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Archive for March, 2007

The Silver Lining on Indoor Playground

The past 7 days has been eventful when it comes to Indoor Playground. As many of you have been tracking with, we got covered in Business Week, ABC Global News, and One Degree here in Toronto. In addition I had an interview with the National Post yesterday which I believe will be in print on Monday. It has been a wild journey trying to experiment and discover our way since we opened just over a month ago. It cost quite a lot in the renovations even though we bootstrapped as much as possible to keep the prices affordable to the community.

We have been hoping for a few people to partner with us and share this risk. Today that hope became a reality as Carissa Reiniger from Silver Lining signed up as our first strategic partner who will share the cost and risk of making this venture successful. I met Carissa several months ago and have been inspired by her vision and commitment to making the new entrepreneur and small business successful. I have to admit that she has about twice as much energy as I do and seems to channel it in the right direction. She has one of the best lead generating business development solutions for the small business that I have seen and is proving it to be working with their rapid expansion throughout N.America. We believe our partnership with SilverLining will prove beneficial as it will not only bring in new energy, insight, and expertise, but will take us beyond having a predominantly male influence and membership.

Silver Lining is not exclusively woman led (kudos to joshua and the lads) but will definitely help balance out the hormones and bring an important influence within what we do. All said and done it feels great to have someone who is willing to stand beside us that will take a financial risk to benefit the entrepreneurial community within Toronto.

We are still scheming and instigating with a few other key players who have some clever ideas about how we can give more to the community here in Toronto. This is turning into a lot of fun

This post was written by Mark Dowds

Posted on March 6th, 2007 by mark

Glassrocket

Coming soon.

Posted on March 6th, 2007 by Adam

QA Room

Coming soon.

Posted on March 6th, 2007 by Adam

Service Cloud

Coming soon.

Posted on March 6th, 2007 by Adam

Indoor Playground

Coming soon.

Posted on March 6th, 2007 by Adam

Indoor Playground Hits the News

The value of co-working space has hit the media radar. Check out this ABC News clip and Business Week article that mention Indoor Playground. This comes on the one-month anniversary of Indoor Playground’s opening.

Six months ago Mark and I made the commitment to create a place downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs to work and connect with others. This involved signing a lease and putting up the funds to renovate a pretty raw space. We were excited and sure that we would get sponsors from large companies, angel investors, and others who were committed to Toronto’s entrepreneur community.

Fast-forward 3 months. Renovation costs ended up being triple what we originally expected, all the large companies we thought were interested in helping small business turned us down, and everyone else we were counting on to pitch in financially lost interest. Mark and I had that emergency meeting where we had to make the call: Were we going to continue to walk this financial road alone or bail? We coughed up some more money to complete the renovations and carry the rent for a few more months and held our breath.

Though we never did get financial assistance, many in the community helped with spreading the word, donating furniture, and cleaning the place up for launch day. Our first few members signed up at the open house and we purchased a chair and desk for each of them. The most rewarding moment was when we got the feedback, “I love the space.”

The experience we went through to setup Indoor Playground would have left many startups bankrupt. The Creation Step mission is to remove obstacles so people can break free from the misery of working in a cubicle 9-5, doing something they hate, and counting down the days to retirement when they hope to unlock all those ideas and passions. Our goal with Indoor Playground was to create a co-working space for people who had the courage to go out on their own.

With the community’s help, we hope that Indoor Playground will play a small part in the birth of many new businesses and the dreams that come with them. Thank you to everyone who encouraged us along the way and those early adopters who joined in faith.

Posted on March 2nd, 2007 by Bobby
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