Friday, March 25, 2011

I just made the following release to the media about your new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce:

March 25, 2011

Contact: John Wren
Cell (720)495-4949
The free IDEA Café Startup Workshop, an app for local chambers says its founder John Wren, combines with Franklin Circle peer advisory groups and the Denver Startup Forum with the intention to become a national organization to help startups.

Denver—John Wren, Founder of the new Small Business Chamber of Commerce announced today that the group is adopting what some call the Golden Rule as their motto, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the foundation of many ancient religions.

“People ask me why I’ve donated so much time since 1979. This new motto sums up what’s been motivating me. I’m trying to give people the help I wish that I’d received when I started my business career and when I got started in politics,” said Wren.

For over 10 years the long-time the community activist and business consultant has been working to help people start new careers in business and politics. Now he’s looking for volunteers to help him share what he’s learned with local chambers of commerce across Colorado and beyond.

“If we are successful, we’ll dramatically reduce the unemployment rate,” claims Wren. “We’ll also get more informed participation from newcomers in the 2012 Colorado Caucuses.”

Robert Schwab, former editor of a leading Colorado business magazine, recently visited a couple of the IDEA Café Startup Workshops, patterned after those Wren has been organizing and facilitating for over 10 years. “Attendees can take or leave the ideas that cross the table. That way the atmosphere remains informal and encouraging. People come to hear something helpful, not to have their business concept shot down,” said Schwab in the Huffington Post recently. “The nicest idea I took from the cafes was that starting a business is a journey where it's possible to meet helpful fellow travelers. The work remains yours to do. But the best time to start is now.” (For more about Schwab’s visit to the IDEA Cafes, see

IDEA Cafes are intended to be one-time startup workshops for those who attend. At each meeting attendees share startup experience and brainstorm. “If we are successful, people will be too busy to come back,” says Wren.

For ongoing support, participation in a small group is encouraged. A free pamphlet, “More Than Just A Critic—5 Things To Do Now To Achieve Your American Dream,” is distributed at each meeting and at talks Wren and others give to local chambers of commerce, service clubs, church and neighborhood groups, and other organizations. (For a free copy of the pamphlet, contact Wren.)

One alternative for small group support of a new business owner is the Franklin Circle peer advisory group. “I formed the first Franklin Circle in Denver in 1996,” says Wren, “after reading an article that mentioned it in Training Magazine. I found a Masters dissertation that had been written about Ben Franklin’s original group that became our pattern. I took classes in adult education at Regis University to further refine the concept.”

Leaders for the new IDEA Cafes that Wren hopes will soon be forming across Colorado and beyond are being trained at the Small Business Chamber’s Community Room College The Franklin Circle approach to education is used to train the trainers each Friday afternoon following the Denver IDEA Café that Wren personally leads each week.

Wren intends to hold a monthly “Big Event” that will be free to exhibitors and free to those who attend. “Exhibit tables will be made available, and a concurrent event will help attract potential clients for the exhibitors, a formal presentation by and for the members of the Denver Startup Forum,” said Wren. The Denver Startup Forum is another organization started by Wren in 2009 for experienced entrepreneurs and their advisors that is now also a part of his Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

Wren practices what he preaches about the importance of small groups. At the heart of all this is Wren’s sounding board, the Franklin Circle Alpha Group. “It is not a board of directors, although I might form one later this year. We meet for lunch every other week. Eventually I hope all members will be leading an IDEA Café once a month in cooperation with a local chamber and facilitating a 2nd Franklin Circle of their own. Right now there is rolling membership as we move towards that goal. Anyone who might like to be a member to help in this effort is invited to contact me,” said Wren.


John S. Wren, MBA+ is a business consultant and adult educator. He attended Cornell College and the University of Denver (BA’69, MBA’78), and he has taken classes on adult education at Regis University. He has taught college economics and management, and has been an instructor for the American Management Association and many adult education programs. He is the author of Daring Mighty Things—The Simplest Way to Start Your First (or Next) New Business, which has been endorsed by Dr. Amar Bhide, author of The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses. Wren personally leads the free Denver IDEA Café each Friday afternoon; it is held from 2 to 3:30 pm at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant, in Denver,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Robert Schwab article about IDEA Cafes got picked up today in the Huffington Post (click here).

Please give 10 stars to this startup story about my father (click here), help get it included in Seth Godin's new book about startup.

Want to write a book and make money from it? Me too. That's why I've invited a writer/entrepreneur to join us this week at the Denver IDEA Cafe (click here to see who I've invited.)

How may I be of service to you? If you want to find your next great client or next good job, call me and let's brainstorm on the telephone ways I might be able to help you as I have so many others since 1979.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Robert Schwab, former editor of Colorado Business Magazine, just posted this on his blog after attending a couple of IDEA Cafe meetings. If you might like to start a new IDEA Cafe at a time and place of your choosing in cooperation with your local chamber of commerce, please contact me at or (303)861-1447

Monday, March 21, 2011

We had a two great sessions last Friday of the IDEA Cafe, one at the Koelbel Library in South Denver, and downtown at Panera Bread for the Denver IDEA Cafe. Next Friday writer and entrepreneur Cathie Beck will share here startup experience with us, more info and optional RSVP to get a seat at the brainstorming table at

Dottie Lamm is giving a talk at the Denver City Club about the new group called "No Labels" and what it is trying to accomplish. I first learned of No Labels in her Denver Post column a few weeks ago:

Since 1922 the Denver City Club has encouraged the type of civic engagement that No Labels advocates. I know that for sure, it was a great privilage to serve as the groups President, elected after I served on the board when it was decided to admit female members. Our first speaker after that decision was Dr. Doris Drury, my former economics teacher from the University of Denver.

Over the past 3 months, No Labels has had many, many meetings across the country, so national teleconferences and webcasts, most small groups like the one that will meet for the 4th time here in Denver May 1.

It seems to me the No Labels idea holds great promise. It may prove to be a great way here in Colorado to encourage the participation of newcomers in our wonderful Colorado Caucuses in 2012.

Jane McGonigal's new book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World is being widely reviewed, I think we'll be hearing more about McGonigal and her insight into games and how they make us more productive. Games help us grow because they create positive emotions, strengthen relationships, provide meaning, and give us a sense of accomplishment.

At it's best, isn't politics really the biggest game? Colorado Caucuses, our wonderful bi-annual, neighborhood, grassroots system for nominating to the primary ballot is the best chance the average person has for serving in elected public office.

Seems to me the No Labels movement can help strenthen in by helping more newcomers to get involved, creating more informed participation in the spring of 2012 when we will be gathering in over 3,000 neighborhoods across Colorado for the 50th time since the system started in 1912 as part of the Teddy Roosevelt reforms.

Will you help us? Contact me if you'd like more information about what we are doing and what help is needed now.