18 months. Email me right away to get my $500 one-on-one consulting package. It even includes math worksheets and realistic member growth rates! There’s also another compelling reason to email me right now but it’s a secret until January 1.



Shit I Never Thought I’d Have to Buy This Coworking Space

A surprise county tax form afforded me the opportunity to review every purchase I’ve made for the Cohere coworking spaces in the past 5 years. Some stuck out amid my former business plan list of what a coworking space needed (wifi, coffee, desks, chairs, power strips) In no particular order I present to you a cautionary listicle of shit you might have to buy for your coworking space:

12 Forks

A dual plug digital power cycler for Unifi Pro wifi access points

12 Forks

Unicorn pinataFullSizeRender_1

Eleventy hundred packs of Command adhesives

The world’s secretly tiniest and least useful trash/recycling bin

Moon Gels

Chia Obama Handmade Decorative Planter, Determined Pose: Priceless

Preformed coin wrappers, 100 count, quarters (of which I have used exactly 8)

1 pack multi-color star stickers

3 Tripp Lite N201-020-GY Cat6 Gigabit Gray Snagless Molded Patch Cable RJ45M/M – 20 feet

4 Forks

TV Cart / Stand for LCD, LED, Plasma, Flat Panel TVs with 3″ Wheels, mobile fits 32″ to 50″: bomb proof

200 million Tripp Lite PS2408 Power Strip 120V 5-15R 8 Outlet 15ft Cord Vertical Metal 0URM

400 ForksFullSizeRender

Lite Brites: 2

12 More Forks

Recessed Door Reinforcer 1-3/4-Inch Thick by 2-3/8-Inch Backset 2-1/8-Inch Bore, Stainless Steel

Music Note Black Poly Resin Coated Tin Cookie Cutter 3.5″ for use in making Cohere Bandwiches obv.


Polaroid High Capacity Replacement Battery For The Polaroid Instant Digital Camera

Portable Foldable Universal Mini Desk Table Stand Holder For iPad: code for world’s cheapest/most effective ipad standFullSizeRender_2

Congratulations (Gold) Award Seals Stickers – 4 stickers per sheet, 8 sheets: I wanted silver. Not gonna lie.

What weird things have you bought for your coworking space?

Tiny Coworking Spaces in Washington, Colorado and New York

Cohere was a tiny coworking space for many years before we became the VC-back multi-location titan that we are now in Fort Collins, Colorado (heavy sarcastic tone). Because of that we take special pride in sussing out the lesser-known tiny and rural coworking locations that you’ve probably never heard about in the New York Times, Entrepreneur or Fast Company publications. Today we’re going from NY to WA and stopping over in Colorado. The moral of the story: ALWAYS look for a coworking space even if you’re off the beaten path.

Carnation, Washington: Tolt Hive

Why Cohere loves them: they started their community in a barn.


Tolt Hive is in the very beginning phases of building our community in Carnation, WA. Located in the heart of a beautiful agricultural valley about 25 miles east of Seattle, Carnation is a quaint town with a walkable neighborhood and numerous trails that lead to amazing views of the Cascades, rivers, and nearby farms just a short distance outside of town.

A small group of us began gathering twice per week in September of 2014 in a barn loft (no joke) in our little town of 2,000 people to test out the idea of coworking. I founded Tolt Hive in January of 2015 and have moved our gatherings to office space in the center of town. We are in the process of negotiating with the space owners to set up a more permanent arrangement at this location.

We currently get together on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m at the following address: 31957 E. Commercial Street, Carnation, WA, 98014. Readers can join our mailing list and get more info at www.tolthive.com.

Paonia, Colorado: The Hive Paonia

Why Cohere loves them: a Cohere member was traveling through and couldn’t wait to come back and tell us that there’s a coworking community of “hippie rafters on the western slope!” 


When The Hive was initially conceived in the spring of 2014, the plan was a far-reaching idealist concept with the intention of bringing the community together, attracting new and amazing people from far reaches, sharing resources and ideas, and collaborating on new ways to create a better future for our local community and the world. Because of overwhelming contributions from our members and the community, we’ve already succeeded , and at a reality-questioning speed!

Beacon, New York: Beahive

Why Cohere loves them: their loquacious description below.


Beahive has been around since 2009.  Many of our Beacon members are émigrés from NYC. They’re the kind of savvy, ambitious creative class habitués you find in cities, but since they’ve escaped the city for a small Hudson Valley river town famous for both its world-class museum Dia:Beacon and Pete Seeger, and galleries and cafes nestled between a mountain and the river, they’re a touch older (average: 30s and 40s vs 20s and 30s) with an admixture of individualistic and communitarian tendencies.

Getting to Cohere: Earth Saving Techniques


Going green is more than a passing trend—it’s just smart business. Cohere is committed to being as environmentally conscious as we can in our 3,000-square-feet of Earth space, and there are lots of ways that coworking can help your small business reduce its own carbon footprint as well.

However, all that saving is for naught if we drive our Unimogs to cowork every day.

There are 3 better ways to get to Cohere or Cothere.

  • Walk. Or as we say in Fort Collins, Bike.
  • Ride the MAX. The Max stops across the street from both Cohere (Mulberry Station) and Cothere (Spring Creek Station) so it’s easy peasy to take. AND you can do something else while you ride like knit or practice your improv or finish that last level of Candy Crush.
  • If you’re a fair-weather walker/biker/busser then take heart. You might only need an occasional car rather than owning your own. Our friends at RelayRides have given us some compelling data on why peer to peer car sharing is good. Or you can just call for a ride here.

Have you used a peer car sharing service in Fort Collins? How was your experience?



Thanks to RelayRides.com for letting us use this graphic!

Image via zoovroo/Flickr

Happy 4th Anniversary Cohere! Let’s Play Alumni Catch-Up

happy anniversary Cohere

That’s right folks, it’s already been FOUR long, wonderful, coworking-filled years since our community officially opened! It’s hard to believe. We started with just a handful of independents working in the loft space on Jefferson Street, and now, Cohere has almost 50 members, we’re charging full steam ahead with Cohere: Bandwidth (our effort to bring shared rehearsal space to the local music scene), and (fingers crossed!) opening a new Midtown location soon.

Thinking about all that’s happened since we became Fort Collins’ first coworking space got me thinking about our alumni. Those members who were there in the early stages, but have moved on to other things or places because of life or work or both!

So I decided to play a little game of Cohere Alumni Catch-up (aka Where are they now?!) Enjoy catching up with your colleagues below, and thank you for supporting this small, woman-owned business. YOU ARE ALL MY FAVORITE!

Cohere Alumni Catch-up (aka Where are they now?!)


Suzanne Akin

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
Freelance graphic design and working on my clothing line, Akinz

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
I’m running my clothing line full time and opened our flagship store in Old Town last August.  

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Lots of them. Either power lunging to Kilwin’s to make up for the salted caramels we were about to eat or the very first Custom Beanie Creation Station setup :)

Member Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane Griesemer

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere? 

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
Work- I am the Director of Product for the Global Accelerator Network, an organization of technology seed accelerators located in over 50 countries. 

Life- I married Eoin, a guy I met on OK Cupid, a dating website I tried because Alex convinced me I should during an afternoon of coworking. I am incubating our first gremlin, due June 2.

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Getting laid off from my shitty, shitty job and driving directly to Cohere to celebrate my new found freedom and bright future. And the people. I love my Coherians.


Beth Buczynski

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
Freelance copywriting/environmental blogging (for WAY too little).

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
Living in Longmont and coworking at the Armory Workspace in Loveland. Still copywriting and blogging about the environment (for MUCH better rates), doing a little editing, and promoting my new book about the sharing economy, “Sharing is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resource through Collaborative Consumption“!

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Night coworking! Cupcake runs. Publishing the coworking ebooks. Hanging Holindaise decorations with Angel and Kevin U.


Lindsay Ogden

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
When I joined Cohere, I was working as a freelance Drupal developer. I had been in Drupal for a little over a year and was still pretty green.

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
I am working as a technical business analyst and product manager in web technologies, unfortunately no longer remote :)

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Learning from other professionals who became my friends. Getting to work with such different people, expand my network of colleagues and friends was invaluable and treasured. A particular memory that stands out is walking to the hot dog stand with friends for lunch.


Alex Chiang

1. What type of work were you doing when you joined Cohere?
Working remotely for Canonical.

2. What are you doing now-work/life?
Living in San Francisco, eating $4 toast, and paying way too much to live in a twitter-sized apartment. On the plus side, it’s always sunny and in the 60s.

3. What is your favorite memory of Cohere?
Culinary camaraderie, whether it was helping the sweet toothers find the perfect gelato or on a more personal note, discovering that Big Al’s would stack as many 60/40 bacon/burger patties on top of each other as you wanted.

Image via macrj


Northern Colorado Small Business Development Events for Spring 2013

support small business

As entrepreneurs, we can’t afford to be stagnant. Like sharks, we must constantly be moving, bettering ourselves and our business practices so that we can retain our advantage over larger, less nimble companies. In order to do that, we have to try new things, meet new people and explore new strategies. Just coming in and working with your peers at Cohere can accomplish that, but exposure to other business development communities here in Colorado can also be helpful.

If you’re looking to attend some events that can answer your small business questions and give you new ideas for growth, here’s a round up of what’s going on in our region this Spring!

Makers & Doers Meetup
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Representing small businesses, creative industries and startups, this group is sure to introduce you to the people, resources and exposure that your small business needs to grow. Makers & Doers is produced by The Space Creators to give Denver’s creative and small business communities a place to converge and reinforce one another. The best part is….the food is on us and there’s no fee to get involved!
Location: Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House on the 16th St. Mall
RSVP at: www.facebook.com/events/157970767696286/

I Need Financing, What Now? 
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
This workshop will assist you in knowing what the banks are looking for in a borrower. You will learn what issues the banks are dealing with on their side of the table and how to approach those challenges. Find out what type of loans fit your situation and how they can be used with an emphasis on Small Business Administration (SBA) lending. Discover what to provide and what to expect when you approach a financial institution to meet your company’s capital needs. Money, you need it to get started, you need it to establish yourself, and you need it to grow, so learn what’s involved with borrowing it!
Speaker: Christina Kraft, Wells Fargo
Location: Larimer SBDC, Key Bank Tower Building, Fort Collins, Colorado
Fee: $ 15.00

So You Want to Start a Business  
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
This class is a prerequisite for start-ups to schedule a counseling session at the Larimer SBDC. Explore the basics of business ownership, including entrepreneurship, planning for a profitable business, pitfalls to avoid and how to reach your customers.
Speaker: John Murphy
Location: Larimer SBDC, Key Bank Tower Building, Fort Collins, Colorado
Fee: $ 15.00

Make it Official 
Thursday, April 25, 2013 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
An early morning two-hour workshop that covers business registration and forms, business entity-type selection and other timely tips every prospective entrepreneur needs before starting a new business venture.
Speaker: Attorney Tom Selken and Teresa Kaufman, CPA
Location: Larimer SBDC, Key Bank Tower Building, Fort Collins, Colorado
Fee: $ 25.00

Boulder Startup Weekend
Friday, April 26, 2013 – Sunday, April 28, 2013 – All Day
Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! Teams will compete at the end of the weekend for fabulous cash and prizes (ok, no cash, but prizes, yes)
Location: Tech Stars, Boulder
Fee: $99

Basics of Bookkeeping: Know Thy Numbers  
Friday, April 26, 2013 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Learn the what, how and why of bookkeeping. Understand what bookkeeping can tell you about your business and how it can help you manage. Learn what data you need to keep track of, how to avoid common mistakes and when to call in a bookkeeper or accountant. Discover effective bookkeeping from chart of accounts to financial statements.
Speaker: Beth Dixon, CPA
Location: Larimer SBDC, Key Bank Tower Building, Fort Collins, Colorado
Fee: $ 40.00

Our community and others very much like ours have been affected by profound violence. Knowledge, Love, and Freedom are essential to a peaceful society. To that end, we’ve gathered some of the best and brightest minds in our community to talk on the topic of Life Worth Living, each speaker taking on the topic in their own unique way.
Location: Avogadro’s Number, Fort Collins
Fee: $20

Image via icommstudios.com

3 Reasons To Grow Your Small Business In A Coworking Space


Are you the next big thing? Has your fledgling company just taken on its first two employees because business is pouring in faster than you can handle it? Right now you’re working around the kitchen table (like those guys up there) but between kids, spouses, and a menagerie of pets, it’s becoming impossible to get anything done.

Or perhaps you’re a seasoned entrepreneur who knows the wisdom of taking it slow, but you lack a network of talented designers and marketers that can help ease your workload. You’ve got the capital for your own office space, but often find yourself meeting clients at coffee shops or working at the library, because you can’t stand the isolation.

You need coworking.

I know, I know. You’ve heard your freelance friends talking about how much they love coworking, but you don’t think it’s for you. You’re not just taking on contract work. You’re building a business. You’ve got proprietary information to protect, and need space for meetings with your 2, 3, or 6 member team.

Coworking is still for you.

According to the hundreds of international coworkers who responded to the 2010/11 Global Coworking Survey…

The following things are important to entrepreneurs and likely, your employees.
86% value flexible work times and the ability to interact with new people
82% value sharing knowledge with others
79% place high value on the random opportunities and discoveries made inside coworking spaces

What benefits can you expect your employees to experience?
85% saw an increase in daily motivation
88% have better interactions with other people
60% organize their working day better so they can relax more at home
86% reported meeting at least 3 helpful acquaintances in the first two months of membership
91% of coworkers are either very satisfied or satisfied with their overall coworking experience
85% plan on staying in their coworking community for at least another year

(OK that’s way more than three reasons…)

Coworking with us at Cohere will unleash the true potential of your employees, and as a result, your company. Instead of limiting your pool of ideas or subcontractors in a tiny office (or kitchen), coworking incubates your business through instant connections to a city-wide network of motivated independent professionals.

In a coworking space, asking for advice, feedback, or parsing out contract work is as hard as turning around in your chair. (The people who can do these things are sitting right next to you, see?) Also, it will give your employees a change of scenery, and a chance to learn from the seasoned designers, marketers, writers, and programmers who work with us every day.

Learn more about the benefits of coworking for small business here, or send us an email about what you’re budget can handle. We’ll work something out.

Image via cyberhill/Flickr

5 Easy Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Entrepreneur

Nature Chair

Earth Day is almost here! This holiday has brought out the green in people since the 1970’s, but one day isn’t enough. The environment is affected most by the little choices we make every day. Planting a tree or recycling more are nice initiatives, but incorporating sustainable practices into our daily and business operations has an even greater impact.

As entrepreneurs we’re very busy, and time is money. You may think that your business is too small to bother about being green, but earth-friendly choices are actually good for the pocket book as well. And getting involved with local green initiatives can be a great way to build a positive reputation and valuable contacts in the community.

5 Easy Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Entrepreneur

1. Go Paperless – Printer paper and ink are an unnecessary expense in this digital world. Except when it’s absolutely essential, create all documents and marketing materials in a digital form, and store them in the cloud. Send and receive virtual faxes rather than paper ones. Send your invoices via email rather than mailing them. Send digital PDF proofs instead of print outs. When you must create a hard copy of something, always print double sided.

2. Go Virtual – It’s nice to have face to face meetings, but driving or flying is expensive and leaves a huge carbon footprint. Thanks to free technologies like Skype or Google+ Hangouts, it’s possible to see and be seen by out of town clients without the hassle of traveling.

3. Go Gasless – Since most of us have local clients, it’s not always smart to avoid face to face meetings. But there’s still no reason to get your car involved. Fort Collins is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, so why use four wheels when two will do? Not only will you save on gas, but you’ll never have to worry about finding a parking spot when you’re running late.

4. Go Shareably – Think before you buy, especially if it’s something that you only need for a few hours or days. Cohere creates the perfect environment for recycling things you no longer need or scoring things that would have otherwise been thrown away. Before buying that new office chair, pedal crank, or bunt pan, throw up a request on the Cohere Facebook Group (if you’re a Cohere member and have not yet been added, tell us!). Chance are, we’ve got one lying around.

5. Go Local – Being an entrepreneur has lots of benefits, not the least of which is complete control of your supply chain and the clients with whom you work. This probably goes without saying, but choosing local businesses for office supplies, catering, web hosting, graphic design, copy writing, marketing, legal advice, or happy hour is the single most important way to go green (Hint: a lot of these business owners sit right next to you!). Keeping it in town enhances the local economy, reduces carbon emissions from shipping, allows you to choose sustainable materials, and builds good karma.

Image via opensourceway/Flickr


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