Denton Creatives Mixer Re-cap and Where we go from Here
Despite the threat of rain, nearly 200 of Denton’s growing creative class showed up for the first Denton Creatives Mixer on October 22 at Oak Street Draft House. Those in attendance mingled, networked, listened to the vision of local creative economy expert Michael Seman, and were treated to their first round thanks to the generous sponsorship of three pioneers in the local creative tech industry: Swash Labs, ReadyRosie, and Brainwashed Inc.
As a city councilman, one of my main goals in hosting the event was to learn from those already on the front lines of Denton’s creative economy. During and after the event, participants were encouraged to answer several survey questions via text messages by using the innovative Textizen app. Below you will see some highlights from the survey…
Perhaps most encouraging have been the dozens of conversations I’ve had with people after the event, where ideas and plans continue to be generated. And people aren’t just thinking about these things, they are acting on them. Take, for instance, CreateDenton.com, a brand new app designed “to foster new and vital relationships within [the creative] industry in Denton.” This was created by three Denton guys with an idea, some vision, and a bunch of talent – Andrew Lewis, Patrick Daly, and Darren Smitherman. If you are in a digital field, go to the site and create a profile today…
This is just the beginning – here are some ideas that are in the works to continue this momentum:
— Training and Educational Sessions on a variety of creative tech and entrepreneurial topics.
— Hackathons – I just went to this one a couple days ago at UNT. I’m interested in hosting one in the Spring aimed at innovating voter information in the run-up to the next City Council election. Let’s do more of these in Denton.
– Get the Word Out – check out Silicon Prairie, a web project out of Omaha, NE. Imagine something like this in Denton. Who is going to do it?
— Collaborative Spaces, perhaps? – I’ve talked to several people looking into creating collaborative spaces or business incubators in Denton.
— Ignite Talks – I’d love to have a mixer devoted to hearing everyone’s great idea for Denton. If you haven’t attended one of these in another city, check out this site for a taste.
— Connection with UNT – did you know UNT has recently launched an Innovation Center, adding yet another powerful educational and economic development tool to our community? I’m excited about the potential for collaboration here.
— More mixers…
But none of this can continue without ambitious individuals stepping forward to take the lead. If you have a passion in one of the above areas (or another one for that matter), you are needed to lead the way and be on the front lines of this movement. Let’s meet for a beer or coffee and chat…