Bringing it All Together – Part 4

When Richard and I spoke on the phone for the first time it wasn’t some magical “OMG we need to work together immediately” moment, but we definitely clicked. He was in California on business at the time, so we set up a meeting for when he would be back in town.

We had lunch at Sherpa’s and started talking about our concepts. His was based on an internet cafe that he’d helped start and was helping to run in Ukiah, California, called iCup.

The idea behind iCup was to create an internet cafe that brought people together in a space with great lighting, great music, and great food. They provide video games as a way for people to connect for free – as long as the games are multiplayer and age appropriate for the time of day.

As we talked we realized that we could easily combine our two ideas – take iCup and add the idea of research and education. Reward people for learning while also creating a great space for them to come together and just relax.

But it wasn’t just that our ideas meshed. Our reasons for doing what we were doing were also very much in line. We wanted to help create a better community, a better world, by bringing people together.

The most exciting part, though, was that we could easily collaborate on this project since our goals were so similar!

Our first goal was to start gauging interest by potential tenants and figuring out what the building itself would look like internally. We immediately started working with local groups and businesses to find a good mix of tenants that would have synergy with each other and create a stronger whole than the sum of the individual parts.

As we talked about the building we started gaining a lot of interest. This building is so central to Boulder, that everyone we talked to had a deep interest in knowing what we were doing, and had great ideas on what to do in the space.

That enthusiasm still continues today, and still continues to inform our decisions on building amenities, products, and branding. One idea stood above the rest, though, and it has defined the core of the building.

The idea came from Alyssa Reese of fleetCreature at a great event called Pitch to Developers hosted by Alon Katz. But exactly what the idea is and how it changed things is something you’ll have to wait until next time to find out.

To be continued…

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