This is a rough draft of some ideas that came to mind for Ignite. With further input from the team and community, a Phase One plan would be finalized and a cycle of execution and evaluation would ensue and spark improvements and new ideas.
PHASE ONE – Oct 2017 – December 2017
Get to know the Ignite and TRIP teams and gain a clearer understanding of the ideas that formed this role through conversations and reading all available materials. I would also see myself working on the following endeavors:
Assume Responsibility for Ignite Projects that Are In Process – Free TRIP and Ignite team members from managing the details of ongoing Ignite activities
Develop Technology Support Plan – Assess baseline for social media, event management, engagement tracking and develop infrastructure to support ongoing activities.
Develop Ignite Calendar – In addition to Ignite planned events, we can piggyback on other events. Mapping this out and assessing gaps will help us decide how to build a pipeline to further Ignite Innovation
Attend New Haven Startup Weekend on 10/20 – 10/22/17 – In order to host a Techstars Startup Weekend I would need to have attended one. This would be a great opportunity to connect with the New Haven CTNext Innovation Group.
Awareness Campaign – TRIP has been getting good press however, we should develop a short Ignite presentation and reach out to all community organizations to try to speak directly to their members. Flyers and/or postcards should be posted in all coffee shops throughout the area. Team to develop list of all groups we need to connect and I will work to build awareness and connection. Ensure cross-promotion of other TRIP Initiatives.
Plan an Ice House Class with SBDC – SBDC is already trained to facilitate this training. I recommend we request a training and have a few people go through a class to understand the potential for the product better and to make a decision about Facilitator training in the future. I would be happy to co-facilitate the course with them to ease the burden.
MAKING SPARKS FLY IN THE NEW YEAR
As the igniting force, it will be important to collaborate with community partners so the Ignite Program Manager will be the “SPARK” but the “OWNERSHIP” of the education, events and business development must be built through community partnerships that will be empowered to continue this work into the future.
Partner with Connecticut College – To build more interest in the Groton and New London areas for millenials, it makes sense to have Ignite events on the Conn College campus to incorporate student voice and creativity in the transformation of the area. Reach out directly to the following clubs: Community Connections, ConnSider, Launch, Office of Student Engagement, Office of Student Life, Orientation Committee, Roosevelt@Connecticut College, SouledOut, Student Activities Council, The College Voice and others.
World Creativity and Innovation Week and Day – Founded by an alumni of my Master’s program in 2001, this celebration has gained momentum. It falls during school Spring Break so it might be a great time to engage people of all ages in innovation events. Libraries, museums and other community organizations already do things this week, we should partner with them to add innovation components.
Ice House Meetups – Ice House is meant to plant seeds of a new mindset. It makes sense to have a monthly meeting that any graduate of Ice House (youth or adult) can attend to connect to others so that these seeds can be watered and nurtured to maturity
Increase Social Media Presence – Grow awareness of, and interest in, joining the Ignite movement using Heightening Anticipation and Shareable Content tactics (Memes, Quotes, Sponsored Ads). Ask Ignite team to share a post that invites others to join.
Create Monthly Networking/Education Events – Providing opportunities that community members can plan around is crucial to the growth of a following. I see you already have Thirsty Thursdays on the Third Thursday. Boosts, Ideation Events (similar to #CityJamCLT) and any other event that we intend to make monthly should be planned this way.
Create Annual (Quarterly or Semi-Annual) Events to Ignite Innovation – In partnership with community organizations, introduce new events that are fun and spur innovation
TedX Conference – I know this is already an idea and I am excited to help make this a reality
Techstars Startup Weekend – Organize a team to run Startup Weekends, it doesn’t look like our side of the state has ever had one. Reading one guy’s personal experience at Startup Weekend demonstrates how these weekends can have life-changing effects on the participants while also building community and sparking innovation.
Coop/Cultivator Program – Assist with the Coop and Cultivator curriculum and bring more aspiring entrepreneurs into that community
Mentors and Coaches – In addition to SBDC and SCORE, recruit local individuals who are interested in serving as mentors or coaches to fledgling entrepreneurs neighbor to neighbor, ongoing or for startup weekends.
Think Innovation – Offer workshops and training in Creative Problem Solving so that existing organizations can innovate. In BNI we offered a Business Compass Team meeting which allowed a resource group to help an existing business with their need to adapt. I could also offer workshops in creative/innovative business climates.
Teen Startup Weekend – I would reach out to Startup Teen based in Albuquerque to see if they are willing to coach an Organizer Group here which would include Teens, Parents, Teachers and other youth stakeholders. I would recruit and be part of this Organizer Group.
Start an Imagination Chapter – Inspired by Caine’s Arcade, local Imagination Chapters foster creativity and entrepreneurship in children through Creative Play. The Chapter would coordinate the Cardboard Challenge Imagination’s Day of Play in October each year.
Leadership Weekend – Raising up local leaders is key to sustainable innovation. I developed a Leadership Weekend plan for high school students however the content is applicable to adults as well.
MORE IDEAS TO COME