Friday, February 18, 2011

I just posted this on Craig's List:

SBCC's Denver IDEA Cafe Meetup Group

Since 1994, we help people who are starting down a new path with a new project or campaign, a new career or new business.

Each week we invite people to share their career, business, and political startup experience and we brainstorm. We've heard from people such as: Dan Brogan, 5280 Magazine; Jared Polis, entrepreneur and U.S. Representative; Kenton Kuhn, Black-tie; Paul Lewan, Lewan & Associates; John Youngquist, Princ...

SBCC's IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop

Friday, February 18, 2011 at 2:00PM

Since 1994, we help people turn their inspiration into effective action.

Now we are part of the Small Business Chamber of Commerce (to become an invitation to our monthly "Big Event", free to exhibitors and free to those who attend, see our SBCC site or our

Anyone who is starting a new direction, starting a new career, new project or campaign, or starting a new business is invited to join us.

How do we help? We share startup experience and we do brainstorming.

Right after this meeting, if you are interested we give you information about how to start a mastermind group with your friends or to find a group that's already starting that would be helpful to you at our Community Room College, see

If we are successful, you will be too busy to come back to the Denver IDEA Cafe n...

See the full event details, including location, at

Check out what members are saying about SBCC's Denver IDEA Cafe Meetup Group:

"I would recommend to anyone is considering a startup and desires input/brainstorming in a group setting. Just come with a concise question related to your business that you want addressed." - William Sturm

"I want to help it grow" - Richard Oppenheim

"America is made up of primarily small business so forums like these IDEA Cafes are essential to our sound economic future of the USA." - Patrick B Dolan

"Great group, interesting speakers." - Mark D. Trenner

"First time attendee, but I like the concept of like minded people sharing experiences." - Russ Randall
•Location: Capitol Hill or South Denver

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ari Armstrong recently attended a Denver IDEA Cafe, and he produced this video of me talking with him about your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce:

Here's an interesting exchange of Facebook messages yesterday with John Brackney, my Facebook friend and President of South Metro Chamber of Commerce. I've met with John before in his office, and he spoke at the Denver IDEA Cafe and the Denver Startup Forum.

John S Wren February 16 at 7:36am

I'm on the 1090AM radio show Business for Breakfast (see link) this morning at 9:35 a.m., I'm going to talk about the Denver IDEA Cafe, Franklin Circles, and our effort to encourage local chambers across the state and beyond to start similar activities as an alternative to SBDC's (the SBA promoted Small Business Development Centers.)

John Brackney February 16 at 7:49am Reply• Report

John, What do you mean by "encourage local chambers across the state and beyond to start similar activities as an alternative to SBDC's (the SBA promoted Small Business Development Centers.)"? I'm not opposed to the activities that you are doing - are you sure you mean alternative to SBDC's? Please advise as I have concerns... .

John S Wren February 16 at 8:02am John, I'm not the only one talking about the fact that an alternative to the SBDC's is necessary. As you and I have discussed, Dr. Amar Bhide has research this extensively, the publisher of Inc Magazine has said Bhide's The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses is the most important book written about startup, in it he demonstates that the venture capital approach to startup, formal market research and formal strategic planning, just isn't the way more than a handful of the million or so new businesses that start each year actually get underway. As you said at the startup forum a few months back, what do you need to create a business? A customer! :) Hope your able to listen to the show today, or even better, join us for the Franklin Circle Alpha Group tomorrow, is that a possiblity? .

John S Wren February 16 at 8:03am Not saying either/or, but both/and. There is more than one way to skin a cat. :) .

John Brackney February 16 at 8:14am Reply• Report

May just be semantics but "alternative" in the context of your writing implies a better choice or that there is something wrong with SBDC's. If you mean "both/and" I'd suggest that you not make the comparison or use another word like "in addition" or simply not bring up the comparision. Thanks for the invite, can't make it but I'm always happy to speak with you John... .

John S Wren February 16 at 8:21am John, from what you and I have discussed about your SBDC, and from what I know about you, your SBDC doesn't follow lockstep with what the SBA prescribed methods. So in the case of the South Metro Chamber the IDEA Cafe/ Franklin Circle compliments what you are already doing. My hope is that what we are doing will encourage more local chambers to follow your lead. If market research and formal planning worked as well as the Small Business Administration seems to think it does, we'd have a planned economy, not a market economy. So looking at all local chambers in Colorado and beyond, what we are doing is a true alternative to those SBDCs that aren't following South Metros lead, what you are doing with yours that gets away from the SBA prescription. Does that make sense? Thanks for helping me get ready for the radio interview. :) My intention is to be helpful to local chambers like yours, help potential members to understand the differences beyond geography. .

John Brackney February 16 at 8:29am Reply• Report

I think I understand your thought process John... sorry I don't have time to respond now as I'm late for a meeting. Talk again soon...
Are you starting in a new direction with your career? Starting a new project or campaign? Starting a new business?
Tomorrow at 2 p.m. the SBCC's (Small Business Chamber of Commerce's) Denver and South Denver sessions for the IDEA Cafe meets, and at 4 p.m. the SBCC's Community Room College will have another free session for people who are interested in starting or joining a Franklin Circle, more info and optional RSVP at
I just read Scott Belsky's new book Making Ideas Happen-- Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision & Reality. He supports being in a Franklin Circle type group, "Circles are relevant and hugely beneficial for all leaders with ideas." 
If you'd like help starting or joining a Franklin Circle, join us tomorrow for an IDEA Cafe and/or the Community Room College session. Can't make it tomorrow? Contact me and I'll help you directly, (303)861-1447 or
Let's get started!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm joining Wally and Tom on Business for Breakfast, Denver 1060AM, Wednesday, February 16 at 9:35 a.m., to listen online, click link on

We'll be talking about the plan to encourage local chambers of commerce across Colorado and beyond to offer IDEA Cafes and Franklin Circles as an alternative to the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) promoted by most of them now.

What's happening with the new Startup America?  Forbes writer Maurine Farrell wonders if it's really just a bailout for venture funds. I'd like the program to take a hard look at the Small Business Administration, especially it's SCORE program.

Starting in a new directions? Have a friend who is? This Friday we'll have two IDEA Cafes here in Denver, info about both of them and optional RSVPs on

Life's short, let's get started. But for right now, the night is late, let's get some sleep. :)