NYC's Fueled Collective: A SoHo CoWorking Space Evolves With Its Members, Providing a Catalyst of Community and Collaboration
GUEST POST BY MICHAEL KELLEY
Digital work can be a lonesome experience. It’s a popular opinion that startups are underwritten with an individual signature. This is only a part of the truth. The best of shared spaces comes from synergy-driven work. Partnerships go easy when you get heterogenous knowledge, people and experiences in a single coworking space. It proves a simple point - people are the greatest venture capital.
“people are the greatest venture capital”
While many coworking spaces are strictly intentional, this particular collective grew up out of a spontaneous idea. Back in the days, it rode on the initial waves of two exciting trends: mobile app development and coworking services. The added ingredient of British style decor that seems like coming out from a past century turned out to be a fresh disruption to the traditionally established brand recipes for tech startups. People loved it and the place started growing.
A UNIQUE BLEND OF SHARING, LEARNING AND EXPOSURE
While sharing can mean so many things to people, exposure is what brings everyone on board. Members get exposed to new people, new ideas and new ways of thinking. Getting out of the tunnel vision is something you can never get working alone. When there is a bunch of people around you, and you don’t have any experience about the job that you need to do, someone else in the community can answer all relevant questions. That’s the whole point of a collaborative space.
Sharing the infectious energy over “business and pleasure” events is even better. If you don't decide to go out for a break at one of the countless mouthwatering SoHo eating places, the ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions are a worthwhile place to spend an hour with great food while acquiring a new skill. When you are designing apps. no one is an expert for all aspects of the digital biz, but it’s definitely worth getting to the bottom of some of it. Members get into the roles of teachers, mentors and students.
Although many are interested in the latest SEO tricks and tips, one of the most successful ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions was dedicated to helping participants overcome the public speaking phobia. “Nobody knows you’ve messed up until you say you do.” - says Cue Bergen, the team’s Product Coordinator and expert public speaker who shared how she dealt with the personal fear. This can calm the podium nerves - but members also learned that successful public speaking involves the capacity to recognize the power of dramatic pauses and heart-racing. That’s what brings projects to successful closures.
THE FOUNDER’S COUCH - A SPOT FOR INSPIRATIONAL STARTUP STORIES
The potential of this coworking space in NYC is generated by its people and powered up by engaging and accommodating amenities. People join in for as short as a few days or for as long as to start feeling like co-hosts. There is something about the mix of tech vibe and old library style of the shared social space that makes it stand out from the competition. We can’t say that where we are located doesn’t make a difference. When the place is in central New York, a coworking collective of 18,000 sq feet becomes so much more than just a shared office.
Some of the sweetest events in the collective’s history have been nurtured as a result of the advantageous SoHo location. It’s considerably easier to connect a bunch of Instagram influencers with central New York restaurants when you are in the vicinity. It was a benefit cleverly spotted by Palate Connect’s founder, Michael Ye. The startup’s modest takeoff was based on a mobile app and it later expanded into a full business, which is now crossing NYC boundaries, reaching to LA’s Orange County, Miami or Chicago.
This was a story told on the ‘Founder’s Couch’, a string of videos where members of the collective inspire coworkers and sprouting New York startups by sharing what made them start the business. The plush and comfy couch is a favorite chillout spot in the lounge area, but also the place for sharing exciting startup beginnings. It’s possibly the best place where any of the 30+ startup names from the collective’s chalkboard can give you a hint into their experience, on or off the record.
POWERING UP SOCIAL EVENTS
Broadway’s signature Prince Building turned out to be an amazing place for networking. Partnering with Palate Connect, we leveraged on this growth opportunity launching ‘First Fridays’, a mix of after-work hangouts and business events, where New York tech startups present new product releases, enjoying the sunset views of NYC rooftops from the 11th floor of the coworking space.
If you've been invited to a meetup in the Davenport conference room, you’d need some directions - you get there by literally walking through a wardrobe. Otherwise, the place is easy to find. We like to think that the location is not the only advantage of this New York City shared space. If you ask Nazar Ivaniv, the co-founder of 15Five, one of the collective’s members he’d tell you that holding a project meeting in the Deerbrook conference room while relaxing over a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a box of popcorn is a great incentive for designing a killer app. It helped his team develop the online communication platform for managers and employees interested in improving performance.
It’s no wonder that the idea swum well in a shared office space that supports the flexibility of remote work and time-hungry modern startup culture. We’d like to think that many more will come to existence.
Ever since he was a child, Michael was captivated by technology. When the opportunity arose to spend his life writing about it, Michael didn’t hesitate. He now spends his time exploring and writing about captivating new technologies to introduce to the people.
Michael's insatiable desire for new technologies lead him to pursue a computer science degree at Queens College. His work has been published on various technology blogs across the web.