The grand opening celebration will feature a presentation by award-winning artist Susan Blackwood on "The Power of Visuals: how to communicate in the universal language," in which she applies artistic principals to very real business communication problems, starting with the basic connection between lines, forms and human emotions.
"The way our eyes follow a line instills different emotions in us," Blackwood says. "Diagonals create dynamic motion and excitement, while horizontals create a feeling of peace and calm."
Along with the presentation, there will be time to mingle and wine and cheese will be served.
Innovation centers have become increasingly common in large cities like New York and San Francisco, but Blue Ocean, at the intersection of S. 19th Ave. and Lincoln, is the first of its kind in Montana.
As founder Becky Smith said, “It’s the intersection of creativity, community, art and business.”
Blue Ocean offers creative work stations for individuals and small groups, as well as permanent offices, meeting rooms and event spaces.
By bringing together a number of small businesses in varied industries with different perspectives and skill sets, the center fosters innovation and, ultimately, profitability. Even those who work for themselves do not have to work by themselves.
From a research and development standpoint, co-working allows people to test their ideas with an audience of greatly varied perspectives, while also offering the accountability that comes with community.
"For a lot of people, being around others who are hard at work makes working hard easier," says Blue Ocean's executive director, Josh Hill. "In conversation, maybe I'll share a project that I'm working on and I'll happen to mention that I plan to have it done Friday. Come Friday, I know my co-workers are going to ask me how it's going, or hopefully, how it went."
Small businesses and working individuals can use a portion of the space as their primary office for as little as $200 per month, while larger businesses can send a few employees to the center for shorter stints as they build, test and incubate ideas.
As part of the grand opening, Blue Ocean Innovation Center will be available to try for free Aug. 22 - 26. After that, the center will continue to offer its frequent schedule of presentations and workshops from respected experts, including an upcoming seminar with Bozeman writer and marketing consultant, Lynn Kinnaman, on how to speak and present new ideas to clients.
“This is a new model for Bozeman, where we can assemble great talent to develop synergies, share best practices and generate new ideas that help businesses grow," Smith said. "It’s unleashing human potential to enhance the quality of life and create jobs.”
"It's about putting relationships back into business," Hill said. "For a lot of people, the traditional model of maximizing the transaction isn't working in an ever more project- and people- oriented landscape. Blue Ocean is for anyone who wants a better place to work."
About the Founder, Becky Smith:
Smith holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Systems Thinking. She has 28 years’ experience in strategic implementation, financial management and organizational leadership. Today, she counsels CEOs through Vistage International, and serves as Director of Leadership at MSU’s Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative.
The Blue Ocean Innovation Center is located at 1820 W. Lincoln, and can be reached at 551-1262.