Idea: Making Indy "Cool" with Cultural Micro-Loans

At a recent Meridian Institute event at the IMA there was a panel discussion that nicely devolved into asking the age old question- "How to be cool?"
The question was framed by one of the panelists- Kristian Andersen, a friend and business associate of mine.

Kristian essentially answered his own question with the equally age old wisdom of "anyone trying to be cool is well on the way to being uncool".

What an elusive thing "cool" is! The minute you grab it it slips away. But ask any kid graduating from college where they want to live and chances are you are going to hear the word "cool" used. Also, there's a good chance "Indianapolis" will not be one of the words they use. We need to change that.

Since cool can't really be manufactured I want to put forward that it can be incubated. You can make sure the soil has the right PH levels.

I think we can accomplish this by having cultural micro-loans, available to anyone with a half decent idea.

Cool is bottom up not top down. Find people, groups, organizations, that are just getting going and gently feed them. Just a little at a time as they find their legs. Think outside of the usual arts orgs or non-profits. These organizations are great but they are slllooooow. Let's fund and realize ideas quickly.

I would urge the city or an individual or some organization to set up this micro-loan system online, I know a company that can help :). Perhaps it could allowing voting on some of the higher dollar ideas. This would be like a very local Kickstarter in a way. Perhaps it could be set up where the full funding is triggered once 25-50% is crowd sourced.

Think about the huge impact this could have on the city! It would create buzz and attract artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and nerds from all around. Think of what the impact could be on our economy- the businesses that would come out of this, the tourists and talent that would flock to our city. Even if 90% of the investments fail to bring a return just a few success would more than justify the investment.