Since I started working at Awesome Inc. in June, I’ve fallen in love with the concept of creative individuals coming together within a single coworking space to share ideas and collaborate on projects. Our particular environment contains a coworking space, art studio, engineering workshop, and dance studio, and each component provides a unique contribution to the space’s creative vibe. However, this style of workspace has its pitfalls, as many creative, independent professionals are reluctant to invest the money required to experience working in such an environment. While not founded for this particular purpose, Jelly provides an intermediate solution to those professionals wishing to transcend the boundaries of home offices and coffee shops without shelling out the fee associated with most coworking environments.
What is Jelly?
From the Jelly website:
Jelly is a casual working event. It’s taken place in over a hundred cities where people have come together (in a person’s home, a coffee shop, or an office) to work for the day. We provide chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of.
You bring a laptop (or whatever you need to get your work done) and a friendly disposition.
We see a lot of designers, developers, and internet types, but we’ve also had musicians, cooks, sound designers, tea sommeliers, product designers, photographers, writers, and more.
Some of us are entrepreneurs or freelancers. Others work in an office most of the time, but work at Jelly for fresh ideas and a change of pace.
No matter what you do or what you create, you’re welcome to come to Jelly and share your talent and learn from others.
Companies such as Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, and IBM have had longstanding presences in Lexington, and the city also has the students and faculty of the University of Kentucky at its disposal. However, a majority of the city’s innovators are sprinkled among these institutions with few opportunities to collaborate and share ideas. Coworking spaces like Awesome Inc. and Collexion provide outlets for their target audiences, but what about individuals in other niches or those that don’t want to pay? Coffee shops and libraries are open environments, but this openness permits saturation by those that have no interest in collaborating.
Hosting a biweekly Jelly would be a unique method for facilitating a more cohesive Lexington while also bringing individuals together for at least one common purpose — collaboration. Such an effort has the potential to lead to even greater innovations for our community, and it could be an initial step toward the greater unification of our city’s most brilliant minds.
Originally published at ryanbright.me on October 30, 2009.