Full Marks for CollaborateCLT!

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On Nov. 4, my wife Megan and I went to the kickoff meeting for @CollaborateCLT, the latest brainchild of Bridget Sullivan. After cofounding Ignite Charlotte, she pitched a session at BarCamp Charlotte 4 about taking momentum from these “geek-oriented” events into the rest of the year. I have a deep interest in the Charlotte start-up scene, and I couldn’t agree more with her assessment.

As our participants started to arrive, I was impressed by Bridget’s leadership and selection of first activity. Each member of the group went around and described what they did, and then we went around again and described what we might be able to do for the others at the table. I found that I got to know the others at the table much better in a few moments than I’ve been able to at other networking events.

Then we got to the good stuff! We were encouraged to put forth an idea for a start-up company, which we then discussed as a group. Based on our mix of educators, marketers, technical implementors, and general guidance, I think we left with a product that would really have a strong chance of being funded, should the presenter wish to do so. Megan and I were both excited to get a chance to hopefully work on the project, so hopefully the presenter of the original idea will decide it’s worth more effort, and give it a shot!

This is the definition of collaboration. One person’s idea became everyone’s fascination, and many of us presented our own special knowledge of our chosen domains to great effect. The idea became stronger and stronger. It had established a couple of vendors, multiple marketing channels, and the basis for growing the business considerably year over year. I was stoked to write a business plan and get it in front of investors in town!

To bring this sort of energy to a 90 minute get-together was inspiring. I’ll be sure to promote the next meeting. I’d also love to see some collaboration between Bridget and Les Porter who runs CLTLaunch as I think these projects are perfect matches for each other. Work on your idea collaboratively with others interested in helping one on level, practice your presentation skills and get your idea funded at CLTLaunch. It could work!