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Things We Love: Round II of the Street Circus of Creativity

24 Aug

“Crazy, fun, weird, appalling, an interesting befuddlement ” are words that are used when describing the Boise Curb Cup.  Last year, I helped prepare for and kick off the inaugural Boise Curb Cup as an intern (Red Sky was on board for pro bono PR support) , never expecting a quirky and fun idea to evolve into massive talent-pool phenomena.  Curb Cup was so entertaining that I’m helping out again this year. If you’ve never experienced the Boise Curb Cup, let me try to fit an explanation of something so fantastical into a small paragraph.

The Boise Curb Cup brings all aspects of Boise’s society together and demonstrates that Boise is truly a diverse and culturally accepting community. Walking up and down the streets of Boise Curb Cup you can feel the energy of the performers and their acts. Whether it is children performing karate to Michael Jackson’s Thriller (last year’s winners!), pet owners showing off amazing animal tricks or burlesque dancers sashaying for the crowd, there is no lack of passion in each performance. Boise Curb Cup is truly an experience that will leave a lasting impact not only on the performers, but the curious street strollers as well.

Don’t think you have a talent to share? No problem, you can still play an integral part in the Boise Curb Cup. You have the power to vote for the winner. Tokens will be given out at “Curb Cup” stations downtown. Place a token in the performer’s “bucket” and the performer with the most tokens wins the grand prize of $1000!

Photos courtesy Skyler Simmons, Daniel Bertrand, Seth Lemmons

What better place to bring the family than beautiful downtown Boise on a lovely summer’s day? It’s an opportunity for you, family and friends to experience the true magnificence and talent the people of Boise possess. It doesn’t hurt that the event is also free of charge!

So gather your family, friends and a fully charged camera on August 29th from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Who knows, maybe you will be inspired to strut your stuff at the 2011 Boise Curb Cup.

See you there, Curb Cuppers!

– Gloria Miller

Eyes Bigger Than My End Table

8 Jun

When I put a query out to the great social universe “Working on a post about the biz/mgmt/marketing books you buy and those you actually read 😉 What do you have on your shelf?” one of the fantastic replies mentioned having ‘eyes bigger than time’ with many books still waiting to be read. As the picture to the left illustrates, I too suffer from ‘eyes bigger than time’ and more accurately, eyes bigger than my end table.

Although I’m jonesing for an iPad to mainly use as an e-reader I’m not quite sure that I’ll ever get over the feel of perusing tangible bookshelves for that one inspirational tome or the sound and smell of cracking open a new spine. And although my pile of ‘to be read’ gives me a twinge of guilt it also gives gives me a sense of hope, that the words within just one chapter or section of the magazines and books will  help me be a better entrepreneur, business owner, boss, chef, homeowner or creator.

And that’s what it is all about. Hope. The inspiration that comes from the covers, chapter openers and back page reviews of the zillions of business and lifestyle bibles that come out every nanosecond. For awhile I tried to keep up with ‘what you are supposed to read’ by subscribing to essentially Cliff Notes for Adults. But it felt like I was cheating myself out of something more. Then there were the management-endorsed (ahem, mandated) business books. First – Who Moved My Cheese? (which we ironically gifted back to our boss when the new management team laid him off), and then Jim Collins’ Good to Great (and I’ll own up to using the ‘right seat on the bus’ metaphor one time too many!)

But with all the sherpas I’ve now discovered whose minds and opinions I can gain access to daily, there are books I covet on a daily basis. From the great focus group of friends that is Facebook, Twitter and my recent excursion to the Counselor’s Academy in case your end table is not covered… (* are the ones I have on the shelf or are picking up soon!)

From the ‘Read ANYTHING by these writers’ bookshelf:

Malcolm Gladwell: Blink, The Tipping Point, What the Dog Saw, Outliers (loved it though not sure I agreed with it all), *The Tipping Point
(recommended by communicators Kaiva Klimanis, Katie Whittier, Samantha O’Lea)

Seth Godin Including the newest *Linchpin – Are You Indispensable?’ (props from marketer Jim Hall)

Jim Collins: How the Mighty Fall, Good to Great, Built to Last

Heath Brothers: *Made to Stick, *Switch

IDEO: Anything by the brains at this shop, including Tim Brown’s Change by Design , and Ram Charan – Leaders at All Levels, What Customers Want(courtesy public relations pro Kaiva Klimanis)

Recommended by:

corporate communicator Stephanie Martin: Latest issue of Fast Company, The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh

entrepreneur Mark Gilbreath: Heath Brothers! and Connected by Nicholas Christakis & James Fowler :The Surprising Power of our Social Networks

recruiter Kirk Baumann: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi: And other secrets to success, one relationship at a time, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

marketer Courtney Feider: Wealth from Within by Lori Culwell

marketer Tracey Werre: *Naked Conversations by Shel Israel & Robert Scoble: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers and Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business

As for what’s in my end table pile:

– Jess

Innovation and inspiration abound in May

11 May

Innovation and inspiration abound in May. A heads up on a few dates to save and registrations to get moving on!

What: Idaho’s Winery Startups
When: May 13 @ 5:30-7pm
Where: The WaterCooler
LAST CHANCE TO RSVP

From the vineyards of Southwest Idaho to co-ops and incubators, Idaho’s wine industry has exploded over the past few years since the advent of the Snake River Valley Appellation. Join Kickstand as we hear from three startup wineries who are making their mark in the wine industry – putting Southwest Idaho on the map as the newest wine region.
The panel includes:
Cinder Wines – Joe Schnerr
Davis Creek Cellars – Gina Davis
Syringa Winery


What: TechLaunch 7.0
When: May 19-20
Where: Red Lion Hotel Downtowner
Think you have what it takes to be Idaho’s Entrepreneurial Idol?  Contact Idaho TechConnect to find out how you can qualify for TechLaunch 7.0, the early stage financing educational event. Participants can be new startups or existing companies with a new product.  Companies presenting will have generally mastered the uniqueness of their respective technologies and are now seeking to perfect the overall business model attributes.  The ideal company is one that will be seeking financing in the next 12 – 18 months. Two companies will be selected from each region of the state to compete for $10,000+ in prizes before seasoned entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, commercial bankers and angel investors. Interested in watching local companies and entrepreneurs give their pitches? Sign up to sit in registration.


What: Startup Weekend
When: May 21-23
Where: The WaterCooler
What can you accomplish in 54 hours? Startup Weekend brings together a highly motivated group of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more at a 54 hour event that builds projects, communities and companies. The participants that attend a Startup Weekend decide what they want to tackle over the weekend, input desire, passion and drive, and come out at the end with several developed companies or projects. Sound intense? It is.
Think you have what it takes to collaborate and launch in a weekend? Register now!


What: IdaVation
When: May 26
Where: Boise Centre
Early-bird pricing!
As Kickstand’s annual conference, IdaVation is a tremendous opportunity to learn from an ensemble of business luminaries and experienced, successful entrepreneurs

<!– (view speakers)–>. This year’s theme is: Fostering a culture of innovation.
The event includes:

  • Keynote by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder & President, Idea Champions: Unleashing Creativity – How individuals and companies can foster a sustainable culture of innovation
  • Creativity and Innovation in Isolation – How Idaho companies are leveraging place to their advantage
  • Luncheon keynote by Shawn Shepherd, Ph.D., Head of School, Foothills School of Arts & Sciences: A Whole New Approach – The Future of Business Takes a Whole New Mind
  • World-Class Research Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Innovators – Idaho-based ideas ready for commercialization
  • Disruptive Technologies: Risk taking and focusing on future markets
  • Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship Roundtables
  • Afternoon workshop with Mitch Ditkoff: Entering the AHA state

Check out the full lineup & take advantage of early-bird pricing with discounts for Kickstand members.