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Unread 03-11-2016, 04:35 PM
Mordo2000 Mordo2000 is offline
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Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Hey I am a freshman and I am wishing to start a team for next season.
My school currently has a team however it is run extremely poorly. And I wish to start my own team.

Does anyone have any advice for the facilities that a none school related team would use. And how would I recruit members without the schools help because they support the other team.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 04:40 PM
indieFan indieFan is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Rather than starting your own team, why not work with others to help improve how the existing team is run?

Also, you may have better luck asking this question after competition season.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 04:46 PM
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The_ShamWOW88 The_ShamWOW88 is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

OP, I'm sure others have explained the difficulty of this in your other thread but here are a few questions you should be asking yourself.

1) Have I developed a business plan and strategy in what you need to start a team?
2) Do you have fundraising/grants/potential corporate sponsors lined up?
3) Do you have a location? (I'm not sure starting a team in the same location as the one you are currently having issues with, school or otherwise, is a good idea)
4) Do you have contacts for non-student mentors willing to help?

Not including a host of other things you need to nail down before even registering with FIRST.

Just my thoughts.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 04:51 PM
Mordo2000 Mordo2000 is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
Rather than starting your own team, why not work with others to help improve how the existing team is run?

Also, you may have better luck asking this question after competition season.
The existing team literally can't be changed. Me and 3 other students got our parents involved as mentors and despite putting in so much work it is still horribly run.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 05:10 PM
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

You're in a pretty FRC dense part of the country. There's literally dozens of FRC teams there. Perhaps you can approach one of the other nearby teams and see if you can join with them instead? Starting an entirely new team because of differences with your current team is an extreme and difficult solution to this problem.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 05:14 PM
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Apart from joining another team, if you want to start on your own I recommend trying Vex or something similar instead of FRC. The startup costs are way cheaper and you can get by with a smaller team, and the overall process and results are the same.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 05:20 PM
Mordo2000 Mordo2000 is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_ShamWOW88 View Post
OP, I'm sure others have explained the difficulty of this in your other thread but here are a few questions you should be asking yourself.

1) Have I developed a business plan and strategy in what you need to start a team?
2) Do you have fundraising/grants/potential corporate sponsors lined up?
3) Do you have a location? (I'm not sure starting a team in the same location as the one you are currently having issues with, school or otherwise, is a good idea)
4) Do you have contacts for non-student mentors willing to help?

Not including a host of other things you need to nail down before even registering with FIRST.

Just my thoughts.
1)yes
2)yes
3)no
4)yes

I just need help on what type of location I would need and how I would recruit students

Money is not an issue luckily

Last edited by Mordo2000 : 03-11-2016 at 05:24 PM.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 05:26 PM
ErvinI ErvinI is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

In my university freshman year, I looked into the possibility of starting a team affiliated with my university, however I ended up abandoning the idea. It would have been a heavy undertaking that I would have needed to juggle with school work, and I wasn't quite certain that I could pull it off. I ended up joining 865 to help them out in my free time in my second year instead.

While I definitely recommend that you try to make the current team work, if you are dead-set on this then talk to your regional director to see if there is any interest in your area for a new FRC team. Also, FIRST has some information that you can look over to make sure that you understand what needs to be done here.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 05:52 PM
mentos54 mentos54 is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Sometimes a sponsor will be willing to offer an extra room they have. It may not be large, but any room is enough to get a robot built with the right people. Another option is to start off in someone's garage until you get a better location, I've heard of teams doing this.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 05:54 PM
Mordo2000 Mordo2000 is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mentos54 View Post
Sometimes a sponsor will be willing to offer an extra room they have. It may not be large, but any room is enough to get a robot built with the right people. Another option is to start off in someone's garage until you get a better location, I've heard of teams doing this.
Thank you will look into this.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 05:55 PM
Mordo2000 Mordo2000 is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErvinI View Post
In my university freshman year, I looked into the possibility of starting a team affiliated with my university, however I ended up abandoning the idea. It would have been a heavy undertaking that I would have needed to juggle with school work, and I wasn't quite certain that I could pull it off. I ended up joining 865 to help them out in my free time in my second year instead.

While I definitely recommend that you try to make the current team work, if you are dead-set on this then talk to your regional director to see if there is any interest in your area for a new FRC team. Also, FIRST has some information that you can look over to make sure that you understand what needs to be done here.
I am definitely thinking about making my own team so I am going to contact regional director
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Unread 03-11-2016, 06:14 PM
philso philso is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

To the OP.

Are you sure you have exhausted all possibilities with the existing team? As one of the people posting on your other thread stated, we are only getting your side of the story.

Will the situation "take care of itself" next year when the current bunch of Seniors graduate and leave the team?

What are you going to do when, later in life, you go to work for a company that is not run the way you think it should be run?

The greatest growth I have seen in the students participating in the FIRST programs is not in the technical areas.
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Unread 03-11-2016, 09:07 PM
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mentos54 View Post
Sometimes a sponsor will be willing to offer an extra room they have. It may not be large, but any room is enough to get a robot built with the right people. Another option is to start off in someone's garage until you get a better location, I've heard of teams doing this.
Our team is like that. We have a decent size area to work at one of our sponsor locations which is a tool and die. We have a small portion we use which allows us to build, and then there is a slightly more open area that we can use and setup a half field (but has to be packed up when we are done).
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Unread 03-12-2016, 01:38 PM
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gblake gblake is offline
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Assuming a community is able to put a good foundation under its FRC teams, I think it's good whenever FRC spreads past the boundaries of schools and into the rest of the community. In the right circumstances that equals successfully changing the community.

You have a business plan. I assume that means that you have a low risk way to pay for registering, buying up to $6000 in parts (robot plus driver station plus plus waste/spares), building practice field elements, traveling to (and registering for) one or more competitions, and buying a modest collection of tools.

I'm not sure how you would get your tools to your robot construction location, but locations that come to mind are
  • Temporarily empty chunks/suites of strip malls or small-business buildings
  • Locations your state/local 4H folks know about (sometimes laws give 4H free use of many taxpayer-funded facilities)
  • Home garages (especially if someone is will to park a boat or car (or airplane?) elsewhere for a while)
  • Local machine shops / building material suppliers / etc.
  • Temporarily empty city/county/state floorspace
  • Fairgrounds or seasonal businesses
  • "Maker" spaces
  • Boy/Girl Scout facilities
  • Any business with a warehouse
I do applaud your desire to stand up a team, so long as it's done to create an exemplar of both graciousness and professionalism, that adds to your community, and that reduces rather than exacerbates any current problems.

But ... unless you feel like you simply have to throw cash into a fireplace (some folks do), or you will be satisfied to just build, program and control a very simple machine for each of the next few years; think really, really hard about whether registering as 2 or 3, FTC or VEX teams wouldn't be the better thing to do.

I have occasionally been tempted to "build a simple machine once every 2 or 3 years", so I can understand that sort of motivation. If that is what you are doing, please do remember the many differences between a team that will stick around for the next decade, and one that is a flash in the pan for you and a few buddies; then plan accordingly (including planning what will happen at the end of those few years to everything the team has accumulated).

Blake
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Unread 03-12-2016, 01:47 PM
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Re: Help starting a team. Unusual situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by philso View Post
What are you going to do when, later in life, you go to work for a company that is not run the way you think it should be run?
Phil, In some cases your advice is dead on.

Working from within to salvage a salvageable situation is sometimes the right thing to do.

Other times, staying hitched to a failure is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Each case is different.

Sometimes life is too short, and throwing good money after bad is just foolish.

Sometimes being part of a turnaround is the most satisfying and rewarding thing a person will do in their life.

Etc (Every reader can insert their own favorite motivational slogan here).

Blake
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