DaVinci Institute https://www.davinciinstitute.com DaVinci Institute Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:36:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Gain a Competitive Edge as an Emerging Entrepreneur https://www.davinciinstitute.com/davinci-events/how-to-gain-a-competitive-edge-as-an-emerging-entrepreneur/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:36:10 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1294

How to Gain a Competitive Edge as an Emerging Entrepreneur

Many people wait a long time before they take the jump to entrepreneurship. It always seems safer to be a salaried employee because you don’t have to take on too much responsibility in this position. You’re just another cog in the machinery of the company.

As an entrepreneur, however, you have to do much more than just your job. You’re responsible for the success of the entire company. And this means that you have to keep track of everyone who works in it. Not only do you have to make sure that everyone does their job but you also have to encourage them to fulfill their potential.

And you need to do all this while keeping your eye on the prize. Your aim isn’t just to increase profits but also to add value to the life of your customer and the world at large.

As an entrepreneur, you have to develop a new set of skills—management skills, networking skills, marketing skills etc. But there’s no reason why you should learn to run a business by trial and error. People have been successfully starting small businesses for decades, even centuries now. You can learn a great deal from their collective experience.

 

Management Skills

Before you become an entrepreneur, you have to do all your work yourself. But as a business owner, you’re going to have to learn to get the job done from other people. And this means developing management skills…fast!

Fortunately, you may already have what it takes to be a good manager, if you have good communication skills and good organizational skills. With your organizational skills, you can figure out exactly what needs to be done and with your communication skills, you can communicate with your employees, making sure work gets done.

But management is not just about getting the job done. And entrepreneurs who think of their businesses as mere money-making ventures are likely to regret doing so in the long run.

A company is a place where all your employees are going to spend the major part of their days. So it needs to feel like a second home. Turning your business into a family is something you can learn to do from those who have been entrepreneurs before you.

 

Marketing Skills

Management skills will help you to function well within your company. But there’s also a whole world outside that company, a world that you’re going to be interacting with regularly as you try to sell your product or service.

In order to successfully run your company, you’re going to have to understand your customer. What are your customer’s needs and desires? What are they looking for from you? How can you add value to their lives?

Marketing is about selling your product but it’s also about understanding your consumer’s point of view. Once you know who you’re dealing with, you can move further and give them what they want.

A lot of people misunderstand marketing because they only think of it as selling their product or service. But in fact, marketing is like having a conversation. You need to allow your customer to speak to you and then you can speak back and help them improve their lives.

With the growing world of the internet at our fingertips, marketing is also taking on a new form, with inbound marketing taking the lead. Once again, this type of marketing allows the conversation to go two ways—from the customer to you and back again.

It’s possible for you to take advantage of those who have already worked in the marketing field for many years, in order to advance your company’s aims and goals.

 

Contact us for more information on honing and developing your entrepreneurial skills. Learn the skills needed to have the mindset of an emerging entrepreneur at the DaVinci Tech Academy. Contact Jennifer at contact@davinciinstitute.com.

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The Rise of the Part Time CTO https://www.davinciinstitute.com/innovative-thinking/the-rise-of-the-part-time-cto/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:25:04 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1284

Imagine having access to an executive team of the most experienced and sought-after talent in an industry but for a fraction of the price that traditional companies have to pay. Think of the benefits a fledgling, young business could gain from leveraging an experienced leadership team without having to invest years of training and development and hundreds of thousands of dollars in overhead. In short, imagine a company taking advantage of top-flight strategic talent without the commitment to big dollars and long-term contracts–a no strings attached team.

Is all of this wishful thinking, or is it actually possible? With the rise of the part time executive, this flexible arrangement is possible for companies looking to build their strategy and future with little to no formal executive infrastructure in place. But how does this work? In the popular imagination, senior level executives are the pinnacle of the corporate pyramid, replete with gilded executive suites, fancy skyline views, and decadent salaries to match. However, this is no longer necessarily the case. As reported in Forbes, over the past five to ten years there has been a growing movement towards part-time and freelance executive talent within the intellectual labor market. This movement has been influenced by the rise of start-up cultures that frown on unnecessary formality and look towards efficient, fast, and smart growth. These companies no longer view full-time executives as the assumed necessity they had grown to become in the twentieth century. In this new reality, growing companies can shop for the executives they want to lead their business, and they can customize how they engage this talent to support the organization.

Technology Organizations Lead the Change

Business conditions are evolving rapidly, and nowhere more so than in technology organizations. Most technology organizations rely heavily on an experienced Chief Technology Officer to help them navigate the complex issues of emerging tech, entering an industry as a disrupter, and facing the competitive challenge of retaining technical talent. Despite the critical need for sound, experienced leadership as a business is in its growth stage, a large percentage of tech companies find they do not require or cannot afford a CTO on a full time or permanent basis. Fortunately, the role can be outsourced. This is part of a natural progression, where companies are increasingly hiring out central functions such as payroll, IT, manufacturing, and even C-level finance, because it’s cheaper than hiring full-time workers and faster/better than developing the talent in-house. This also means that top talent can be shared between start-ups and tech companies. This helps advance the industry as a whole by sharing knowledge and best practices, rather than the biggest companies with the most resources dominating the scene. Clearly, just as tech leads workforce trends in pay, benefits, and productivity management, it is leading the movement towards part-time executives.

How Drawing on the Talents of a Part Time CTO fits into the Tech Landscape 

Another advantage to be gleaned from the use of part time executive talent is leveraging this with the availability of a cowork community, start-up accelerator, or think tank for innovation and networking. A part time executive who is established in the industry can provide valuable connections to tech companies looking to build the right relationships for a fraction of the price of a full-time CTO. The fastest way to leverage these connections is to join a community of creative innovators where a network of relationships can build and expand. In the Denver-Boulder area, the DaVinci Institute is a central hub of the tech community, and it provides the ability to collaborate, test, and create. A community like this helps complete the strategy of using a freelance CTO by allowing companies to form connections and share knowledge that would have traditionally been done by a full suite of salaried executives.

Want to learn more about hiring a Part-Time CTO? Join us on April 11th at DaVinci Institute for a presentation with Wil McCarthy.

The DaVinci Institute exists to support and advance the tech industry. We are a think tank, cowork hub, and community of futurists. If you would like to learn more, contact us today.

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What it Takes to be a Leader of Tomorrow https://www.davinciinstitute.com/innovative-thinking/what-it-takes-to-be-a-leader-of-tomorrow/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 23:27:53 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1267

 

What is a futurist?

Today’s most influential and effective leaders, strategists, and investors have one common title: they are futurists. Futurists are the critical decision makers of tomorrow, those who are willing to embrace the technology-driven change that is rapidly infusing every industry and profession, nationally as well as globally. The futuristic thinker is not one to stand by and depend on the predictions of others to define their thinking. They understand that if one is to maintain their most competitive edge professionally, they must not rely on the projection of market trends as a basis for industry-related decision making. Instead, they must use the set of skills which are the essential components of the futurist’s toolbox. These specific skills are required to go further, evolve with the changing climate, cultivate creative insights, engage a larger subset, positively disrupt the market and create an interested and growing following in the industry.

American businessman, leader, author and motivator Tony Robbins once said, “Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.” We are all subject to the ever-changing climate of our environment, but whether we choose to take control of our stake in the subsequent unraveling of the inevitable is our own decision. The change-makers and leaders of the future will choose growth. In order to progress, one must be willing to take crucial steps towards personal and professional progress. This has never been more true than it is in today’s market. The greatest indicators of tomorrow’s leaders is found in a willingness to get behind the technology-driven forces of success, to invest in the development of leadership and take steps to advance towards one’s ultimate and maximum potential.

What it takes to become a leader of tomorrow:

This toolbox of skills and strategies containing the secrets of influence and innovation is available to aspiring futurists. These skills are essential to proactive future planning and offer the opportunity to create unique insights that will enable you to carve out your place among the highly sought and powerful few that possess the voice of inspiration. Techniques that lie within, such as backcasting, situational futuring, scenario planning, causal layer analysis, and environmental scanning, as well as watching innovation trends that will disrupt markets, are what great influencers use to drive their success.

Take action:

To think like a futurist does not require the mastery of some theoretical discipline of future-studies. Fortunately, today compelling visionaries Thomas Frey and Michael Cushman share these key techniques in their course, Inside the Mind of a Futurist, designed to deliver and educate those who manage or influence portfolios of technology or companies, across the wide variety of virtually every discipline that stands to gain from futurist thinkers. Thomas Frey has long been regarded as a powerhouse in the world of futurists, a leader and innovator in the business world with experience that has led the start-up of seventeen businesses and served as an advisor for hundreds of others, who currently serves as keynote speaker and renowned author, and is the visionary credited for founding the first of its kind think tank, The DaVinci Institute. Michael Cushman operates as the Director of Vizionarium, the Davinci Institute’s consulting practice, and has the reputation as a leading strategist and consultant in technology innovation, with career insights and experience spanning three continents. His expertise has lent to his position as Senior Fellow of the Davinci Institute for over a decade. Together, they form the team of futurists responsible for the course curriculum that leads the forward-most professionals to the tools for inspiring ground-shaking change.

As part of their course, registrants gain access to the most relevant skills, techniques and strategies found inside the mind of the futurist. To be a leader of tomorrow, to be the force that disrupts the industry, and to develop your own futurist mind, register to become a leader of tomorrow.

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Inside the Mind of a Futurist https://www.davinciinstitute.com/innovative-thinking/inside-the-mind-of-a-futurist/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:11:38 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1248

Secret Process for  Understanding the Future Revealed

On April 10-14 the newly launched DaVinci Tech Academy will be hosting an intensive week-long workshop called “Inside the Mind of a Futurist.” Throughout this event, Michael Cushman and I will be unveiling a number of unusual processes for probing into the future.

This course has been designed for corporate executives, planners, strategists, influential thinkers, and those who aspire to take on that kind of role in the future.

A little over two years ago I mentioned a new anticipatory thinking tool I’ve developed called “situational futuring.” It helps me gain better insight into the world ahead. Until now I hadn’t given too many details about how it worked or how to apply it, but I recently decided to reveal how the process works and how to apply it at our upcoming event.

While I’ve been very protective of the crazy brain games I use for developing predictions, I’ll give you a sneak peek into one of the applications I’ve used it for in the past.

Situational futuring is a micro-futuring process that positions a single technology, specific idea, or what-if condition inside a future time slot. Through the use of situation-specific scenarios, it builds a growing body of understanding around that topic.

Early on, after I attempted my first test runs, I began to realize how difficult it was to develop the “situational” storylines to paint the broader picture, so I made a few changes.

As I worked through a series of alpha and beta stage tests, I concluded that it still needed a few more parameters to improve usability.

For this reason, I’ve added simple use case boundaries to help first time users grasp the significance of its potential.

AS A STARTING POINT:

  • Create a future specific situation
  • Select a timeframe
  • Describe the technology or change involved
  • Explain a first use-case scenario

THEN ASK “HOW WILL IT AFFECT” or “WHAT HAPPENS TO”:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Students
  • Personal relationships
  • Employment and earning a living
  • Parenting and childhood
  • Governmental systems
  • Personal health
  • Spirituality health
  • Our natural environment
  • Personal safety

As you step through the list, jot down all answers that come to mind. Very often your thoughts will be framed around additional questions, so be sure to add those as well. With enough well-framed questions, the answers will follow.

I describe this process as “mining for epiphanies.”

The elements in this list have been carefully chosen to push each person’s thinking in multiple directions, far beyond their normal limitations.

As we struggle our way through each question, forcing our mind to look into the foggy dark places it normally doesn’t want to go, we will hopefully begin to uncover brilliant insights.

With enough of these insights, our narrow perspectives become much wider, until we begin to grasp the situation in its entirety, or at least widely enough to ask important new questions.

NOTE: The answers below are intended to reflect the brainstorming process. Responses will range from comments to half-baked ideas, to questions that serve as placeholders for more thinking in the future. If you can’t think of an answer at the moment or think nothing will change, make a statement to that effect. Best done in groups with other creative thinkers.

Driverless Car Scenario

As driverless technologies progress, there will be less and less need for human oversight. Eventually, we will achieve fully autonomous cars where we can summon a car whenever we need it and car ownership becomes a thing of the past.

First generation vehicles like these will come with a variety of regulatory issues and technical problems few can anticipate. But as with all early stage technologies, each of these problems will be dealt with as they arise.

Realistically, though, the U.S. has 253 million vehicles (129 registered cars) at an average age of 11.4 years. How long will it take to replace this many cars and what happens to all the old cars?

How will driverless technologies change society over the next 20 years?

What Happens to Entrepreneurs?

  • Most Uber and Lyft jobs will have disappeared. Same with rental cars, taxis, valet, courier, mailmen, bus drivers, truck drivers, and drivers ed teachers.
  • Driverless cars will likely be owned by large fleet owners in most major cities. But that leaves tons of opportunity for tiny fleets in small towns everywhere.
  • Autonomous vehicles will create the need for new kinds of in-car entertainment – VR, movies, games, music, courseware, etc.
  • It also opens the door for specialty vehicles like driverless lawn mowers that can be scheduled during mowing season; furniture moving vehicles that may or may not require some level of human assistance; and delivery vehicles that can deliver food, packages, and medical supplies.

What Happens to Students?

  • Students in all income brackets will have instant access to transportation.
  • Students can study in cars during a commute, so less need to stay in dormitories.
  • School parking lots will begin to disappear.

What Happens to Personal Relationships?

  • Cars have been a large part of the dating and romance culture for many decades. How will this change?
  • Both driving and car ownership are stressful parts of marriage and relationships, and both will disappear.
  • Transportation will become less tied to status.

What Happens to Employment and Earning a Living?

  • Over 3 million driving jobs in the U.S. alone will disappear.
  • People will no longer be able to rely on fallback positions like driving for Uber and becoming a truck driver.

What Happens to Parenting and Childhood

  • At what age can children travel alone in a driverless vehicle?
  • If a parent is face-recognized on one end and a teacher on the other end, how young can a child travel to and from by themselves?
  • Will driverless cars replace school buses?

What Happens to Governmental Systems

  • At what point will traffic cops, traffic court, DAs, lawyers, and judges disappear?
  • Will cars still need to be licensed?
  • Since a driver’s license doubles as a primary form of personal identification, what will replace that?

What Happens to Personal Health?

  • Far fewer accidents, injuries, and deaths.
  • Far easier to access caregivers.

What Happens to Spirituality?

  • Since spirituality is often a shared experience, easier transportation will make it easier to surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
  • The freedom we equate with travel and transportation is the same freedom we will equate with our belief systems.

What Happens to our Natural Environment?

  • With self-driving electric vehicles, there will be far fewer vehicles and far less road pollution.
  • The sound of the city dramatically changes as we can listen to nature again.
  • Very few new roads will ever have to be built. Our existing highway system will be capable of accommodating exponentially more commuters.

What Happens to Personal safety?

  • Very soon our vehicles will feel like some of the safest places on earth.
  • With transportation becoming far safer, we will begin expecting that same level of safety in other aspects of our lives.

Final Thoughts

Thinking about the future is hard. It works muscles in your brain that rarely get exercised.

Situational futuring is a very demanding process, forcing you to look at scenarios from a variety of different perspectives.

As you step through these questions you’ll begin to learn not only about the future but also about yourself.

My goal in showing these examples has been to illustrate the process. I would hope you come up with entirely different responses, and maybe even different questions.

The checklist itself is only a guide. Once you do it a few times you’ll want to add your own tweaks, so feel free to come up with additional topical areas.

If you work with a group of people, you’ll be amazed at the diversity of answers.

We all have blindspots and after a few iterations, you will quickly realize some of your own limitations.

Join us April 10-14 at the DaVinci Institute in Westminster for “Inside the Mind of a Futurist,” a very revealing event that we guarantee will change the way you think about the future.

By Futurist Thomas Frey

Author of “Epiphany Z – 8 Radical Visions for Transforming Your Future

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What is the DaVinci Tech Academy? https://www.davinciinstitute.com/in-coworking-space/what-is-the-davinci-tech-academy/ Wed, 15 Mar 2017 20:27:23 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1240 The DaVinci Institute provides professional co-work space for innovative business entrepreneurs
The DaVinci Institute provides professional co-work space for innovative business entrepreneurs

Founded in 1997 by award-winning IBM engineer Thomas Frey, the DaVinci Institute provides professional co-work space for innovative business entrepreneurs. In addition, the Institute is the home of prominent thought leaders who design and develop applications for evolving technological advances. But did you also know that the DaVinci Institute is the home of the DaVinci Tech Academy — a first-of-its-kind, leading-edge learning laboratory?

The DaVinci Institute

The DaVinci Institute is a think tank of over 150 scientists, engineers, innovators and futurists who work together to understand the disruptive influence of today’s technological innovations. As thought leaders in identifying emerging social and technological trends, their goal is to remain on the cutting edge of those applications in the future.

Futurist Thomas Frey

Thomas Frey is one of the leading experts on the international speaking circuit today who examines the role of innovative technologies in constructing the architectures of our future. He appears on TED talks and has been interviewed by the Denver Post, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, USA Today, US News and World Report, Times of India, Rocky Mountain News, and many other media sources.  

As a futurist, Thomas Frey is among a group of thinkers, engineers, scientists and sociologists that systematically explore where technological advances are leading society. He works from the assumption that the future creates the present. Articulating the future as a dynamic organism in and of itself, Thomas  emphasizes that the way in which we focus our energies today must be aligned with the needs and desires of the future. His lectures include topics such as the direction in which colleges and universities are headed, the role of robotics and drones in the workforce, 3D printing and its role in consumerism, and much more.

DaVinci Institute co-work space

Another vital area where the DaVinci Institute focuses its efforts is its contribution to available co-work space in the Westminster, Colorado area. Providing office space and meeting rooms for entrepreneurs who would otherwise have to commute to either Boulder or Denver to find comparable accommodations, the Institute gives its members opportunities to network with independent professionals through the use of comfortable break rooms, common spaces and kitchen facilities, and access to the DaVinci Institute’s ongoing events.

What is the DaVinci Tech Academy?

Lastly, the DaVinci Tech Academy is a state-of-the-art learning laboratory within the DaVinci Institute. In a series of 40-hour immersive experiences, the DaVinci Tech Academy offers week-long courses that address how technological innovation impacts every aspect of our lives in the decades to come. Designed both for tech-savvy individuals and business professionals, the goal of these courses is to provide its participants with a solid foundation of key technologies and an understanding of their applications in the future.

Topics include:

  • The Mindset of an Emerging Entrepreneur: Spend a productive week benefitting from the experience of an expert who will share his knowledge of what does and doesn’t work?
  • Storytelling with Sound: Understand the power of music and sound design for use in interactive media, narrative film, or game development, by embracing the concept of telling a story using sound as the medium.
  • Inside the Mind of a Futurist: With this course, enter into the minds of the world’s most recognized visionaries of the future. Examine the future as an expert on technological innovation sees it, describing how today’s disruptive technologies will manifest themselves in their most evolved form.

Other topics include: Sensor Networks, Virtual Reality, The Art of Freelance and Product Prototyping for the Internet of Things.

If you have questions about the DaVinci Institute or would like to enroll in the DaVinci Tech Academy, please contact us.

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What It Means to Be a Futurist Think Tank https://www.davinciinstitute.com/innovative-thinking/what-it-means-to-be-a-futurist-think-tank/ Tue, 07 Mar 2017 23:44:10 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1225 Businessman considering a brainstorm in cloudy desert setting

Futurist thinking outside the box to create a better future

Futurist think tanks ponder the inner workings of the past, present, and future in order to generate sustainable solutions to future problems in order to ensure a brighter tomorrow. In order to accomplish this goal, futurist think tanks enable inventors, innovators, and geniuses of our time by providing a community and network of people there to support and bring their ideas to life.

What is a futurist think tank? It’s exactly as one would assume it is; a futurist think tank is a network of inventors, innovators, and geniuses that focus entirely on the future of the world around them, and strives to make the future of society better in every way possible. These individuals come together to ponder and pontificate solutions to problems that may occur in the future based upon data from the past and present. This group of bright and brilliant people also take into account growing trends in ideas and seek to apply them to different solutions in order to create a better world. Most importantly, people who identify themselves as futurists study the future and all of its implications as a means of predicting what may happen if actions aren’t taken presently to make things better later. It’s these sorts of think tanks that produce many of the solutions and innovations we see today, such as methods of managing risk in business and development of systems such as fail-safes and data management. In other words, futurists think in the long-term and on a broad scale, as the future demands it.

The ultimate goal of futurist think tanks is to bring together an expanding network of highly skilled, driven, and creative individuals who will generate ideas that will shape our future. These individuals must think outside of the box and on a broad scope in order to understand how things work now, and what will need to be made better for the future. The areas of improvement range on a variety of topics including healthcare, planet care, technological developments, human developments, and diplomatic efforts. The futuristic think tank is fully engaged in understanding as much as possible how the world runs now in these key areas in a concerted effort to improve upon the future of the human race. Those who become part of think tanks of this nature have the privilege and honor of being agents of real change while working towards this common goal.

As such, the benefits of think tanks of this nature are great in number. Innovation becomes a discipline of those inside, and eventually, outside of the think tank. Members of the public may become inspired by the work of the modern-day visionaries to come up with solutions of their own that will greatly change their part of the world. The futurist think tank engages the community by providing tools to bring about such change. Businesses who want to participate in their community and make the world around them a better place will also have access to such tools and inspiration. These tools include seminars on entrepreneurship and educational workshops on various topics within the business world.

Futurist think tanks bring about change in ways that individuals by themselves can not. Therefore, what it means to be a futurist think tank is to be a network of people bent on generating and innovating a better tomorrow. The future itself is never fully known, but the patterns leading up to it are measurable, manageable, and worthy of study. Futurist think tanks zero in on these trends, make sense of them, and bring solutions that would otherwise not be found. Want to learn more about futurist think tanks and how to be a part of something bigger than yourself? Contact us today!

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You + Me = AWESOME: 4 2-Person Collaborations That Rewrote the Story of the World https://www.davinciinstitute.com/in-coworking-space/you-me-awesome-4-2-person-collaborations-that-rewrote-the-story-of-the-world/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 16:42:42 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1215 The Wright Brothers helped us soar!You + Me = AWESOME: 4 2-Person Collaborations That Rewrote the Story of the World

We live in a world where getting ahead is made out to be a rat race. The truth is, nobody crosses the finish line alone. These four powerful collaborations rewrote the story of the world as we know it, changing our lives forever… and reminding us that we don’t need to lose our individuality to collaborate. We only have to be willing to let someone else see it…

Larry Page and Sergey Brin brought the world to us… and we never even needed to leave the Snuggie.

From the directions to your Monday morning meeting to what the heck that rash on your hand could be, you probably won’t get far into your day before you need to turn to Google. Before it did it all, Larry Page and Sergey Brin began the would-be Google company solely as a way to experiment with algorithms. Needless to say, the company has since grown into the essential technical giant that it is today and none of us can go far without picking up our phones, clearing our throats and saying, “OK, Google.”

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield make bitter moments sweeter… even breakups… ok, maybe even especially breakups.

Though it is still up for debate, ice cream may never change the world… but it sure makes living in it easier. As they joined together to create something epic, Ben Cohen focused on the textural components of flavors like Rocky Road. Meanwhile, Jerry Greenfield found his purpose in creating a rich, smooth background for marshmallows and chocolate chunks. Together, their unique talents brought us Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, otherwise known as, the vat of unicorn magic that you drown your sorrows in. From getting fired to getting dumped, these guys have helped us all out of some pretty dark places. Hmm… maybe on second thought ice cream CAN change the world.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon join hands and change music forever.

It started as a single song and you already know the one we are talking about… “I wanna hold your haaa-aaan-annnd.” Catchy right? When Lennon and McCartney teamed up, they had no way of knowing what magic they would make together. The sound was brand-new and the vibe was unlike anything the industry had seen before. Perfectly timed for an era when change was happening, wars were breaking out and leaning on friends was more important than ever, Paul and John would take this collaboration and create The Beatles. Long live rock and roll.

The Wright Brothers helped us soar.

If it were not for Wilbur and Orville Wright, you’d still be driving cross-country to visit your grandmother who lives 15 states away… with your siblings. That’s a lot of pit stops, drive thru lunches and painful carpool karaoke with people you normally can’t stand for more than two hours. Thanks to the Wright Brothers, we are now able to get where we need to be within hours or minutes, reconnecting when we need to most, supporting family through tough times or just going on an adventure of a lifetime. Without these brothers, we would all still be dreaming from the ground… and trying not to get “Punch-Bugged” from the middle row of the Suburban. Hey – no backfire.

Here at The DaVinci Institute, we believe in the power of collaboration. Like the Wright Brothers, we just fly higher together. When we combine what we know, our unique experiences and our individual talents, we get a return on our hard work that is far greater than anything we could have ever created alone. Here’s to the power of two. Together, we can do anything.  

For more information, contact Jennifer at jennifer@davinciinstitute.com

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DaVinci Tech Academy: Building the future with first-of-its-kind, leading-edge learning laboratory https://www.davinciinstitute.com/uncategorized/davinci-tech-academy-building-the-future-with-first-of-its-kind-leading-edge-learning-laboratory/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:01:49 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1199 Close-up of a young academic teacher holding a microphone and pointing at something during college classes

As a powerhouse networking giant and renowned futurist in Colorado, keynote speaker and author Thomas Frey was no stranger to intellectual, cutting edge concepts and engaging think-tank strategies. However, the creative intellectual introduced an unparalleled innovation in 1997 that held the power to build and transform the future: The DaVinci Tech Institute. A first-of-it’s kind learning laboratory, the academy would influence and inspire rising generations, as well as returning students and established professionals desiring growth and seeking to challenge themselves. In 2002, for the first time, the company hosted “Night with a Futurist” and “Start-up Junkie Underground”, events that would become part of their trademark and serve as a valuable tool in fostering a community connection. Today, the DaVinci Tech Academy’s intensive week-long immersive programs offer expert instruction, hands-on learning opportunities, leading technological insights and a practical toolkit that attendees can use to make a lasting impact in their personal communities.

The DaVinci Difference:

What makes the DaVinci Tech Academy experience unique?

  • The Courses: Led by tech-industry leaders and experienced futurist thinkers, the courses combine knowledge and action in a curriculum that is tailored to meet the rising needs and demands of technology today. Offering hands-on learning exercises in a state of the art laboratory allows students to put into practice what they are learning. The 40 hour, week-long course is intensive and submersive, making constructive use of every hour devoted to course material and learning. Participants will walk away with a deeper working knowledge of core technologies, as well as a conceptual understanding to facilitate application of the material in their communities going forward.
  • The Leader: DaVinci Institute founder and Executive Director Thomas Frey is internationally renowned for his leadership and innovation in futurist. He has been called the “Father of Invention” and “Dean of Futurists” and has worked closely and headlined with some of the most recognizable figures in the world today. He continually delves deeper into available research and works diligently with his board of visionaries and futurists to stay ahead of the curve. His keynote speaking events have included audiences from Fortune 500 companies, NASA, IBM, TEDx, and many others at the top of the professional and business pyramid. He is the author of the 2011 book, Communicating With the Future. He also holds the title as Google’s top rated Futurist Speaker. His name, as well as his legacy throughout the Academy, carries the seal of excellence.
  • The Cost: As a non-profit, neither the DaVinci Institute or the Tech Academy profit from the cost of tuition. Aware of the rising costs of college and universities, and the overwhelming hardship that is placed on students upon graduation to repay financial aid loans, the DaVinci Tech Academy (as well as the DaVinci Institute) aims to offer students solid, quality education options in a rising field, without adding unnecessary financial strain. Because of the massive amounts of new information in the futurist and tech fields that is constantly being updated, 4-year colleges struggle to keep up. With the DaVinci class layout, the student is given the most up to date material available.

The topics that are covered include:

  • Product Prototyping for the Internet of Things
  • Sensor Networks
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Deep Learning Networks
  • Music Composition for Video Game Development

Be a Part of the Futurist Movement: Current Course / Registration Information

By now you may be wondering how you can be a part of the DaVinci Tech Academy. If you find the futurist movement and technological advances exciting, or if these areas benefit your career, the Tech Academy’s upcoming course, Inside the Mind of a Futurist, is the perfect next step for you. Today’s leaders must become futurist thinkers if they want to be part of the competitive market. Relying on market trends and strategies that worked years ago simply will not be sufficient for the technological transformations that are taking place and will continue to infiltrate the business world. The course is designed to teach you how to think like a futurist, through specific techniques and observations. Instructors for the course are Michael Cushman and Thomas Frey. Those who register prior to February 28th are eligible for a substantial discount. Click here for further course information.

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6 Methods for Tapping into the Power of Collaboration https://www.davinciinstitute.com/in-coworking-space/6-methods-for-tapping-into-the-power-of-collaboration/ Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:23:21 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1186 A list of six effective collaboration methods.

6 Methods for Tapping into the Power of Collaboration

Innovation doesn’t evolve in a vacuum. Collaborating with others is an essential way to develop your ideas, your project, and even your business venture. If you are an independent startup working out of your home, you’re missing out on vital opportunities to tap into the power of collaboration.

Work independently in a public work space. This Forbes article cites a Harris Interactive Workplace Productivity study. The national survey finds that 63% of respondents prefer to carry out their work in a private space within a public work environment rather than work out of their homes. In fact, a co-work space provides an environment of productivity with a sense of individual space for entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. The leading co-work spaces are equipped with the latest technologies, conference rooms, and common areas. In a dynamic, functional co-work space, you decide when it’s helpful to bounce your ideas off others, and when you need to work those ideas out yourself.

Network and collaborate. As you come to your personal work space each day, you’ll meet other independent-minded individuals. According to this Entrepreneur article, collaboration with others who do not have a direct stake in your company is part of a successful research plan. Other elements involve idea planning, market research and analysis, and competitive analysis. With the power of collaboration at your fingertips, you’re able to reach out and receive valuable input on any one of these stages.

Take breaks in the common areas. Use the DaVinci Institute’s common areas and kitchen facilities to socialize with others on your breaks. This New York Times article states how taking frequent breaks as opposed to working over long stretches of time without one has been studied and verified. And this Scientific American article describes how corporations — from global leaders to startups — now recognize that taking frequent breaks increases productivity. Lastly, revitalizing your brain over lunch by socializing with other professionals who are not your supervisor or your co-workers is a convenient way to network.

Become a member of organizations in your field. Sign up, both online and offline, with national and international organizations that give you tips on how to stay on the cutting edge of your market. Take part in online professional communities, and participate in local organizations in your area. Learn what the latest apps are for increasing daily productivity, and how your fellow co-work members streamline their workflow. And keep on top of global trends by discussing them with others.

Attend events by globally-recognized thought leaders on disruptive innovation. No matter what your business is about, the advances of technology are affecting it even today. And they have for some time. Disruptive innovation, a theory first coined by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen in 1997, describes technological advances that interrupt the market, making current technologies and best practices obsolete. To keep up with what others in your field are doing to address disruptive innovation, attend events held by experts on this topic. And by interacting with attendees after the events, you’ll gain a further understanding of the technologies that drive today’s businesses into the future.

Prepare for the future in the present. When you operate out of the DaVinci Institute’s co-work space, you’re not just taking over available office space. You’ll have opportunities to network, exchange ideas, and collaborate with other business professionals who come to the Institute to work, as well as participate in the DaVinci Institute’s ongoing events.

In addition to providing co-work space, The DaVinci Institute offers opportunities for members to attend presentations by globally recognized thought leaders who define the direction of technological innovation.

Tap into the power of collaboration by signing up for a co-work space at the DaVinci Institute. If you have questions about our co-work space, the DaVinci Institute, or anything else, contact Jennifer at jennifer@davinciinstitute.com with your ideas and questions.

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Taking A Close Look at the Startup Scene in Westminster, Colorado https://www.davinciinstitute.com/uncategorized/taking-a-close-look-at-the-startup-scene-in-westminster-colorado/ Thu, 09 Feb 2017 20:07:30 +0000 https://www.davinciinstitute.com/?p=1148 A Close Look at the Startup Scene in Westminster, Colorado

The DaVinci Institute allows its members to access a large volume of resources, while still retaining core values of flexibility and futuristic thinking.
The DaVinci Institute allows its members to access a large volume of resources, while still retaining core values of flexibility and futuristic thinking.

When most people consider startups, the immediate association is that they must be centralized and operate in Silicon Valley. While the Bay Area has been the traditional home of many startups, it seems like companies are now trying to find new homes for their budding ideas. One of the newer locations where startups have found their home is in Westminster, Colorado.

Taking a close look at the startup scene in Westminster, Colorado, one thing becomes clear – they are finding their home in Westminster because it really is the best place to start a company.

Some companies that have chosen to make Westminster, Colorado their home include Bauscode, Winterbear and Wherefor, just to name a few. Bauscode is a software development and UX/UI design shop that aims to create an amazing interactive experience for a wide variety of brands. Winterbear is a full service studio dedicated to building games, apps and experiences for their clients; providing entertainment and engagement without sacrificing quality. This is just a small sample of the startups currently engaged in the tech space, but they all have one thing in common – they chose to make Westminster their home.

One of the reasons that might be is because of the resources available to them. Rather than deal with the hustle and bustle of big cities while racking up expenses, startups are choosing this little piece along the Denver-Boulder corridor as their home base. This speaks volumes of the opportunities available in the area – not only do you get to learn from the experiences of others, but you have the freedom to create without any inhibitions.

Organizations such as the DaVinci Institute are also a large factor in the decision to pick Westminster, Colorado and has become a magnet for startups. The DaVinci Institute allows its members to access a large volume of resources, while still retaining core values of flexibility and futuristic thinking. Membership allows for startups to participate in a diverse array of events ranging from a virtual reality meet-up to their iconic event, Night with a Futurist with the esteemed Thomas Frey.

The DaVinci Institute also offers a convenient coworking space which is a boon to startups. Rather than spend cash on the costly overhead of maintaining an office, startups can take advantage of the resources DaVinci Institute has to offer for its members. Westminster is a perfect midway point between Denver and Boulder on Highway 36, making it extremely accessible for everyone. Also offering 30 furnished private offices and executive suites, there is currently more than 3,000 square feet of open co-working areas.

Coupled with the meeting space and conference room offerings, complimentary tea and coffee and discounted educational events and opportunities, the DaVinci Institute plays a large role in helping startups in the Westminster area to succeed by giving it the tools it needs.Whatever the company style is, The DaVinci Institute has the resources to support it.

Startups are increasingly choosing to join The DaVinci Institute because prides itself on being a central location for tech-centric professionals who call Denver and Boulder home. By joining, startups can find unique perspectives from their fellow members, who span from developers to designers to creatives and use their knowledge to propel their own innovation. The co-working facility offers not only a work space for those commuting between Denver or Boulder, but also fosters a community environment for co-working.

The DaVinci Institute aims to gather knowledge to better innovate for the future through its research and to use this knowledge to provide the companies that join  a functional co-working space where they can ultimately build a sustainable technological future while still keeping it affordable for budding startups.

To learn more about the DaVinci Institute’s mission, and to join, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer at Jennifer@davinciinstitute.com

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