Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Startup Weekend Rexburg begins Thursday night

Startup Weekend Rexburg will begin Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at North Point, 141 W. First South, in the special events room on the third floor.

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. The events are centered on action, innovation, and education, beginning with Thursday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic prototype creation. Finally, on Saturday night, participants conduct demos to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs.

Participants are challenged with building functional startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.

The facilitator will be Luke Bayard, president of Cal Poly Entrepreneurs. Two years ago, Bayard was a Cuesta College business student, looking to transfer to Cal Poly. He is now one of the leading student voices for Cal Poly entrepreneurship.

Luke grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. His father is a lawyer in private practice and his mother owns a floral shop. Seeing his parents’ example sparked a passion in him and made him want to be an entrepreneur, he said. During his high school years, he built a small business as an independent fitness trainer.

The organizing team for the event consists of Daniel Torres, Scott Johnson and Will Jenson. More information, including registration, can be found at http://www.up.co/communities/usa/rexburg/startup-weekend.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Idaho Falls seeks public comment for downtown planning

A panoramic view of downtown Idaho Falls taken when parking was not as much on everyone's minds. 
The City of Idaho Falls has plans for a guide for development and redevelopment of the downtown area, and is asking members of the community for their thoughts.

The guide will address such topics as streetscape design, housing, parking and more. By engaging the public, the city hopes to coordinate vision and guiding principles, discuss financing strategies, identify possibly catalytic projects and avoid mistakes.

The city’s web page, ifdowntown.com, admits this is not the first attempt at coming up with a coherent, unified plan for downtown. “In recent years there have been many studies and plans for downtown,” it says. “However, these plans have lacked the effort and clear responsibility necessary for implementation. As the City continues to implement economic development programs to attract new businesses, shoppers, sporting events, art, entertainment, and recreation, a cohesive plan is necessary to achieve the full potential of downtown Idaho Falls.”

To get things started, there will be an open house on Tuesday (Jan. 31) from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Library, 457 W. Broadway. For those unable to attend the meeting, comments can be made online at http://www.ifdowntown.com/participate--comment.html or by calling the Idaho Falls Planning Division at (208) 612-8187.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Idaho Falls Black Bear Diner ribbon cutting set for Jan. 30

Black Bear Diner's menus "The Black Bear Gazette," have an old newspaper theme.
We'll keep you posted on the actual opening date and time, but we can report the Greater Idaho Falls has a ribbon cutting scheduled for Black Bear Diner, 1610 E. 17th St., on Jan. 30 at 11:30 a.m.

Located in the Hall Park Shopping Center, this is another project of Venture One Properties'. It has been in the works since August, when the Idaho Falls Building Department issued at commercial remodel permit.

The general contractor on the 458,104 square-foot project has been Bateman Hall. The space had been vacant since Rusio’s closed in 2015, but Venture One's Shane Murphy announced in May he had lined up Black Bear, a company based in Redding, Calif., which was already active in Idaho, in Boise, Twin Falls and Chubbuck.

The chain dates back to 1994 in Mount Shasta, Calif., when it was founded by Bob and Laurie Manley with help from Bruce Dean.  The franchise has grown to more than 76 locations in eight western states, including two in Idaho, in Boise and Chubbuck. Black Bear Diner was recognized in 2015 by Franchise Times as one of the smartest growing brands.

Black Bear features a rustic motif with "over-the-top bear paraphernalia". Every restaurant is decorated with a 12-foot-tall black bear carving by artist Ray Schulz. Additional murals and artwork are created for each restaurant by Steve and Gary Fitzgerald and Colleen Mitchell-Veyna.

The menu format mimics an old newspaper titled, “The Black Bear Gazette,” with articles on the front page. It offers family meals such as breakfast, burgers, salads, and shakes. Pies, bread and cobblers are prepared on site.

For a full menu and additional information, visit blackbeardiner.com.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Partnership for Science & Technology seeks award nominees for 2017

The Partnership for Science & Technology, an organization based in Idaho Falls, is taking nominations for its annual awards.

Nominees will be evaluated based on how closely their contributions align with PST’s mission, to independently examine and promote responsible energy technologies and environmental stewardship to benefit Idaho and the region. They may be an individual, agency or organization. Submissions should include the nominee’s name, affiliation, city of work or residence, nominator’s name and nominator’s contact information. In 100 to 500 words, explain the nominee’s contribution and how it meets the general and specific nomination criteria.

Specific criteria for each nomination category are as follows:

Science and Technology Educator Award
The Science and Technology Educator Award acknowledges outstanding efforts to educate and empower our future leaders and community members.

Science and Technology Innovator Award
The Science and Technology Innovator Award recognizes future leadership potential by celebrating an early-career contribution to energy, science or technology.

Regional Energy Advocate Award
The Regional Energy Advocate Award acknowledges an outstanding contribution to the region’s energy options or public energy discourse.

National Energy Advocate Award
The PST Board of Directors will select a National Energy Advocate Award winner to celebrate an outstanding national contribution that is consistent with PST’s mission to advocate for responsible advancement of energy, technology and/or environmental stewardship.

Recent awardees include Idaho National Laboratory’s Dr. Catherine Riddle, University of Idaho’s Dr. Robert Smith, INL’s Dr. Shannon Bragg-Sitton, Center for Advanced Energy Studies’ Dr. Ray Grosshans, NuScale Power’s Dr. Jose Reyes, former Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman, nuclear energy startup TerraPower, LLC, and Western Governors’ Association Executive Director James Ogsbury.

Nominations should be submitted by March 15 to info@p-s-t.org. For more information, visit http://www.p-s-t.org.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Specialty coffee roasters open in Idaho Innovation Center

Art Baker and Jenny Bueno have set up shop as specialty coffee roasters in the Idaho Innovation Center on North Yellowstone. Doing business as Chapolera Coffee, they are bringing a fair trade values and personal passion to the process, seeking to provide high quality coffee that has come from people who have received a fair price for their efforts.

From the Values and Mission Statement on their web page:

“(We) believe that high quality, great tasting coffee can only be achieved by having fair practices all around the supply chain and more importantly sustained by having fair practices all round the supply chain. …
Art Baker and the Diedrich IR12 roaster

“We expect the same kind of commitment in our partnerships with farmers or importers.  We pay special attention to making sure a fair price is paid for the coffee and to the farmers. …

“We believe this is the only way we can help ensure they can continue to produce and harvest the exceptional coffee beans we all love and enjoy.”

The couple recently moved to Idaho Falls. Baker, who has an engineering background, is a Michigan native and University of Michigan graduate. Bueno is a native of Colombia who grew up surrounded by coffee and its culture.

The name Chapolera Coffee pays homage to the people, and more specifically the women, who work on the coffee farms harvesting the coffee. For generations, Chapoleros and Chapoleras have harvested coffee from one farm or region to another, raising their families while on the road.

The company is in Bay No. 1 at the Innovation Center, at 2296 N. Yellowstone Highway, where they have their Diedrich IR12 roaster. Idaho Innovation Center is Bonneville County’s business incubator, offering facilities and help for startups.

For more information, visit their web page at https://www.chapoleracoffee.com.