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Adams Hub Interim Strategic Plan: Summer 2018 – Winter 2019

Adams Hub Interim Strategic Plan: Summer 2018 – Winter 2019

Hello all!

Valerie here, the new Business Development Manager at the Adams Hub. As many of you already have heard, the Carson City Library took over management of the Adams Hub for innovation in May 2018 as a “Special Library Services Program of Economic Development”. Since that time, we’ve been asked quite a bit about what our vision is for the future of Adams Hub. So, we’ve developed an interim strategic plan. Ready to check it out?

Click here –> Final Interim Strategic Plan

We understand that you might have some questions (we’ve heard quite a few), so hopefully the information below will help to answer some of them!

Q: “Why did you write a strategic plan for only a few months?”

A: I’m glad you asked! The Library will be starting it’s next strategic planning process at the end of 2018, going into early 2019. Since the Adams Hub is now a program of the Library, it’s important that any plan for the Hub syncs with that of the Library, and vice versa. Thus, a full strategic planning process for the Hub will be completed in conjunction with that of the Library.

However, that leaves us hanging for a few months. To remedy that issue, we put together this interim plan to give the program some formal direction until a more robust and comprehensive planning process could take place.

Q: “What is the vibe of the Hub going to be like? Is this going to turn into a quiet ‘library’ setting?”

A: Definitely not! We feel it’s very important to build a culture of collaboration in a program such as this, and so we want our coworking space to be one where members can freely share ideas and to discuss challenges and successes. As for specific vibe, we have some ideas as to how we can maximize the creativity and fun that can take place in our space… more to come!

Bonus: we’re open to new ideas and suggestions! If you think of something that would be a great addition to our culture, contact me (info below) and let’s chat!

Q: “Is the incubator program going away?”

A: No. We have temporarily put the incubator program on hold while we look at how we can provide the best program within our resources. We intend to bring back the incubator program in the next few months. In the meantime, we do still offer coworking, “Executive Startup” memberships that include a private office, and many other memberships and services. Check out our latest program and fee schedule here –> New Member Fee Schedule 7.2018

Q: “How is the Adams Hub being funded now?”

A: Our program is still funded 100% through a grant from the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation, which launched the Adams Hub in 2014. We are currently exploring other state and federal grants to help support and expand our program offerings. No Carson City general fund dollars are going into the Adams Hub programs or services.

Q: “What is your vision for the Adams Hub?” 

A: It’s in the interim strategic plan, along with our larger goals, objectives, proposed activities, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Enjoy!

If you have any further questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact me!


Valerie Cauhape, MA, MPH (vcauhape@carson.org)


2017: The Year in Review


As a startup ourselves, 2017 was the year that Adams Hub shifted into high gear, accelerating our role in the Northern Nevada entrepreneurial ecosystem and within the Carson City community.

  • We attracted a variety of exciting new businesses.
  • We recruited a number of highly-qualified new mentors
  • We received growing recognition for the value of our program, both from members and through kudos from the business community.
  • We forged closer ties to local non-profits and were able to offer them, at no charge, a venue for their events, fundraisers and board meetings.
  • While continuing our recruitment of high-growth potential startups, we identified new opportunities to encourage and support local businesses.
  • We hired a visionary new Director for our New Entrepreneur Network, who has strengthened our program to help the area’s young people engage in their education and envision a bigger future for themselves.
  • We created unique new business-education programs in response to community needs.
  • We won new coworking clients and neared 100% occupancy for our private offices, prompting a decision to expand our private office capacity.



Our mission is to harness the power of entrepreneurism to improve opportunities and grow new community-engaged businesses, creating more well-compensated jobs and prosperity in our region. In keeping with Nevada’s independent, “Don’t Fence Me In” spirit, our Carson City facility and its programs were designed differently than a traditional incubator’s. Most incubators focus exclusively on scaling tech companies. Instead, our charter embraces the success of the entire community, not just startups. This has enabled Adams Hub to be a contributor to the growth of opportunity across the region, and across many demographics, including youth. We support the growth of local businesses that would not be prospects for traditional incubators, but which are a vital part of the fabric of a vibrant and attractive community.

2017 Takeaways

Member Mix. One of our learnings from the past year of operations is that mixing formally-incubated startups with compatible or synergistic growing businesses creates a better, more supportive habitat for all participants. Sometimes these growing businesses offer services that our startups need, such as app development or IT support. In other cases, it’s the unexpected, “creative collisions” between members that bear the most fruit.

In fact, the “secret sauce” of our program is exactly that: the spontaneous, dynamic collaboration that springs from day-to-day interactions between members, mentors, subject-matter experts, staff and guests. While these collaborations may be spontaneous, fostering the ideal environment for them to occur requires a thoughtful, strategic curation of our members and mentors.

We provide a state-of-the-art physical environment for productivity, offer programming that meets the needs of entrepreneurs, populate our facility with motivated, smart, talented and visionary people–and the collaborating and connecting begins. One recent example: a coworking member, a serial entrepreneur and turnaround consultant working on a promising tech startup, lamented that he would soon need access to a supercomputer to complete his project. Our entrepreneur-in-residence Matt Westfield, an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship at UNR, was able to connect the member with the computing lab at UNLV, which has an underutilized supercomputer. This same member has since joined our mentor cohort and is now an active participant in our monthly Entrepreneurs Assembly meetings.

This example illustrates another phenomenon that occurs frequently at Adams Hub: members often choose to participate in a variety of capacities, which deepens their engagement with our program and business ecosystem.

By the end of 2017, our office facility was almost entirely full, with demand continuing to increase. As activity has increased, a “buzz” has been created around Adams Hub, resulting in greater awareness and a burgeoning reputation as a key element of the Northern Nevada entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Growing Member-Companies

BASE VENTURE: This Fintech company provides a solution for modern investment fund management, including investor reporting, document management, communication and key process automation. BaseVenture was short-listed for the 2017 Hedge Fund Management Awards as well as the 2018 Private Asset Management Awards.

CHAMBER COMPLETE: Software and app for Chambers of Commerce, designed to attract and retain more members with functionality that includes virtual mixers, compliance and fraud alerts, crowd-funding, disaster-recovery tools and a vast library of business education resources.

CYCLADEX: This eco-friendly mining company, recipient of two SBIR grants, utilizes technology created by a founder who is a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, which eliminates the use of cyanide while processing ore. They are in the midst of a collaboration with Comstock Mining.

EASYKEEPER: Ag-tech livestock herd management software launched a major new functionality that has opened the product to larger-scale operations, and which led the company to be lauded as a 2017 Top 10 Ag-tech SaaS by an industry influencer.

FLASHVOTE: Founded by serial entrepreneur and Adams Hub mentor Kevin Lyons, FlashVote enables citizens to “vote” on any topic in seconds, from any communication device, anytime. Governments can routinely ask for opinions or advice and receive citizen feedback or suggestions in a flash. The mission of the company is to make local governments more responsive to citizen needs.

LIMA3: This company provides credit card processing solutions for companies which accept payment cards that makes use of Lima3’s proprietary Level 3 data creation to reduce processing fees by up to 30%.

MAPWATER: DRI researcher and Adams Hub startup founder Dr. Justin Huntington received grants from Google, NASA and Bechtel to pursue research that is enabling him to build out Climate Engine, a tool with multiple applications in public and private sectors.

RUVATO: App and game developer Ruvato launched the beta of their flagship product, MunyCard, a chore-management/rewards app for families. A user-testing process was conducted with students at Carson High as well as at Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada. Ruvato is collaborating with several Adams Hub clients to create apps for their startups.

WHAT WORKS COACHING: Principal Diane Dye Hansen expanded her successful in-person coaching practice into online coaching programs, tripled revenues in 2017, and graduated from USC with a Masters in Communication Management.

WICIS: This company expanded its satellite-enabled, real-time biometric and geolocation data solution from its initial market in adventure sports to defense, personal security and telemedicine. It received a Thuraya award.

New Member-Companies in 2017

ALACRITY: This Silicon Valley-based, med-tech product-realization firm develops medical device and diagnostic concepts rapidly and efficiently. The company expanded to Nevada with an office at Adams Hub, creating new jobs in engineering and sales and hiring their first Nevada-based employees.

BONANZA HEMP ag-tech startup is developing year-round, indoor growing facilities for large-scale, commercial hemp (non-cannabis) production. This company was founded by two of Ruvato’s partners.

COMMUNITY YOGI: This sharing-economy startup is disrupting the yoga and fitness industry by hosting classes in unconventional spaces, offering a “pay what you want” model to attract first-time yoga practitioners, and providing better compensation for instructors. The company is in the process of developing its mobile app.

DLL TECHNOLOGIES: This growing, 15-employee IT support company expanded from the San Diego area, establishing its first office in Carson City.

HONEST HEMP is producing nutraceutical and natural skin care products with compounds extracted from hemp.

LUDELA: Smart-candle startup Ludela is disrupting the candle industry with its real-flame products. Target, Frontgate and other major retailers have signed LOIs, and founder Jamie Bianchini is working with offshore manufacturers to bring the product to market in Q4 2018.

PN LLC: A consultancy focused on strategic and financial matters. Founder Paul Niedermeyer is a veteran turnaround specialist.

YOUTH POSITIVE: This educational startup offers a curriculum for students grounded in the evidence-based tenets of positive psychology, a strengths-based approach to living. The curriculum was adopted by 4 new schools in California as well as Carson High, Oasis Academy in Churchill County, North Valley High School and Mendive Middle School in Washoe County. The Youth Positive Curriculum has also been adopted by several schools in Australia. Founder Molly Dahl conducted her first teacher training seminar and was a presenter at the Innovative Schools Conference in Las Vegas, a national event. Ms. Dahl also accepted the position of Executive Director of New Entrepreneur Network, Adams Hub sister organization and completely revamped the program. She is now embedded in the Carson High Entrerpeneurship I and II classes each week providing value-added, real entrepreneurship training and facilitates guest speakers to augment the traditional classroom curriculum.


Adams Hub provides an array of in-house business education and entrepreneurial support programs. Our goal is to provide a spectrum of services, designed to support business owners and founders from entry-level to advanced.

While startups are a major focus of our education and support offerings, we pay increasing attention to other local businesses, including those that are contributing to our revitalized downtown. For example, two new downtown restaurant startups, Scoups and Gather, utilized business counseling services and participated in Entrepreneurs Assembly in 2017. Adams Hub facilitates such peer-to-peer learning as well as curates classes and workshops facilitated by acknowledged subject matter experts.

Adams Hub also collaborates with other providers of entrepreneurial and business-support services, public and private.

A Strategy of Deep Collaboration

While awards and recognition are gratifying, Adams Hub focuses on collaboration with other programs and resources, public and private, in the Northern Nevada community. Our goal is the overall, healthy growth of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. To that end, we’ve sought out collaboration and cooperation, and we do our best not to “reinvent the wheel.” If there’s another program that’s working well at filling the needs of our members, we’ll support and promote it, and even offer it a venue.

Collaborations with Public Resources

  • The Carson chapter of Entrepreneurs Assembly, a now-global, Nevada-born non-profit. The Studio at Adams Hub is now the home of Entrepreneurs Assembly Carson, which won “Chapter of the Year” in 2017. EA has also grown its mentor cohort with the addition of Adams Hub mentor-volunteers.
  • The Northern Nevada SBDC (Small Business Development Center) counselor conducts counseling sessions at Adams Hub each Tuesday. Client Koble tells us he now conducts more sessions here in Carson City than all his other communities combined.
  • The Carson City Library provides research librarians at Adams Hub every Wednesday, giving members and the community complimentary access to premium business intelligence databases.
  • The SBA (Small Business Administration) is establishing the agency’s Northern Nevada Regional satellite office at Adams Hub. We expect to have many new opportunities to collaborate with SBA as a result.
  • We partnered with Nevada Arts Council and Carson City Visitor’s Bureau to produce a highly-rated, four-workshop arts business education course, Artrepreneurs.



Programs for incubator companies:


The centerpiece of an incubator program is mentorship. Our mentor team includes civic leaders, veteran entrepreneurs and subject matter experts. Our incubator Members benefit from both formal, scheduled mentor-team meetings as well as informal, and on-demand mentoring throughout the work week to assist founders with problem-solving, ideation, and marketing communications.

Our mentor cohort grew substantially in 2017, with an influx of recently-relocated, veteran entrepreneurs and subject matter experts.

The Intern Program

One of the most significant benefits of being an incubator company at Adams Hub has been access to an intern team for projects. Interns are paid by Adams Hub but provide services to clients at no charge. Interns are selected from Carson High, Western Nevada College, and University of Nevada Reno (UNR). Our interns have gone on to participate in the Pre-Accelerator Program, become coworking members and have opportunities to become employees of our Member companies.

Programs open to the business community:

The following ongoing resources are made available to the local business community, at no charge, drawing on our cohort of subject matter experts and mentors.

Weekly Recurring Programs

  • Mondays: Motivation Mondays, one-on-one coaching sessions with business coach Diane Dye Hansen (two complimentary sessions)
  • Tuesdays: SBDC business counseling with Clint Koble, one-one-one counseling sessions on startup, business expansion, and business management (unlimited free sessions)
  • Wednesdays: Private one-on-one consultations for startups with Entrepreneur-in-Residence Matt Westfield (two complimentary sessions)
  • Wednesdays: Research Ninjas from the Carson City Library, with access to premium business-intelligence databases such as Mergent and Business Decisions, assist businesses with research (unlimited free service)

Monthly Programs

  • Entrepreneurs Assembly (EA): EA is a Nevada-based non-profit organization co-founded by our Entrepreneur in Residence Matt Westfield. The Carson chapter debuted in 2016 and grew rapidly in 2017. EA offers mentor-facilitated round-tables and peer-to-peer learning that supports business owners, founders, and even people just working on a business idea. Participants present a challenge or issue they’re facing and the round table members offer feedback and share experience. Then members are asked to identify their “marching orders” for the next 30 days. At the next meeting they report on their progress and continue to focus on their top priorities. 75 new members joined EA Carson in 2017, as did 7 new mentors. Many Adams Hub mentors participate as mentors with EA as well. EA Carson was also named the 2017 “Chapter of the Year.” EA has a global vision of harnessing entrepreneurism for positive change. New chapters were established in Africa and South America in 2017.
  • Adams Hub hosts Lunchbox Learning, a noon class series featuring different Subject Matter Experts.

Lunchbox Learning Classes in 2017 (Free and open to the community)

  • Research Like a Boss,” a presentation by Mergent, a business intelligence database utilized by our Carson Library Research Ninjas
  • Making Winning Pitches,” by Matt Westfield, explaining the nuts and bolts of creating and delivering a startup pitch to potential investors
  • Winning More B2B Sales,” with Sales Trainer Alice Heiman
  • From Idea to Action,” with Diane Dye Hansen, teaching participants how to overcome the “paradox of perfection” and get started on their business idea
  • Mastering the Mindset of World Class Service,” with Peggy Wynne Borgman, designed to enable local businesses and their employees to improve their customer service skills
  • Turning Curiosity Into Cash,” with Diane Dye Hansen, a session designed to help business owners better understand customer needs and identify the most profitable opportunities
  • Negotiation Made Simple,” with Professor Bob Ash, on negotiating skills
  • How to Research Almost Anything,” with Reference USA
  • Using LinkedIn to Generate Leads,” with Diane Dye Hansen
  • Telling Your Business Story,” with Terri Vance of Nevada Photo Source
  • Sales Without Fear,” with Peggy Wynne Borgman


Special Programs

  • The Pre-Accelerator Program. This three week program with veteran entrepreneur and mentor Kevin Lyons takes startups through a rigorous process based on the proven model pioneered by renowned Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator. The Pre-accelerator is designed to hone a minimum viable product, engage customers, generate sales and increase traction. Participants continue their collaborations through semi-monthly TEOS” (“Test each other’s stuff”) sessions. We conducted two Pre-Accelerator programs in 2017, with a goal of expanding that to three in 2018. Acceptance to the Pre-Accelerator program is by application, and there is no charge to attend.
  • Artrepreneurs Workshop. We produced a new, four-weeks series of three-hour, once-a-week worskhops in collaboration with Nevada Arts Council and Carson City Visitors Bureau, designed to help local artists develop their business and marketing skills. The curriculum included industry-specific content on web development, social media marketing, craft fairs, galleries, grants and documenting artwork, presented by an array of subject matter experts. The program was held at different venues, including the Nevada State Museum, the Brewery Arts Center and Adams Hub. The workshop culminated in a group exhibition, open to the public, at the Studio at Adams Hub. 25 students participated, and the program had a waiting list. Tuition for the 12 hours of training was just $49.



  • Who’s your customer? Peggy Wynne Borgman
  • What’s your “Why”? Miya MacKenzie
  • Telling Your Story, Creating Your Elevator Pitch: Teri Vance
  • Introduction to Social Media: Kyle Horvath
  • Creating Your Web Presence: Kat Hood
  • Wholesale, Retail and Beyond: Casey Sibley
  • Commercial and Non-Profit Galleries: Paul Baker Prindle
  • Documenting Your Work with Photography: Larry Burton
  • Writing a great blurb or capsule bio: Peggy Wynne Borgman
  • Selling at Fairs and Festivals: Curtis Beck
  • Grants:  Shoshana Zeldner, Fran Morrow
  •  Artist Residencies: Mark Salinas
  • Panel discussion:Sharon Ross, Andrew  Daugherty, Annie Zucker, Mark Salinas


International Engagement

  • YALI: The State Department-sponsored Mandela Fellowship includes the Young African Leaders Institute (YALI) brings groups of high-potential community and business leaders to UNR and Northern Nevada to immerse themselves in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Adams Hub hosted the Fellows, offering presentations by our incubator clients as well as government leaders. According to the State Department, while a number of YALI cohorts take part in programs at prestigious universities across the US, participants in the University of Nevada program have made the biggest impact in their communities, starting substantially more companies than participants in the non-Nevada groups.
  • Australian Youth Engagement Mission: Cassandra Mao and Alex Splitt visited Adams Hub to discuss our youth engagement initiatives and share their experiences. Ms. Mao is a 23-year-old thought leader in youth entrepreneurism and director of Australian non-profit Youth Without Borders; Mr. Splitt, while at the Foundation for Young Australians, oversaw the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy.
  • Czech Trade Mission: Adams Hub team met with a GOED-sponsored trade mission for Czech Republic delegates. We discussed opportunities for Czech startups in Northern Nevada and for Nevada startups exploring potential business resources in Czech, including coding teams that could accelerate technology ventures.



Creating more and better economic opportunities in the community requires supporting our youth in “thinking bigger” and “thinking like entrepreneurs.” Cultivating a new generation of locally-grown entrepreneurs and “intrapreneurs”) is a vital, long-term initiative of Adams Hub.

2017 was a watershed year for NewE, with the appointment of a new executive director, Molly Dahl, who immediately pushed the program into high gear. A veteran educator, engaging teacher, author, and expert in the field of Positive Education, Ms. Dahl brought a new vitality, knowhow and effectiveness to our in-school programs at Carson High.

In 2017 NewE:

  • Delivered the Youth Positive curriculum as an integral part of the Freshman Transitions class at Carson High, reaching approximately 600
  • Conducted an Introduction to Entrepreneurism program as part of Carson High’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) department’s Entrepreneurism I and Entrepreneurism II classes, in collaboration with instructor Billy McHenry. We shared concepts such as divergent thinking and disruptive thinking, as well as presentations by company founders, to help students understand the fundamentals of innovation. The Carson High business classes culminate in a popular, Shark-Tank style business pitch competition.
  • Delivered 11 sessions, reaching 250 students, on the Fundamentals of Ideation to Carson High Students. The class was taught by Miya MacKenzie. We also presented a class on the Entrepreneurial Mindset to approximately 350 students.
  • Conducted a summer 6-week Entrepreneurial Readiness Intensive (ERI) through the Boys & Girls Club, and a spring ERI at Carson High. This program results in a “Certificate of Entrepreneurial Readiness,” signed by Carson City mayor Bob Crowell, to let prospective employers know that the student has gained an understanding of how to contribute to their company’s success. As part of the program, students acted as consultants to local businesses, conducting discovery and then offering solutions to operational issues, in a presentation to business owners and managers.
  • Conducted a “Middle School Makers Camp” in collaboration with the Carson Library, during spring break.



  • EDAWN (Economic Development Agency of Western Nevada) named Adams Hub the “Entrepreneurial Program of the Year.”
  • The EDAWN “Startup Deck” (a deck of cards highlighting the assets of the local startup community) featured the Adams Hub coworking space. Among just 14 individuals honored with a “face card” were our Chief Professional Officer Miya MacKenzie, Adams Hub Entrepreneur-in-Residence Matt Westfield, as well as Adams Hub mentors Craig Macy and Kevin Lyons.
  • Entrepreneurs Assembly (EA), a Nevada-based non-profit organization, board of directors named the Carson chapter, which is hosted at The Studio at Adams Hub and includes Adams Hub mentors, “Chapter of the Year”.
  • In the Carson City “Taste of Downtown” The Studio at Adams Hub was awarded the “Staff Favorite” venue.
  • Adams Hub received a 5-star average rating across online review platforms on Yelp, Google and Facebook.




The view from the Entrepreneurship classroom with Areli, CHS student intern

After having completed Principles of Business and Marketing, I’m now in Entrepreneurship I, an elective course taught by Carson High’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructor Billy McHenry. The class provided me with an opportunity for my first internship, here at the Adams Hub. I work directly with entrepreneurs who are starting companies, in a professional business environment.

Last year, Mr. McHenry’s class focused on how to manage our money and make smart decisions with it. It gave us a great foundation for thinking differently about money. This year we’re getting hands-on, and learning how to truly run a business. During our time in this course we create an original business plan, which we eventually present to Mr. McHenry, in hopes of moving on to the “Shark Tank” event, where we then compete for a cash prize that could help us start our own businesses.

I’ve learned some incredible things and worked with some remarkable people, including some who have helped me create a more professional business plan. Molly Dahl, who also works at the Adams Hub, has been a consistent support for the students in the business program as well as myself. Because of her, we’ve learned things we would have never imagined working on, including mindfulness, customer service, teamwork, presentation skills and more. Ms. Dahl is an anchor and constant inspiration to the students in this program.

With her have come other supportive Adams Hub mentors including Miya McKenzie, Matt Westfield, and Peggy Borgman (who I also get the pleasure of working with). They have all come into the business program and shared their knowledge and expertise with the students. Ms. MacKenzie has shared the latest thinking on how to truly “think outside of the box” before starting a business. Matt Westfield has presented a class on how to make a successful business pitch and win any audience over. Peggy Borgman, who has been a small business owner, discussed her experience with running her own company and the importance of offering world-class customer service.

The members of the Adams Hub team have left their mark in the Carson High business program and furthered the love of business we Entrepreneurship students share!

1 Million Cups Live-stream in Carson City

Looking for a little inspiration on Hump Day? Grab a cup of fabulous Hub Coffee Roasters coffee, network with other entrepreneurs and business people, and enjoy the weekly live-stream of a popular Reno entrepreneurial event. While the Reno meetings unfold in the state-of-the-art Innevation Center every Wednesday from 9-10 AM, The Union will live-stream the event for the public in its new coffee house, which features Hub Coffee Roasters. During the casual, networking-friendly event, attendees will also have the option of ordering breakfast, espresso drinks, and fresh-baked pastries from the Union’s new menu.

“We’re excited to bring another great entrepreneurial event to Carson,” notes Miya MacKenzie, Chief Professional Officer at Adams Hub for innovation, a downtown business incubator and co-working habitat. “The Union’s wonderful new space is the ideal venue.”

1 Million Cups events are weekly meetings in which local entrepreneurs engage with their communities by presenting their early-stage businesses to a diverse audience, including other small business owners, advisors, and mentors. Run by more than 800 volunteers in over 40 states and one United States territory, these programs are organized by individual chapters who host their own meetings in locations that include coffee shops and co-working spaces.

The format is simple: entrepreneurs present for six minutes and then hold a twenty-minute question and answer session with the audience. By receiving honest and open real-time feedback from individuals with a similar business mindset, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insight into their startups from their own community, including ways that they can improve, moving forward.

While business owners certainly stand to gain from these events, everyone in attendance can learn a great deal by listening to and interacting with the presenters during the Q & A sessions. 1 Million Cups emphasizes a collaborative and welcoming culture in which attendees are encouraged to support each other in the various stages of their entrepreneurial journeys. All 1 Million Cups events are free and open to anyone.

“Adams Hub hosts an award-winning chapter of Entrepreneurs Assembly each month, and we anticipate that hosting 1MC at the Union will give EA members a chance to continue their networking and collaboration on a weekly basis,” says MacKenzie.

The 1 Million Cups name springs from the idea that millions of new ideas and connections occur over those all-important cups of coffee. The program was developed by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit based in Kansas City, Missouri, and has seen rapid growth in recent years, increasing from 23 communities in January of 2014 to 100 communities in October of 2016. The current number of communities involved in the program is now 165. 1MC has generated buzz in media outlets such as The New York Times, Success, and Fast Company.

The live-streams of the 1 Million Cups Reno chapter’s events will be held at the Coffee Shop located at the rear of The Union Eatery and Taphouse, 301 N Carson Street. You’ll find the coffee shop through the courtyard entrance at West Proctor and Curry Streets.

Live-streams will take place every Wednesday from 9-10 AM.

For more information about the Carson City 1MC event, contact Adams Hub at 775.222.0001.

To learn more about attending or presenting at the Reno live event at UNR’s Innevation Center, visit https://www.1millioncups.com/reno.

New E Network at Carson High: Opening Young Minds to Innovative Thinking

An Interview with NewE Director Molly Dahl

We caught up with NewE Director, Molly Dahl, a veteran educator who is also the creator of YOUTH Positive, a curriculum that is being implemented at Carson High as well as other schools across the country and even internationally.

Give us a quick taste of what the YOUTH Positive collaboration with Carson High is about.

MD: YOUTH Positive is based on the tenets of Positive Psychology, a fairly young discipline within Psychology that seeks to understand how humans use different modes of thinking and emotional self-management to flourish. We’re just applying it to young people.

It seems like every day we hear about the importance of critical-thinking and innovation to the creation of new companies. But we’re also hearing that today’s kids are at a distinct disadvantage after years of being trained to memorize knowledge and pass standardized tests. How can the YOUTH Positive Curriculum affect that?

MD: At Carson High, we’ve started the year by exploring the roots of creativity: mindfulness, divergent thinking and disruptive thinking. Your mind is your greatest creative tool, but you have to be “in” your mind and know how you think. Every student is a little different. We did a strengths assessment and values-discovery process.

We began our process with problem-based learning; most kids ended up working in a group on a problem that they have in real life.

They created a list of 10 possible solutions for each of the selected problems. Then they had 3 weeks to try out those actual solutions and find out which worked (or even that problem was unsolvable.) Then they made 5-minute presentations on their problem, how they came up with solution, and how it worked. It takes a lot of practice to get kids to leave their comfort zone. Most kids are really concerned about failing.

AH: To older adults, this might seem remarkably basic, because our learning experience was different. For example, most Boomer childhoods were pretty “free-range”, with more independence and consequently, more mistakes and failures to learn from.

MD: Yes! Compared to us, young people are remarkably cautious and risk-averse. That’s thanks to years spent being trained to memorize one correct answer. Innovation has always been a hallmark of American culture, and we have to do everything we can to ensure that we cultivate the next generation of innovators. We have some catching up to do!

AH: What else have you been working on?

We’ve brought in guest speakers. Kendra Wong from Sierra Nevada College did a terrific team-building session that was also about expanding one’s thinking. She utilized a tower-building exercise, dividing kids into teams and supplying them with paper, scissors and tape. At first, the kids simply utilized those materials, and everyone basically got the same result. Then she encouraged them to improvise, and all of a sudden the students realized that they weren’t limited to those materials. They started practicing some real creative thinking, and getting outside of the box. The final towers were taller than the original classroom ceiling and even had to be built in a different area—literally getting outside the classroom box. The takeaways for the students included being able to grasp the idea that they had all kinds of options, and that often we superimpose rules and limitations that don’t exist.

Which other guests had an impact on the students?

We had speakers who talked about how they found the path to their livelihood. We wanted to underscore that there may be more than one “right” path, and that exploration is crucial to finding rewarding career.

Casey Sebahar of the Pink House restaurant in Genoa talked about his journey from being a teacher to his finding his real passion: cheese. Casey had to go out and acquire a whole new education to pursue his dream of being a cheesemonger.

His wife Hailey Sebahar had a different path. Hailey, whose father was an early beachwear entrepreneur, spoke about always wanting to be a designer and going to FIDM in New York. She designs and prints her own fabrics and uses them to make clothing, including swimsuits. She discussed how she saved money to launch her business, a company called Paper Sails, which is building a big online following. She sells directly through her online store and at craft fairs and shows.

The takeaways: you may know what you want to do, you might not, but there is more than one path to discovering your dream job. And the other takeaway was the importance of doing something that you love. If you’re not passionate about what you do, you won’t be successful.

Miya MacKenzie (of Adams Hub) did a session on disruptive thinking, and got kids familiar with the idea of disruption vs. divergence. They looked at how you disrupt an industry, with examples such as the creation of counter-intuitive startups Red Bull, sock company Little Miss Matched and Snapchat.

Miya did an exercise to identify assumptions about a category and how you can flip this 180 degrees to create something completely new.

These sound like great exercises. How are the students getting to apply this in the “real world”?

Munycards, an Adams Hub startup, is going to have the kids in our class do user testing with their prototype product, a chore-management and reward app for families. This is a great way for them to be involved in something real, to help a local business, and to apply their new problem-solving chops!

You were an educator for 15 years. How are you finding the students at Carson High?

It’s been so rewarding. These kids are open, very receptive, super sweet and willing to try anything we offer them. They really are engaged. The question, “WHY are we doing this?” has been answered, so they are willing to participate. That’s a great feeling.

Thanks, Molly!