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    Where’d You Get That, Grindists?

    We think Grind is the best runway….and apparently so does Christal Young of Good Day New York’s “Where’d You Get That?”  Check out our amazing Grindists and their fashion steals in this June 18 segment!


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    Featured Grindist–Yoga Means Business

    Whenever we’re feeling a bit sluggish or out-of-whack, we turn to our good friends Chiyoko Osborne and Jen Kluczkowski, co-founders of Yoga Means Business. Aside from being two of our most centered Grindists, they also have created an incredible new method of yoga for business people that is both invigorating and inspiring.  We recently caught up with them to find out about the road that led them to Grind.

    What made you decide that a coworking space was the best fit for you? Why Grind?
    Enough with the coffee shops and spotty wi-fi! Grind is a perfect home base for us to get focused and get real work done. We love the visual appeal and aesthetic – big windows, clean design, black cubes you can hide out in and phone booths you can meditate in. Need we say more?

    What inspired you to found Yoga Means Business?
    Yoga belongs in the workplace. We both experienced first hand how the practice helped us in our decade long careers in the corporate world. We were fascinated by how meditation improved our work performance by making us more focused; how connecting the mind and body made us more balanced, grounded and effective leaders. We were running from work to yoga and back to work again. We craved a way to incorporate the yoga practice into the workday, not just be outside of it. We knew there had to be a way to do this.

    So we developed the “YMB 30-Minute Method” to be a comprehensive mind-body yoga experience that can be done seamlessly in any office in just 30 minutes. No change of clothes, no yoga mats needed. Stretching, breathing and meditation that’s truly seamless and turnkey for the office. People feel reset, clear and ready to take on the rest of the workday.

    Is this something you were always interested in being a part of?
    Not at all! Chiyoko was hell bent on becoming a big wig in the fashion industry and Jen couldn’t wait to run a sales team at someone else’s startup. How things change….

    What’s your favorite part of what you’ve created?
    Our YMB 30-Minute Method brings teams and companies together in an unexpected, yet awesome way. We’re fans of bonding over the beer cart, but improving physical and mental well-being as a group? That’s pretty powerful stuff. Oh, and anyone can do the 30-Minute Method.   Anyone.

    Do you have any advice for others trying to start their own company?
    Whatever your first really great idea is – know that it’s not going to work exactly how you envision it. In fact, the end result may not look anything like it. Every “fail” is not a fail at all – it’s a refinement for what’s going to one day work and take off.

    Check out this recent Fast Company article on Yoga Means Business and like them on Facebook!

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    Sneakers in the Workplace? Yes, please!

    We’ve got a thriving sneaker culture at Grind, so we were glad to read about the epic rise of office ‘sneakerdom’ in June 11′s New York Times.   Check out what Alex Williams has to say about the workplace phenomenon. 

    The rise of sneakerdom is perhaps most obvious in the modern American office, where sneakers are not just acceptable but, in some places, de rigueur. This is particularly true in creative and web-based industries, where sneakers are part of the modern man’s uniform.

    “You have guys like Jack Dorsey, guys like myself, that are in their mid-30s that are running companies,” said Jon Buscemi of the fashion labelBuscemi, referring to the Twitter co-founder. “I don’t want to wear a pair of uncomfortable shoes by Alden or John Lobb all day.”

    With their historic ties to teen culture and hip-hop, sneakers connote youth and, in the context of the workplace, they are a swashbuckling statement that says: “I’m the new breed. I’m nimble afoot. I’m ready for revolution.”

    The late Steve Jobs was no fashion plate, but he did help set the tone in the late ’90s when he mounted his “Think Different” revolt in New Balance running shoes. Most sneaker-clad professionals, however, take care to bump it up a notch in style from Mr. Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, who can get away with avowedly normcore running shoes and jeans for about 28 billion reasons. It is not a look anyone can pull off, which is the allure for those who can.

    Read the full article here!

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    Made by Members Monday–Neapolitan Express

    We’re salivating just thinking about Neapolitan Express, one of the most delicious Grindist-founded ventures out there.  If the thought of pizza doesn’t already make you hungry, read on to find out what makes this food truck so special…and then go grab a slice!

    Neapolitan Express created & built a fleet of state of the art trucks which run solely on Compressed Natural Gas and Solar Power; two of the cleanest, safest and most efficient sources of alternative energy. Our trucks feature a unique open kitchen design and house cutting edge appliances, which assist in making you the perfect Neapolitan style pizza.

    We are dedicated to quality pizza and improving the environment. We are proud to be the first mobile restaurant entirely powered by alternative energy sources including Compressed Natural Gas and Solar Panels. With the help of our strategic partner, Clean Energy Fuels, we are able to provide quick, delicious and healthy pizza while helping to create a greener planet. Each of our mobile restaurants promotes a clean environment through the use of CNG, recycled and compostable paper products and solar panel technology. We use the best, freshest, quality ingredients and state of the art equipment to give you authentic Neapolitan pizza in minutes. We operate under the idea that fast food should be good food, not only for you, but for our environment!

    We not only bring you the most authentic Neapolitan pizza on wheels, but we believe in doing well by doing good. A percentage of our proceeds go directly to organizations that we believe share our values. We donate to the following:

    The Water Project and Thirst No More strive to end the water crisis by providing safe, clean drinking water to nearly one billion people. At the end of last year we donated $100,000 to Thirst No More who used our funds to drill water wells in Africa.

    No Kid Hungry: Share Our Strength is determined to end childhood hunger by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs.

    Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) serves veterans, service members, and their families who suffered a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, immediate to their military service on or after September 11, 2001.

    Follow Neapolitan Express on twitter to find out where they’ll be next!

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    The Myth of Serendipitous Creativity


    Serendipity…it’s not just one of John Cusack’s greatest films.  For many entrepreneurs, it’s what they believe will ultimately launch their products’ success. According to the good people of Psychology Today, however,”serendipity, as a method of innovation, has a very poor track record.”  Read on to find out what Drew Boyd suggests as an alternative. 



    The Myth of Serendipitous Creativity
    Lucky inventions happen at a much lower rate than we think.

    In 1891, a physical education teacher named James Naismith invented the game of basketball when he nailed two ordinary peach baskets to the wall of a gymnasium. His students loved the game. But, there was a problem. Every time a player shot the ball into the basket, somebody had to get up on a ladder and take it out. That wasted a lot of time and it ruined the flow of the game.

    But then something happened. After many games, the bottoms of the peach baskets became so weak that they eventually broke off, allowing the basketball to fall straight through.

    This simple serendipitous invention allowed the game to be played continuously without interruption, and it gave rise to a global billion-dollar industry we know today as professional basketball.

    The game of basketball isn’t the only invention created through pure chance. Many successful products you see around you today are the result of serendipity. The Post-it note, velcro, penicillin, x-rays and even chocolate chip cookies were created by chance.

    With so many successful products created through serendipity, it makes you wonder whether companies can rely on it to create breakthrough products. The answer is no. Serendipity, as a method of innovation, has a very poor track record. The number of serendipitous products is a tiny percentage of the total of all products. It just doesn’t yield nearly the amount of blockbuster products as you would think.

    So why does it seem there are so many of them? That’s because serendipitous products are more memorable than others. We hear about them in the news media more often. Because of that, we recall more examples of serendipitous products than other inventions. So we’re fooled into thinking they must be occurring at a much higher rate. It just isn’t true.

    Instead of having to rely on chance, you’re about to learn a method that you can use proactively to create new products and services.

    Let’s look back at our basketball example. What if James Naismith had used a thinking tool that guided him to remove the bottoms of the peach baskets right from the start? Had he done so, he would have seen the benefit immediately.

    We’ll never know for sure. But, what would you rather rely on? Pure chance? Or would you prefer to have a method that leads you to these same inventions in a systematic way?

    If you’re serious about innovation, I advise you to go with the odds, not the gods. While serendipitous products are fun to read about, don’t let them distract you from using a systematic approach that will increase your creative output.

    Originally posted here.

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    Life Cycle of an Entrepreneur–3rd Installment!

    Here comes our third installment of everyone’s favorite series, The Life Cycle of an Entrepreneur.  This time around, we’ll be focusing the discussion on Hiring & Compliance.  Micaela Brown of The Minority Report will moderate.  Get your free tickets here before the event sells out and read on for more information about our panelists. 

    Micaela Brown
    Micaela Brown knew she wasn’t the only go-getter in town.

    She created the “Minority Report” video series with the Chicago Sun-Times to showcase the city’s vibrant community of entrepreneurs and professionals of color. Micae also hosts the twice-a-month episodes, which feature business-minded interviews with guests as diverse as Chicago Treasurer Stephanie Neely, advertising executive Sherman Wright and media lawyer Daliah Saper.

    Along with her work on the “Minority Report,” Micae is an interactive account executive for the Sun-Times, where she creates advertising strategies for clients like Comcast, Macy’s and the Chicago White Sox.

    Micae is a Chicago native and graduate of DePaul University and the Sandler Sales Institute. When she’s not making connections for the Sun-Times, she’s taking care of her two Yorkshire terriers, Bentley and Studley, and planning her next travel adventure. 

    Hiring Panel

    Jason Henrichs of Startup Institute
    Jason works with the Startup Institute team to accelerate our growth. He’s been a founder, investor and advisor to numerous start-ups and is an active mentor across the Techstars network. Jason began his education in leadership and engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point and completed studies in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences at Harvard University. In his free time, Jason can be found searching for the perfect wave, running even in the harshest of conditions, or undertaking some form of home improvement project. 

    Angelia Hopson of iCoach360
    For many years Angelia has worked with, for and on behave of small and minority businesses, serving on various committees and boards that support small business. A few of these include CMSDC (Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council); HMSDC (Houston Minority Supplier Development Council); Chicago MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency) and WIPP (Women Impacting Public Policy).

    During her career, she has owned and operated several companies and founded a non-profit organization. Her experience includes safety and environmental management, design of a mobile app for safety, development and implementation of a closed loop environmental sustainability process for a fortune 500 corporation, real estate management, realtor and broker, multi-level marketing, serving in civic organizations, founding and directing a non-profit organization, fundraising and participating as a core member to political campaigns.

    A brief list of her business development efforts that resulted in seven figure contracts include Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, UPS, City of Chicago, ComEd, Albertson’s, BP (Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill), SuperStorm Sandy Recovery and the list goes on.

    David White of Career Starter

    Compliance Panel

    Michael Shelley of Insperity

    Nigel F. Telman of Proskauer
    Nigel F. Telman leads the employment practice in the Chicago office of Proskauer and is co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

    Nigel’s practice is concentrated in litigating single and class action disputes arising out of claims of workplace harassment and employment discrimination. He also represents employers in collective and class actions involving allegations of wage and hour violations under federal and state law. In addition, Nigel has significant experience defending and enforcing Restrictive Covenant Agreements, as well as protecting employers’ trade secrets and other confidential information from misappropriation by former employees through the institution of emergency litigation seeking temporary and permanent injunctive relief. Nigel utilizes his experience litigating employment-related disputes to counsel clients on effective ways to avoid such litigation. His counseling practice focuses on training and advising clients on ways to improve all aspects of the employment relationship, including techniques on how to make effective hiring decisions; reviewing and revising employment policies, practices and procedures; and advising on employee disciplinary matters, reductions in force and termination decisions.

    Nigel represents clients before state and federal courts throughout the country as well as before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the American Arbitration Association.  

    Erin Kube
    Erin Kube is a Talent Acquisition Specialist and Recruiter.  Erin’s exposure to Human Resources was cultivated during the eight years she spent at Tripp Lite Power Protection as a Corporate Recruiter and HR Generalist.  While at Tripp Lite, Erin developed a passion and strong background in internal relationship enrichment, employer branding, and candidate experience.  She is an active member in SHRM and HRMAC with a HR Generalist Certificate from SHRM.

    Erin has led various HR projects and implemented Applicant Tracking Software.  In 2011, Erin was invited to speak at Robert Morris University to engage students in job seeking best practices.  Most recently, Erin has moved into consulting roles for young companies looking to establish their recruitment and HR process, which is her current role at Studio M Creations.  Erin has been studying and participating in comedic writing at The Second City since 2012, and currently resides in Chicago, IL.

    Meighan Newhouse of Colette Allen Consulting
    Meighan Newhouse is the Founder and Owner of Colette Allen Consulting. A learning professional with over a decade of experience, Meg created her company nearly two years ago out of a passion for job satisfaction. With a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois, she understands that learning new skills can increase employee confidence and happiness. Happy employees are engaged in their work, and engaged employees are not only great to work with, but they help improve the bottom line.

    Colette Allen has worked with such companies as Abbott, BP, Dell, Deloitte, and US Foods, creating custom learning experiences to engage employees and improve efficiencies. Meg is also active in the talent development and workplace performance community, serving on the executive board of the Chicagoland Chapter of the Association for Talent Development. To learn more about Meg and how Colette Allen help employees learn to love their work, check out www.coletteallen.com or on twitter @custom_learning.

    Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next installments!

    Funding (Capital Raising & Budgeting/Using Capital Efficiently) - Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Real Estate/Expansion - Wednesday, July 16, 2014
    Exit/Succession Planning - Wednesday August 6, 2014

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    In the Mind of a Grindist–Jeremy Goldman

    Get a glimpse into the brilliant brain of Grindist Jeremy Goldman as he explains why his membership at Grind makes him human–an extremely awesome human, we say!

    Why Being a Grindist Makes Me Human

    I’m all about efficiency: enough so, that when I take the dogs out for a walk, I have to make sure I have the proper podcasts and audiobooks queued up so that it’s a productive 15 minutes. So naturally, when I launched Firebrand Group as a boutique consultancy after leaving Unilever in 2012, I fought against the inefficiency of finding a work space. After all, it takes quite awhile for me to commute – I live in Yorkville on the Upper East Side, which is far enough east to be Roosevelt Island. Until the Second Avenue subway line is completed in August 2037, a commute anywhere is going to cost me precious productivity time.

    While efficiency and productivity per minute is absolutely a valid metric to look at, I was forgetting about the human side of the equation. Overall, people tend to be more productive around other people, and I’ve found that’s definitely true for me.

    I think sometimes we forget how important being social is to us as animals. Within just a few hours of birth, newborns try to imitate the facial gestures of the first people they meet—an early attempt to socially interact. Humans have such a need to be social that we’re social even when we’re still inside our mothers’ wombs. Researchers recently used ultrasound to record the interactions of twins and found that twins were reaching out for one another at 14 weeks of age. Which is, of course, cuter than the typical BuzzFeed article about napping kittens.

    We’re not only that social as a desire: for most of us it’s a pretty hardcore need. You’re probably familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the theory usually defined as a pyramid, with the most fundamental needs at the very bottom and the desire for self-actualization at the very top. The most fundamental needs are physiological, such as breathing, food, water, and sex. I’m happy to report that three of these four are abundantly available at Grind.

    Next up on the pyramid is the need for the safety and security of the individual, the family, and property. After that come love and belonging: friendship and family. Once an individual’s physiological and safety needs are met, the remaining layers of needs are all related to social well-being. What’s great for me is that Grind takes care of my social well-being in a very subtle way, while at the same time letting me focus on my primary goal: growing my business.

    I was recently sitting in a Starbucks on 75th Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan. It was 7:30 on a Sunday night, and I could count 18 people sitting alone. Most were on their laptops; a few were reading from piles of newspapers in front of them. Oddly enough, not a single one of these people was be sitting with someone they know; everyone was reading or working. All of these people seem to have coffee next to them, but they’re not really here for the coffee. The coffee is serving, essentially, as an admission pass. The benefit of sitting in Starbucks, as opposed to working at home, is the availability of company, of human companionship. Even though no conversations are going on between patrons at the moment, all these people would rather spend $3 for a cup of coffee from which they’ll only drink a few sips so that they can work in a big room surrounded by other people. When we go online, why would we lose our overriding urge to be sociable? It’s deeply embedded in all of us.

    Given the benefits of working in Starbucks just to have that “social ambience” all around me, it’s nice to be able to hang my hat at Grind, where I don’t have to worry about fun things like a bunch of ladies having a loud, detailed conversation about wilted spinach, a man in a trench coat arguing about Katy Perry with an invisible friend, or mysterious blood on the bathroom sink faucet. The buzz and energy I pick up from Grind is probably a large part of why Firebrand Group keeps pushing ahead, and how I stay human. So, thank you Grind, for helping me figure out that co-working is a great way to increase one’s productivity.

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    Upcoming Events at Grind

    We’ve got a new crop of awesome events coming up at Grind in NYC and we don’t want you to miss them!  Here’s what’s on the horizon…

    Member Happy Hour

    Wednesday, June 4 at Grind Park from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
    Join us in the Grind Park cafe (you read that correctly) for our first organized member happy hour in a long time! There won’t be puppies, unfortunately, but there will be beer, wine, and snacks.

    This is a casual, social event, so feel free to bring friends and come prepared to have fun with your fellow Grindists.  RSVP here!


    #Rethink Charity with Paull Young of charity: water

    Tuesday, June 10 at Grind Broadway from 8am to 9:30am
    What would a charity look like if it was built for and by digital natives? In seven years charity: water has raised over $100 million for clean water projects in the developing world, while innovating online to provide transparency and connection to donors. Learn how digital innovation can change the world with charity: water’s Director of Digital, Paull Young.

    8:00am – 8:30am
    8:30am – 9:00am
    9:00am – 9:30am
    Breakfast and Coffee
    Paull’s Presentation
    Discussion & Networking

    Get your free tickets here!


    Grindist Show & Tell

    Thursday, June 19 at Grind Broadway from 6pm to 8pm
    Come find out what that guy sitting at your table has been working on here at Grind.  Sign up to present about yourself (each presenter will get about 3 minutes) or sit back and relax in the audience.  Sign up here! 

    6:00pm – 6:30pm     Beer and Wine
    6:30pm – 7:30pm     Presentations
    7:30pm – 8:00pm     More Beer and Wine

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    Featured Grindist–Jason Wisdom

    Jason Wisdom is a longtime Grindist, joining our space in January of 2012.  He and the The Design Gym crew have established a flourishing business and we can’t wait to see what else they accomplish under Grind’s roof.  We recently picked his brain about how he got his start and what drew him to our coworking community.

    What made you decide that a coworking space was the best fit for you? Why Grind?
    A good buddy of mine Ari introduced me to Grind.  Since that initial intro it’s been impossible to leave because of the relationships that I’ve developed here.  A bunch of people I’ve met here have become close friends outside of work, others have become clients and some have become advisors to our business.  You can have great coffee and amazing accent colors but it’s the people that make the space.  Grind has amazing people.

    What inspired you to found The Design Gym?
    We started The Design Gym because learning this sort of thinking was inaccessible to pretty much everyone who was intrigued by it.  Institutions and agencies were charging 5 figures for 3 day workshops.  Our goal was to teach people a process and common language for solving complex problems but do it in a way so that the people in the room represented every facet of industry.  Since than we’ve had people from education, government, agencies, start-ups, management consultancies and Fortune 500 companies come through our doors.  It’s those unique perspectives collaborating together that got us really excited.  

    Is this something you were always interested in being a part of?
    When I went to school I didn’t know a business like ours was a thing you could do.  And I went to school for Entrepreneurship…I think it took me a while to find the middle of the venn diagram between things that I was naturally very capable of and things that I loved spending time doing.  This business definitely was addressing a need in the market but our offering is things that we all just love doing anyone.  That combination has made for a very fulfilling ride.  

    What’s your favorite part of what you’ve created?
    The relationships that have come out of our community are remarkable.  Our community members have created their own circle of friends from others within our community.  We’ve seen a lot of jobs found, businesses started, advisors gained and partnerships formed.  When you’re collaborating intensely with a group of people you need to connect with them in order for the outcomes to be good (and to not kill each other).  It makes for really strong team bonds coming out of the work that we do, whether it’s a workshop for the general public or we’re building internal capabilities within an organization. 

    Do you have any advice for others trying to start their own company?
    Go build something interesting.  I came from the digital agency world where everyone I met who was a potential client had 50 intrenched relationships with existing agencies who did exactly what we did.  If you’re not doing anything truly unique from anyone else than it’s going to be miserable winning new business, getting anyone to write about you or finding a willing ear at a cocktail party.  There’s new markets opening up everyday and the solution to the problem of that new market doesn’t have to be an app. 

     Check out PSFK’s recap of The Design Gym’s latest awesome endeavor, Design Taco, here!

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    What Does Our Chicago Entrepreneur Think About a Tech Bubble Bursting?

    In the immortal words of Run DMC, “We ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” Or, in this case, “We ain’t afraid of no tech bubble!”  When Blue Sky Innovation recently begged the question, “What would happen if Chicago’s tech bubble burst?”, our co-founder Benjamin Dyett, was on hand to supply his answer. 

    “Grind would certainly feel the effects but less so … since we cater to a broad base of entrepreneurs and, thus, are not totally ‘tech’ focused. While we would be saddened by the loss of some tech members that would fall by the wayside, we would compensate by shifting the focus of our community make-up more towards other industries — PR and marketing, analytics, branding, education, data systems, management consulting, not-for-profits, and so on.

    “Could it happen? — that’s anyone’s guess … but I hope not.”

    Read how other Chicago entrepreneurs responded to the same question here!

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