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In the New Year, Think Big Coworking will be expanding and growing thanks to our recently announced partnership with Plexpod.  We are now looking for more energetic, friendly, organized and self-motivated, part-time team members who will support the daily needs of coworking space, assist in execution of events, continue to develop the coworking community and bring in new membership.

Does this sound like you?

Whether you’re catching up with an old friend or meeting someone for the first time, you genuinely take interest in them. You care about their story, where they’re going and how you can help them further along. You can handle small complaints and know how to fix them. You prefer organization, but if you realize you forgot your Mom’s birthday party, you can remain calm and roll with the punches. You get bored doing redundant projects and love the thought of wearing different hats. You’re not afraid to try new things, like learning how to make amazing latte art! Did you say “YES, that’s me!”? Then take a look at the the job description below and apply!

Community Connector – Think Big Coworking, Kansas City, MO

Immediate Opening This is a part-time position of 15-20 hours a week during business hours of Mon.-Fri., 8am-6pm and occasionally evenings and weekends for events.

Compensation: $11-14/hour

Reports directly to: Coworking and Events Manager

Job Purpose: The Community Connector’s primary role is to be the first point of contact for coworking members, clients and guests of the space. This includes but not limited to assisting the coworking members of Think Big in a variety of customer service situations, maintain cleanliness and organization of coworking space, provide assistance in the execution of events and meetings held in the space and promote membership to potential clients.

Primary Duties:

Assist the guests and coworking members of Think Big:

Greet members, guests and clients in a prompt, friendly, and inquisitive manner upon arrival; get in the habit of asking, “What are you working on today?”

Represent Think Big Partners in a professional, friendly, and efficient manner (you are the first and main point of contact on a day-to-day basis to Think Big members.)

Exceed the members and guests expectations: offer the full coffee-bar experience as if they were visiting their favorite coffee shop

Assist members and guests with answering questions about internet, printing, copies, mail, and other amenities

Connect with other Think Big team members or Think Big Partners if you do not know an answer to a question to go above and beyond for guests

Alert Think Big team and member companies when a client has arrived and make sure client is well taken care of with Think Big Information, friendly conversation, coffee, water, or Red Bull

Get to know the Think Members and guests coworking in the space.  Create relationships and understand how to help them and who to connect them within the membership base and community.

Be aware of potential issues and if something goes wrong, handle it in a professional and efficient manner.

Consistently figure out ways to exceed expectations and how to be remarkable.

Assist with booking of meeting rooms.

Get to know the Crossroads Arts District as to recommend local businesses to members for a lunch break or after work activity.

Maintain Cleanliness and Organization of the Coworking Space:

Perform opening and closing duties of the coworking space.

Respect your surroundings.  If you notice something that appears out of place and unkempt, correct and rectify the situation. Perform consistent walk throughs of space to ensure tidiness and meeting rooms are in order.

Restock items in coworking space, meeting rooms, and bathrooms and help manage inventory with Coworking Manager.

Clean around the space as needed or after busy days in between janitor company visits (twice per week) including but not limited to: wipe down glass walls, doors, stainless steel surfaces, tables, counters and/or sinks, restore furniture back to it’s original configuration or change out trash bags.

Run/Unload kitchen dishwashers as needed.

Treat the space with respect.  Many folks are spending more time at Think Big than their homes.

Assistance with Events and Meetings Execution:

Assist with set up and tear down of events held in space.

Provide supervisory support to clients holding events in the space.

Perform closing duties pertaining to events.

Assist client with AV needs and technology questions.

Understand the workings of the space to offer recommendations to client when needed.

Need to possess the skills to interact professionally with a variety of clientele.

Flexibility to works some weekends.

Help client with the loading and unloading of items and make yourself available during event in case the client needs help with something.

Exceed clients expectations by offering exceptional service with a smile.

Know what is going on around the space with member events and private events in order to raise awareness and create excitement.  This includes update member slideshow and social media updates.

Qualifications:

Must be able to carry and lift 30+ pounds.

Must be excited about Kansas City and the many things happening around the city.

Must be a team player, willing to help who is excited about the coworking movement and being a part of something bigger.

Must have organization and initiative.

Must have a general knowledge on use of technology

Interested in entrepreneurship and knows or has a desire about the startup community in Kansas City, events, people, and things.

Ideal candidate has experience in customer service, retail industry or other client facing position

If you’re interested, please send your resume and an email/cover letter about why you think you’d be a great team member for the Think Big Coworking community to hi@thinkbigcoworking.com


About Think Big Coworking

Think Big Coworking (TBCo) is a collaborative office space for entrepreneurs, startups and innovators. People do more than get work done here. They come to Think Big Coworking to get inspired, find their next cofounder or work on their big idea. TBCo is a community that allows members to find a new way to work, collaborate with one another and surround themselves with other brilliant minds.  

More than 60 startups and small businesses come to Think Big Coworking on a daily basis to grind it out in our innovative and state-of-the art coworking space. We’re a three-floor coworking space located in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City and managed by Think Big Partners. And although Think Big Partners is the parent company, it’s the members and partners in TBCo that create the pulse of the space. Find out more about Think Big Coworking at www.thinkbigcoworking.com.

About Think Big Partners

Think Big Partners helps companies grow smarter, faster and more efficiently through our network of partners and in-house service providers. But, Think Big Partners is more than just a company dedicated to entrepreneurship. Through our combination of business incubator, tech accelerator and coworking programs, we have created a community where early-stage businesses find the necessary elements to launch, grow and succeed. A community where all elements of the ecosystem converge allowing entrepreneurs to have meaningful “collisions” with others so they feel comfortable collaborating to produce more sustainable and dynamic ventures.

The post Think Big Coworking is Looking for New Team Members! appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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For the past 8 years, Think Big Partners has been proud to help entrepreneurs, innovators, freelancers and established companies achieve greater levels of success. With this in mind, we are excited to share some special news.
Plexpod acquires Think Big Coworking, expanding support for growth-stage companies, entrepreneurs and innovators

Plexpod and Think Big Partners announced today they are moving forward on an agreement that promotes expansion through partnership and provides greater support for growth-stage companies, entrepreneurs, and innovators throughout the Midwest Region. As part of the agreement, Plexpod will acquire Think Big Coworking from Think Big Partners, which has operated as an early stage business incubator, emerging technology startup accelerator, innovation partner to established companies and Smart City consultant. Think Big Partners will launch Think Big Labs, a next-generation growth incubator program, which will operate from each Plexpod location.

Plexpod, a progressive coworking platform offering next-generation workspaces for entrepreneurs, startups, and growth-stage companies of all sizes, will take over operations at 1712 Main St, in the downtown Kansas City Crossroads, at the start of 2018. This acquisition and expansion will benefit all current and new Plexpod member-companies as they can now enjoy access to multiple Plexpod locations throughout the metro area from Johnson County to Midtown/Plaza to Crossroads/Downtown Kansas City.

Plexpod Founder and CEO Gerald Smith said, “Plexpod’s mission is to resource the best entrepreneurs that are solving big world problems, and then provide them with access to business networks across their city and region which we believe increases their chances for success. I am proud of what our team has accomplished. With this acquisition, there will now be over 225 growing companies operating on the Plexpod coworking platform, which includes over 220,000 square feet of flexible office space under management throughout the Kansas City metro area.” Plexpod will be announcing additional locations in the coming weeks.

The newly launched Think Big Labs program begins where current successful accelerator programs like Techstars often leave off. Think Big Labs will focus on emerging technologies and act primarily as an innovation lab focused on helping communities prepare for and foster entrepreneur-led economic growth. “Seven years ago, we set out to build the kind of dynamic workspaces that we as entrepreneurs longed for but could not find in traditional real estate,” said Think Big Partners cofounder Herb Sih. “In Plexpod, we’ve found kindred spirits who understand the impact entrepreneurs can make when they have access to resources, mentors, and inspiring spaces in which to work. We are excited to help communities throughout the US unlock economic growth through innovation and entrepreneur-led economic development with a strong Plexpod platform and partnership.”

“The right mix of talent and resources can revive and reinvent any modern city, and we think this is a key component of next generation smart communities,” said Think Big Partner, and Director of Operations Sarah Fustine. “We’ve seen member-companies bring new jobs to the Kansas City and Midwest market, and we’re so excited about the potential for inventing new futures for communities all across the region.”

Think Big Labs will operate out of each Plexpod location, and as a separate legal entity from Plexpod. Think Big Partners will continue to office at the 1712 Main location.

Specific details about Plexpod membership and member benefits are available online at Plexpod.com. Information about Think Big Labs will be published online before the end of 2017 at thinkbigpartners.com.

 

About Plexpod

Plexpod, founded in 2014, is a progressive coworking platform offering next generation workspace for entrepreneurs, startups, and growth-stage companies of all sizes. In addition to desks, offices, team spaces, and meeting rooms, Plexpod serves as each company’s world headquarters featuring additional resources like soundstage & photography studios, performance theater & event spaces, cafes & kitchens, fitness & gaming, sport court & dance studio, as well as outdoor spaces. Plexpod has several locations in the Kansas City metro area and is currently expanding to other cities.

About Think Big Partners

Think Big Partners is an innovation driven professional services firm located in Kansas City that has operated an emerging technology incubator, startup accelerator and workspace since 2009. As one of the leading experts in the smart city space, Think Big Partners has helped cities and communities grow through smart city planning, supporting entrepreneurship and developing solutions through innovation partnering. In 2016, Think Big Partners won the Golden Edison Award for its role in the Kansas City Smart City project. Think Big Partners will operate Think Big Labs, a public-private partnership model that fosters innovation and economic development for cities, established companies, and entrepreneurs through innovation partnering.

For more information contact Plexpod, at info@plexpod.com or Think Big Labs, at info@thinkbigpartners.com

The post Plexpod & Think Big Partners Announce Acquisition and Partnership for Expansion, Innovation, and Economic Development appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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“Flexible” isn’t often a word that comes to mind when you think of corporate workspaces, but with the rapidly growing trend of corporate coworking, flexibility is quickly becoming a priority. Driven by a global push for workplace agility and a cultural shift to more flexible offices, global corporations and top-tier local companies are enhancing their corporate real estate portfolios with coworking.

For forward-thinking organizations, coworking now plays a key role in facilitating interaction between large corporations and startups and in incubating the evolution of a new business ecosystem.

In a recent Kansas City Business Journal article, Koch Industries explains the real value and potential that coworking holds for the success of their company.

Why Koch Industries unit opened its first KC office inside a coworking studio By Leslie Collins  |  Reporter, Kansas City Business Journal

For its first Kansas City office, Koch Business Solutions LP took an unconventional route – opening inside a coworking space.

The Koch Industries subsidiary, which opened its area office at Think Big Coworking in June, provides consulting and support services, such as IT, to Koch Industries and its affiliates. KBS employs 10 locally, though that number probably will grow.

KBS considered a variety of options nationwide, but it landed on Kansas City because of its IT talent, KBS IT manager Casey King told the Kansas City Business Journal.

“One of the bets we made is there’s IT talent here that we’ve not yet tapped into,” he said.

A growing number of local tech startups focused on cutting-edge technology and analytics are finding success, and that type of talent signals to KBS that Kansas City is a market in which it can grow, KBS HR Manager Katie Schuckman said .

Leveraging a coworking space not only can drive innovation, but it plays into evolving work environment trends, she said.

Click here to read the full article.

The post Why Corporate Coworking is Becoming a Thing in Kansas City appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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Contributed by Catie Chappell,– Think Big Member and Operations Analyst at Influence & Co.

By second grade, I learned that the school picnic was the best indication summer was just around the corner – being from Chicago, weather wasn’t much of a tell-tale sign. I also didn’t have the best perception of time at the age of seven or eight, but that’s a different story. The teachers would get us in a zig-zaggy sort of line, and we’d wait for the most perfect announcement to crackle over the speaker, “Time to go outside”.

I was unable to contain my excitement rushing out of that brick building. Summer was greeting me in the form of sunshine, picnic blankets, and popsicles. Nothing could be better in my childhood mind.

Time hasn’t changed that perception. I still have a strong association between picnics and summertime which is why I’m so excited that Think Big and the KC startup community are hosting a rain or shine Potluck Picnic.

Come celebrate the summer with us on Thursday, July 20th from 12pm – 2pm at the second floor of the Think Big building.

Bring your $5 donation and relive your childhood picnic days by chowing down on some tasty picnic treats.

Have a favorite dish no picnic can live without? Be sure to bring enough to share!

If you’re not much of a cook but aspire to be KC’s next best food critique, just bring your donation and well-tuned palate to vote for your favorite dish! All proceeds will be donated to the winning chef’s charity of choice.

It’s summer time, so come and enjoy with great food and great company.

Sign up to bring a dish or attend through the Google Form below. We’ll see you there! Until then, happy summer-ing!

The post Celebrate Summer! Think Big’s Summer Picnic – Thursday, July 20th appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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Contributed by Kara Shobe, Think Big Member and Account Strategist at Influence & Co.

Think Big is excited to host a Royals-themed potluck from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the second floor of Think Big Coworking. Complete with fresh ballpark fare and tailgate-inspired snacks, this charity lunch is sure to be a home run.

For a $5 donation, share your meanest game-day dish with Think Big Members and the KC startup community while watching the boys in blue take on the Tampa Bay Rays. All proceeds will benefit the winning chef’s charity of choice.

Are mom’s secret recipes too sacred to share? Not to worry! No potluck submission is required. Come enjoy a midday break with your coworkers, sample the entries, and vote on your favorite dishes.

I, for one, could not be more excited for this event. Born and raised a Royal, I’ve never met more passionate fans than those who rally behind the Royals. From the all-too-familiar lows of the past to the still-fresh high of winning the World Series, my family and I have spent more afternoons than I can count crowded around the television or huddled in Kauffman Stadium’s parking lot.

For me, game days were the best part of childhood. When my parents picked me up early from school to cheer on our team, I knew I was in for a treat. Hot dogs, nachos, slushies, Dippin’ Dots, t-shirts, and more were up for grabs. Homework, obviously, could wait. Those were days like no other, and frankly, they still are.

You can imagine my excitement, then, when I heard Think Big would be hosting this potluck watch party. Whether you sign up to be a tailgate chef or just to get in the snacking game, come cheer on the KC Royals for charity.

Sign up to bring a dish or attend by filling out the Google form below. We can’t wait to see you there! Go Royals!

The post Play Ball! Think Big Grills Up a Royals Tailgate appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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Recently, BKD’s technology and communications team hosted a discussion on research and development credits for startups to help Think Big Coworking Members and the KC startup community learn how new tax laws can benefit their businesses. The following blog post outlines some of the great information that was shared during the event by guest presenter Ashley Thompson. 

Research Credits for Startups Contributed by Ashley Thompson, Director at BKD, LLP.

The federal research and development (R&D) tax credit was created by Congress in 1981 as an incentive to increase R&D spending in the United States. Since then, the credit has been extended 15 times and made permanent by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. Historically, large, profitable manufacturers and software developers have claimed the credit more often than small new businesses. Even though many startups incurred sizable qualified research expenses (QRE), the requirement that they have income tax liability often prevented them from capitalizing on the credit. The new rules introduced by the PATH Act have significantly changed that.

What has changed?

The PATH Act now allows “eligible small businesses” to apply research credit claims against alternative minimum tax (AMT) and “qualified small businesses” to apply research credit claims against payroll tax when no income tax liability exists. These provisions are effective for 2016 and going forward.

Who is affected by the changes?

While the terms “eligible small businesses” and “qualified small businesses” sound similar, there are important differences. Per IRC Section 38(c)(5), eligible small businesses can apply for AMT relief and have these characteristics:

• They are private corporations, partnerships or sole proprietorships.

• They have average annual gross receipts of $50 million or less for the three-year period preceding the claim tax year.

• Control group rules apply to taxpayers having common ownership.

• The $50 million gross receipts limitation applies to pass-through entities at the shareholder and partner level.

By contrast, qualified small businesses can apply for payroll tax relief and have these characteristics:

• They are corporations, partnerships or individuals—not tax-exempt organizations under Section 501.

• Keep current tax year gross receipts of $5 million or less.

• They have no gross receipts prior to five years preceding the current/claim tax year. (For example, a company cannot have had gross receipts prior to 2012 if it wants to make the election to claim 2016 R&D tax credits against payroll tax in 2017. Only the R&D credits generated in 2016 can be used to offset payroll taxes; the credits cannot be claimed in prior years and carried forward to 2016.)

• The aggregation rules apply to gross receipts.

• They have no current income tax liability.

Potential Tax Savings

Eligible small businesses are allowed to claim up to 100 percent of research credit amounts to reduce income tax liability for years in which they are subject to AMT. An allowable credit for a tax year is calculated based on a complex evaluation of net income tax, tentative minimum tax, AMT and net regular tax liability and limitations. Individual elements of the evaluation are part of routine annual tax calculations.

Qualified small businesses may use R&D tax credits to offset up to $250,000 in payroll taxes per year. The credit amount is applied against the old age, survivors and disability insurance (OASDI) tax liability paid for employees in the tax year. OASDI liability is 6.2 percent of gross wages of employees’ earnings, up to $118,500 for individual employees. The following example is based on a hypothetical partnership:

• Partnership with first-year gross receipts in 2013

• Calendar year-end filer with return due March 15, 2017

• $2 million in 2016 QREs

• $130,000 R&D credit

• Incurred $48,000 in OASDI tax expenses in first usable quarter (second quarter of 2017—April through June)

• $130,000 R&D credit used to offset $48,000 in payroll taxes and remaining $82,000 carried forward and applied to succeeding quarters

The taxpayer must annually make the election to use the R&D tax credit against payroll tax on originally filed returns. This provision takes effect for credits generated in 2016 and will become available for offsetting payroll taxes during the second quarter of 2017.

How are research credits determined?

Research credits are driven by wage, supply and contract research expenses related to qualified research activities. A qualified research activity must meet these requirements:

• Research must have been conducted to discover information the application of which is intended to be useful in the development of a new or improved business component; a business component is any product, process, technique, formula, invention or software item.

• Research must be technological in nature—it must rely on the principles of the hard sciences (engineering, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, etc.).

• Uncertainty regarding the development or improvement of a business component must exist at the outset of the project.

• A process of experimentation must be used to eliminate the uncertainties.

The value of the credit is based on the increase in QREs in a claim year over those in a base period. Two allowable calculation methods determine base amounts differently. QREs include costs of labor to perform, support or direct technical research activities, supplies consumed in performing research as well as research activities performed by third parties at the taxpayer’s risk and expense. Expenses already may be captured in labor reporting or tracking software and accounting records. Documentation is necessary to support data used to quantify QREs and qualify activities included in a claim. Federal credits often amount to 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent of the QREs in a claim year.

Next Steps

The changes to the R&D tax credit in 2015 have made tax benefits available earlier in the life of startup companies. The related rules and calculations likely are unfamiliar to most taxpayers, especially startups that are highly focused on developing new and improved products and manufacturing processes. Startups performing qualified research should investigate and prepare to claim research credits if appropriate. Since there are revenue and time limits for eligibility, taxpayers should evaluate potential benefits of the research credit as soon as possible. If you need help claiming an R&D tax credit for tax year 2016, contact your BKD advisor or visit bkd.com.

Ashley Thompson leads BKD’s nationally recognized Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credit Services division and has 15 years of experience helping clients claim federal and state R&D tax credits. He helps clients who do not claim credits identify, document and calculate available credits and implement strategies to efficiently capture qualified research expenses on a go-forward basis. He also helps clients who do claim credits improve processes to better substantiate expenses and maintain documentation consistent with IRS expectations.

The post BKD Director Ashley Thompson Explains How New Research Credits Can Benefit Your Startup appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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Think Big Coworking is not your typical Kansas City office space. People do more than work here. They come here to get inspired, find their next co-founder or work on their big idea.

We are very proud of the office space we have built for entrepreneurs, but the space is secondary to our community. Our members are the true force of innovation and collaboration that make Think Big Coworking successful. They are the ones that are making BIG things happen here everyday.

Contributed by: Brian Kearns, HipHire, Founder

When I first founded HipHire in 2013, I knew success would come more quickly if I surrounded myself with smart people. So in 2014, I moved into Think Big Coworking and met peers who would soon become friends, business partners and confidants.

The Benefits of Coworking

The benefits of coworking as a global movement have been touted a lot lately. For me personally, I see it as an increased opportunity for collisions, the ability to tap into resources, staying on the edge of new trends and fresh ideas and just the simple fact of getting outside of your bubble and stale home office.

Running a startup (I founded HipHire which matches part-time job seekers with employers in a user-friendly experience similar to match.com), means a lot of moving parts and it means I need all the help I can get. Co-working provides me with access to a pool of connected professionals; if they don’t know the answer, they can connect you with someone who does.

Startup Life: You Can’t Do it Alone

While I’m busy growing my business (176% in the past 6 months!) and fine tuning the app (it’s critical that job seekers first experience is kick-ass!), I need talent that can keep the other parts moving.

Keeping my resources in Kansas City is important, so from the beginning I have turned to my Think Big co-workers. Working with other entrepreneurs is a win-win: I get the resources I need and I help them build their businesses, plus big companies don’t understand my needs the way they do.

Launching the HipHire App: My Think Big Coworking Team

As I set out to launch the HipHire app for job seekers, I knew I needed to lean on my various Think Big experts to create a dream team:

  • Jay Wilner, Out of Bounds Communications: Jay and I have worked together in the past so he knows the platform and audience well, plus he knows how to drive traffic where it counts!
  • Christina Hergott, Pink Moon Marketing: Stina and I had worked together on the launch, so she jumped back in on PR, helping to gain awareness of the app across Kansas City.
  • Chris Brown, Venture Legal: Chris is a legal extraordinaire who understands how startups work and what we need, so he was able to make sure I was compliant every step of the way, in a way that made sense to me.

In the words of Christina Hergott, “We all love our jobs and want to help others find a job they enjoy, so working with Brian on the launch of the HipHire app was a no brainer. Plus, Brian’s a great guy.” (I know she’s just trying to flatter me with that last part!)

Embracing the Spirit of Coworking

“Kansas City is a great place to start a business and working at Think Big is a great way to connect with clients and other entrepreneurs,” Chris Brown told me and I couldn’t agree more.

As we worked together on the app’s launch we were able to partner together, share ideas and resources.

Jay Wilner said it best when he shared, “It really does feel like a family here at Think Big. We all kind of look out for each other personally and try to help look for opportunities to grow each other’s businesses.”

More Than Just an App Launch

You are crazy if you try to complete a project like a new app launch without smarter and naturally more talented people than yourself, especially with so many moving pieces required to sync-up at precisely the right time. From the outside looking in, it’s just an app launch, but from the inside looking out, it’s a great accomplishment.

Think Big Community Spotlight: HipHire - YouTube

Brian Kearns is the founder of HipHire, an online service that connects businesses with quality part-time people to interview. He’s passionate about connecting employers and workers who share a vision for the ideal workplace culture.

The post Think Big Coworking Produces KC Dream Team to Launch HipHire App appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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Contributed by Bridget Egan, Think Big Member and Content Strategist at Influence & Co.

At Think Big, we’re excited to announce that we’re hosting a lucky potluck lunch for charity from noon-2 p.m. March 16 on the second floor coworking space!

For a $5 donation, Think Big Members and friends are encouraged to serve their own lucky dishes, sample others’ creations, and vote for their favorites. In true Think Big style, all proceeds will be donated to the winning chef’s charity of choice.

The excitement of the potluck had me reflecting on my family’s lucky dish. Every time we get together, somebody brings thunderstorm bars.

What are thunderstorm bars, you ask? Well, one night many years ago during a raucous thunderstorm, my aunts Marcia and Liz couldn’t sleep. Rather than rearrange furniture — a habit that gave my grandparents gray hair — they decided to bake.

Upon opening the pantry, however, my aunts realized they were short on ingredients. Thanks to my grandpa’s midnight snacking habit, there weren’t enough chocolate chips for brownies, peanuts for peanut brittle, or marshmallows for Rice Krispy treats.

But my aunts weren’t about to give up. That night, fueled by hunger and thunder, they got to work creating a beautiful, monstrous Frankenstein’s candy. They built a bar with caramel, peanut butter, cornflake crust, and chocolate ganache topping.

Some might consider it lucky enough that such a bar was born at all. But while Marcia and Liz created the confection, they weren’t the ones to perfect it. That sweet honor goes to my grandmother Fran.

What’s Grandma Fran’s secret? Everyone in the family had a theory. “Is it the air in her house?” I asked one night. “Maybe it’s the pan she uses,” another grandchild guessed. “Her old age — err, experience?” my uncle inquired as Liz elbowed him.

Following a lively debate, we settled on an answer: Grandma is just lucky. After all, we reasoned, her maiden name is O’Shaughnessy.

Then, one summer day while I visited her in Minnesota, my Grandma decided we’d bake thunderstorm bars. We were finishing the chocolate ganache as my mother walked into the kitchen for some coffee.

“What are you making?” my mother asked. “Thunderstorm bars,” I smartly replied. Anxiously, my grandmother tossed the evidence into the trash. My mother and grandmother traded guilty and curious looks; I just licked the chocolate-covered spoon.

The secret, my grandmother begrudgingly shared, isn’t luck: It’s to double the butter and chocolate.

So whether your lucky dish involves a touch of Irish luck or an extra stick of butter — hopefully both — it’s more than welcome at our potluck.

Sign up to cook or attend by filling out the Google form below. We’re excited to eat, drink, and celebrate with you!

All Think Big Members and Friends Welcome!

The post Have a Lucky Dish? Bring It to Think Big’s March 16 Potluck! appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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Here at Think Big Coworking, we’ll admit it: we’re pretty spoiled. We have fantastic, collaborative coworkers, a modern (yet historical) workspace and a whole lot of freedom. But we became the most spoiled of all when we installed our very own gourmet coffee bar and coffee stations on every floor.

Our coffee bar is top-of-the-line complete with an espresso machine, a top-notch bean grinder, flavor pumps, percolators and some of the best beans and teas in the world (courtesy of Kansas City’s The Roasterie). Our office coffee experience pretty extraordinary. And we know that a lot of other offices and coworking spaces in the area don’t provide the amazing coffee that we do. But an office doesn’t have to have all the fancy equipment to provide coworkers and employees with a great cup of coffee. All you really need is a high quality coffee grinder, a brewer and some coffee beans.

So why don’t most office provide these three coffee essentials? We’re not sure. Not only is it super easy to set up (and not that expensive), but having an office coffee bar reaps many more benefits. And here, for your coffee-drinking pleasure, are some of the biggest benefits we’ve noticed by having a coffee bar in our coworking space:

1.  Saves us a &*@!load of time

I performed a little test. While my coworker walked to our coffee bar and made herself a vanilla cappuccino, I headed down the street (about 1 block) and ordered a vanilla cappuccino from a local cafe. It took my coworkers approximately 3 minutes and 21 seconds to prepare her own vanilla cappuccino and sit back down at her desk. It took me, on the other hand, 17 minutes and 41 seconds to get my coffee at the cafe and sit down at my desk. My coworker gave herself an extra 14 minutes and 20 seconds to accomplish the work she needed to that day. I lost 14 minutes and 20 seconds. In other words, having a coffee bar in the office could save the average coworker approximately 1 hour and 12 minutes every week. Ever wish you could stop work at 4:00 on Fridays? Now, you can. Just install a brewer, a grinder and voila! More time with the kids on Friday night.

2.  Encourages people to come see us

Ever wish clients would come to you for a change? With a coffee bar, they might! Instead of meeting in the local coffee shop, offer for your clients or other meetings to come to your office for coffee. When you have a coffee bar, almost everyone will say yes. Once you get them in the building, they’re in your territory and you can be in control of the conversation. Thank you coffee!

3.  Spread the love

Having a coffee bar isn’t just great for new meetings, it also works in favor of your coworkers! If you’re the head of the office, install a coffee bar in the office and you’ll be everybody’s favorite boss. This seemingly “small” employee perk could change the mood and atmosphere of the entire office.

4.  Control your order

Ever think that maybe, just maybe, that coffee barista “decaffeinated” you? He probably didn’t…but you never know. Having a coffee bar in the office allows you to control your order 100% of the time. People can get pretty particular about their coffee orders. But having a coffee bar in the office allows you to put just the right amount of coffee, milk, sugar, creamer and whatever else (we even provide chocolate syrup!) into your Cup of Joe.

5.  Saves money

Every time you run into the coffee shop, a standard order will cost you at least $4.00 (that doesn’t include that delicious-looking berry-filled croissant). But installing a coffee bar in your office doesn’t cost a whole lot. Depending on how much you provide, a coffee bar can run relatively cheap. All you need is a coffee grinder, a coffee brewer, a few bags of coffee beans and installation (which The Roasterie offers for about $150). After that, it’s just a matter of buying coffee beans (which you can buy at a wholesale price when you buy in bulk!) and any other flavorings, cups and stirrers. A cup of coffee from your very own coffee bar will only cost you about $.15. Worth it!

We love our coffee bar. And we want to share the caffeinated love with you! Join us every Thursday for free open coworking and all the coffee you can drink. Thursdays at Think Big are big, bold, coffee-licious and packed with inspiration and productivity vitamins.

Plan your week around #TBThursdays – perfect for 1:1 and small group meetings and networking with friendly dreamers, doers and downtowners.

The post The 5 Reasons Every Office Needs a Coffee Bar appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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Next week, cities around the world will be celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week and Kansas City is no exception. There will be a lot of events and gatherings to attend, so to help you plan out the perfect Global Entrepreneurship Week possible, we’ve compiled a full list of the Think Big events you don’t want to miss. Clear your schedules because it’s time to celebrate life as an entrepreneur!

Monday, November 14 HatchPad Engage! Kansas City 5:30 PM | Think Big Coworking 1712 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

HatchPad Engage! Kansas City is a fun networking event for student entrepreneurs. The event will feature have several exciting speakers, including the founders of Zaarly, blooom and Helio Foods, who will talk about their experience with startups, entrepreneurship, and what it takes to become successful. Young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to conduct a 90-second pitch with the possibility of winning $250.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Wednesday, November 16 LRNG KC Playlist Design Challenge Pitch Night 5:30 PM | Think Big Coworking 1712 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

LRNG KC’s first Playlist Design Challenge was such a hit with so many deserving pitches, they’re keeping the momentum going by offering another 10 education innovators an opportunity to win a $1000 stipend to develop their Playlist on the LRNG platform.

Pitch Night is free and open to the public. So come cheer on KC’s pioneering education innovators! Details here.

Thursday, November 17 Think Big Chili Cook-off for Charity 12:00 PM | Think Big Coworking 1712 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Think Big is hosting first Chili Cook-off for Charity! For a $5 donation, you can come sample some of the best chili recipes in KC and vote on your favorites. In true Think Big style, all proceeds will be donated to the winning chef’s charity of choice.

If have delicious chili recipe you’ve been waiting to “wow” the startup community with, now’s your chance! Join us Nov. 17 for some great food and the chance to meet great people. Sign up here to be a Think Big Chili Chef or Community Chili Taste Tester.

The Innovation Exchange – GEW Edition 4:00 PM | Think Big Coworking 1712 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Rarely are all the facts of breaking news included in the stories we read. From the coincidences that led to a business deal to the personal challenges along the way, there’s often a fascinating patchwork of details that remain in reporters’ notebooks.

Think of Innovation Exchange as a chance to open a news organization’s notepad for a view into its sources’ rich backstories. On Nov. 17, join Think Big and Startland News as we explore breaking news in Kansas City entrepreneurship via a fireside chat with the newsmakers that catalyzed the headlines. More details here.

Friday, November 18 Startup Waffles 8:30 AM | Think Big Coworking 1712 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Are you a founder, hacker or investor in a cool startup? Do you like free, all-you-can-eat, yummy waffles? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then come celebrate GEW with Kansas City’s most talented entrepreneurs! Bonus: Made to order waffles are made by the Think Big “chefs”!

Click here to RSVP.

ALL WEEK: Monday, Nov 14 – Friday, Nov 18 Cowork 4 Good 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM | Think Big Coworking 1712 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

#Cowork4Good every day during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Drop in and work from Think Big or any of the participating KC Coworking Alliance coworking spaces and give back to the community at the same time!

Your price for drop-in coworking for the day? New/used bedding OR a new pillow OR you pay the normal price for the coworking space you are visiting and 100% of proceeds will go to Sleepyhead Beds. Sign up here.

Come celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016 at Think Big with the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life and drive economic growth. We’ll see you there!

The post Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week with Think Big appeared first on Think Big Coworking.

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