Innovatively Speaking

Good things are just over yonder (we hope!).

Your local Chamber recently had the chance to enter the 2016 Chamber Innovation Awards Competition for the first time this fine Friday morning, and we wanted you, our proud members, to share in our excitement. The premise of this competition is to submit an innovative idea your Chamber of Commerce has put into practice and describe how it has positively impacted your Chamber and surrounding community. Hosted in partnership by LaunchGen and ChamberMaster, “the competition is about celebrating and showcasing enterprising Chambers. It is designed is to encourage innovation by recognizing programs, events, and ideas that challenge the status quo,” and we think that LAX Coworking does just that!


Here’s to hoping we get picked!


Not only is LAX Coworking a program that we are truly proud of, it is also something that we don’t mind bragging about. For most of you, you have already been introduced to LAX Coworking and been able to benefit from its resources. For the rest, LAX Coworking is a wonderful resource for the LAX Coastal community, offering collaborative office space within a supportive community to our local entrepreneurs and small business owners as an alternative to signing a lease for an expensive office. Rather than letting our empty conference rooms go to waste, we offer them to our Chamber members, startups, solopreneurs, and community organizations so that like-minded individuals can work for themselves, together. We are proud of the community this space has built, and over-the-moon at how our coworking space and LAX Coastal Chamber have strengthened each other and provided a multitude of professional partnerships.

Although, when you think about it, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. One, this community is full of amazing individuals, so of course they would develop a community worth mentioning once you put them together. And two, the traditional business model is changing each and every day, with growth and innovative happening in all of its avenues.


A day at LAX Coworking.


For example, have you noticed the success of crowdfunding? A concept barely even recognized a decade ago is now used everywhere. Sites like Indiegogo and GoFundMe allow entrepreneurs to put themselves and their ideas out to the public and allow communities far and wide to contribute. Your very own Chamber used this model to help fund our annual Fourth of July Parade (see our 2014 campaign here) and have taken the concept to heart in year’s since (looking to donate to this year’s parade?). One of our very own coworkers even started his successful journey through a Kickstarter campaign (see how Scott funded Tablift here)! When we talk about the power of the consumer, this particular innovation makes the concept literal.

In terms of growth, Silicon Valley is a prime example of the tech-boom. Silicon Valley refers to an area of Northern California and part of the San Francisco area—companies like LinkedIn and Google have made their home in Mountain View (although Google is also joining us in our neck of the woods quite soon), while other industry titans, such as Netflix, Apple, and Cisco, have made their home in Los Gatos, Cupertino, and San Jose. Our own backyard has developed as well. Once a place for aeronautic innovation, Playa Vista is now a proud home for tech, with the Campus at Playa Vista boasting such powerhouses as Google, Konami, Fox Sports, YouTube SpaceLA, Rubicon, 72andSunny, Yahoo, and more.

Inside the LAX Coastal Chamber office, our appreciation for innovation goes beyond the programs we have instigated here all the way down to the little things that help make our daily office life better. Such as, have you ever heard of Doodle? The first time someone told us they would “send us a doodle,” we nodded and smiled a little hesitantly while inside our head we went, “Huh?” And then we got one and we went, “Oh!” And now we are the people who enthusiastically say “I’ll send you a Doodle!” Seriously, Doodle is a life-saver for multi-person organizations. Need to set up a meeting with multiple people but unsure of the best date and time? Send them a Doodle with options and everyone selects the times they are available to meet and viola! You have a meeting planned. Once you’ve used it, you too will use the phrase “send you a Doodle” with confidence because why wouldn’t everyone know what you’re talking about when the item in question is so great? We are self-proclaimed Doodle-ers here at the LAX Coastal Chamber, and if you’ve ever had to set up a meeting, you should be too.


Sandra can totally swing that…


Personally, one of my favorite innovations is this nifty little app on my phone: SugarWOD. For those of you involved in Crossfit, you know what I’m talking about, but for those who aren’t SugarWOD shows you the Crossfit WOD (workout of the day). It is updated by your gym of choice—mine happens to be the fabulous Systems Training Center in Hawthorne—to let you know what workout is coming up and allows you to track your own, and your friend’s progress. You can even send a fistbump to help encourage those around you; in fact, I received one from my Instructor just this morning. Thanks, L.T.!

Innovation doesn’t always come in the package you expect it to. While new technology, time-saving programs, and functional phone applications are prolific (and often the most commonly referred), sometimes groundbreaking ideas are a little… Odd. Kirby here, hijacking a Coastal Comments paragraph to let you know that my favorite innovation is my handy dandy Pavlock. Yes, I know, Christina gave me that look too when I told her I bought it, but I swear that this is one of the best purchases I ever made. Literally the human equivalent of a shock collar, my Pavlock helps me wake up on time, keeps me focused when I am distracted online, and even warns me when I’m picking up too many bad habits. Did Kirby not go for a run this morning? Zap! Is Kirby on Facebook too long? Zap! Is Kirby pushing the snooze button fifty million times as she is apt to do? Zap! Masochistic? A little. Effective? DEFINITELY. Kirby out.


Now, what about you? What is the most innovative thing that you’ve done, personally and professionally? What is your favorite innovation? Where do you think we are going to go from here? And, by the way, what are you going to do this Memorial Day weekend?

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