Thursday, the Business Innovation Center was awarded a Collaborative Workspace Grant in the amount of $85,000 This grant will help expand and modernize the coworking and meeting spaces, and finally allow us to add accessibility for the inclusion of our whole community. MassDevelopment Collaborative Workspace Program Regional Grants foster community-based innovation and creativity across the state, and the BIC is truly grateful to be chosen.
Several years ago, Chris Nielsen envisioned a modern shared workspace where an old dental office stood. The space was less than ideal, yet the need for something like the Business Innovation Center was clear: a place for educators, artists, and entrepreneurs of all kinds to gather in a professional yet welcoming space--a creativity incubator with the facilities to support both work and learning through play! Collaborative workspaces and shared makerspaces are being enthusiastically adopted around the country. Since it's inception, the primary limitation on the BIC's growth has been only the space itself.
Now, through this generous grant from The Baker-Polito Administration, the Business Innovation Center will finally be able to expand both our space and our offerings to the community. Starting with exterior entrance, signage and accessibility upgrades, the BIC will be able to raise its visibility and usability to our valued community members and partners. Early 2018 will bring interior work with increased meeting and classroom space and a modern, professional cafe-like environment.
It has always been our highest goal to build thriving "Communities of Communities"; this moves us one big step closer. Please stop by one of our entrepreneurial networking or technology meetups and join us as we bring that vision to life!
My name is Daniel Borden. I am the new social media intern at CNP Integration. I will be helping with our social media, BIC Media Labs, and our new Television Station. I was first introduced to CNP Integration through the Fall River Innovators Club through Toast Masters International.
I graduated Bristol Community College in June 2017 with an Associates in General Studies, Mass Transfer. I will be attending the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the fall for Astrophysics. I have been interested in astronomy my whole life. I do not remember when I became interested in astronomy. This uncertainty makes astronomy more interesting to learn about.
I am a member of the Astronomical Society of Southern New England (ASSNE). They are an amateur astronomy group that welcomes anyone. I got further interested in astronomy when joining their group.
I am interested in the future of space travel. I have watched countless rocket launches in the growing private industry. Space X has had a large influence over my career path in the last couple years. Recently, I have been considering graduate programs in space studies. I look this far ahead to adjust what I am doing right now. I have future ambitions of working for Space X.
This summer I will be making a video series about various astronomy topics over the period of my internship ranging from various current missions to new information about the recent discovery of gravitational waves. I look forward in spreading my knowledge about the stars.
A Star Gazer must watch out for clear skies, as this indicates a great viewing opportunity. I have spotted clear skies above with the chance to have this internship. I look forward to working with CNP Integration this summer as I prep for the big jump into UMASS Amherst this fall.
The Business Innovation Center (BIC) has partnered with Entrepreurship for All (EforAll) and will be offering a free 6-month membership to participants of the South Coast area EforAll accelerator program. The EforAll is a non-profit organization that offers accelerator programs and pitch contests to budding entrepreneurs in the New Bedford and Fall River regions. Their mission is simple: accelerating economic and social impact through entrepreneurship in mid-sized cities.
Chris Nielsen, owner of the BIC and CEO of CNP Integrations, said, “Having worked as a mentor with the first two EForAll accelerator sessions, this model is perfect for growing the entrepreneurialism required to build and stimulate our local economy. EforAll has a great program, fantastic mentors and a wonderful leadership team. This is truly an amazing and rewarding experience for everyone involved.”
Since 2015, EforAll has been focusing on ways to help entrepreneurs of all ages in Massachusetts find their unique voice in order to help grow the economy. Thirteen finalists have been selected for the 2017 winter accelerator program. This will be the third cohort to complete the program since the organization launched in September 2015. They believe the best way to revitalize the mid-sized U.S. cities that have fallen into decline and suffer high rates of poverty and unemployment is to fuel the dreams and ambitions of the entrepreneurs of those communities.
To learn more about EForAll, visit their website.
Partnering with the BIC will give these entrepreneurs a dedicated work space, business address, and will also facilitate meetings with fellow entrepreneurs and both potential and existing customers.
There is a growing phenomenon of leaders being forged from the Fall River community Through an international learning program called Toastmasters. For a little over a year the Fall River Innovators Toastmasters Club of Fall River has been building a solid membership of community leaders and professionals interested on improving their public speaking skills. This relatively new Fall River club and it’s members have been achieving awards and have accomplished the honor of “Select Distinguished” status.
This inviting club not only offers a solid curriculum for improving valuable skills in leadership and public speaking but offers a community of mentors geared for uplifting confidence and providing a platform for professional development.
Fall River’s Toastmasters Club has had some remarkable success since it began in 2015. Within the first year of creation two of its valued members, Michael Batista (President of the Club at the time) and CJ Ferry (Director of membership at the time), received the District 31 Triple Crown Award. In-order to receive this award one must earn the Competent Communicator Award (CC), earn a Competent Leader Award (CL), and then earn any Advanced Award (ACB, ACS, ACG, ALB, ALS). These criteria must be earned in the same Toastmaster year with no exception.
Now the Fall River Toastmasters Club has done it again with another founding member and original sponsor of the club’s initiation receiving an award. Stepping up and earning the Triple Crown Award is Christopher Nielsen who also serves on the leadership team as the club’s Sergeant at Arms and is the first recipient this season. Christopher is the owner of the Business Innovation Center, which hosts the Fall River Toastmasters Club on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 6pm to 8pm.
When asked about the success of the club he said,”It is exciting to see how much of a confidence builder this program provides to its membership. It has been a privilege to see how so many folks involved have made such a noticeable improvement in their abilities to communicate as well as take on new responsibilities with confidence, respect and enthusiasm. It is a real honor to have achieved the Triple Crown award and I could not have done it without the support and encouragement of the club mentorship. I found through my participation that I was able to improve on my listening skills, better organize my thoughts and grow professionally. To top it all off, it is a great group of people that I can now call friends. Each meeting is loads of fun and filled with all kinds of surprises.” Mr. Nielsen was presented this trophy at the District 31 Conference that took place on the 28th and 29th of October at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center. This was an emotional event for the Fall River Toastmasters Organization who were able to compete very steadily with the other Toastmasters Clubs that have had far more time to establish themselves.
The Fall River Innovators Toastmasters Club is always looking for more diverse and motivated members to join. Mr. Nielsen and the club officers have been focused on creating an inviting and unintimidating environment that everyone can feel welcomed and engaged. “There are so many awesome and unique people who get to tell their story when on stage. There is nothing more rewarding then to be apart of that and witness their transformation” says Mr. Nielsen. As the membership for the Fall Rivers Toastmasters Club continues to increase, so will our outreach programs into the community and continued success. Help us in spreading awareness for all of these wonderful opportunities and come check out what all the hype is about!