Here at Geekdom, we’re big fans of co-working. Bringing together remote workers, entrepreneurs, and freelancers allow for members of our community to exchange ideas across disciplines. The unique configuration of co-working allows coders to work next to project managers and across from future CEOs. This mishmash of people creates the perfect environment to learn something new. In short: co-working encourages innovation. While we can go on and on about the social and psychological theories behind the benefits of co-working, we thought it was better to let the people who use our space every day tell you themselves.
We asked community members to share in their own words the benefits of co-working:
To learn more about what it’s like working out in the community space, we sat down with Anna Morton of Morton Gestalt. Anna joined the Geekdom community after going through Codeup’s coding Bootcamp. An engineer by training, Anna works as the Principal of Morton Gestalt designing electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems for buildings. Their mission is to “contribute to the sustainability of the built environment through quality design and performance verification.” In addition to designing the systems integral to a building’s functionality, Anna’s training in coding allows Morton Gestalt to provide custom software solutions. She is currently working on a smart platform that compares the energy models of building designs to real-world usage data.
For Anna, one of the benefits of co-working out of Geekdom is that she is able to connect with other entrepreneurs and people plugged into the San Antonio tech ecosystem, finding friends and business contacts in the process.
The one downfall? She laughs, “packing in and packing out!” The flexibility of co-working also means our members carry their desks on their backs. “It forces you to keep a pretty lean operation.”
Braustin Mobile Homes is one of our success stories. Alberto Pena, co-founder and President, reiterated that the Braustin story is a Geekdom story. Born out of our community on the 8th floor in January 2017, Braustin uses technology to make the dream of home-ownership obtainable for everyone. This virtual manufactured home dealership tackles one of the biggest problems facing San Antonio today: affordable housing. Pena says that “Affordable housing is a conversation this city and others should’ve had like yesterday… Here at Braustin, we’re using tech to find a way to start the affordable housing conversation right now.” A benefit of co-working was that it allowed Braustin to grow quickly and sustainably. Our diverse talent pool allowed Braustin to access the resources they needed to build their team and their business.
Pena said it best himself: “We didn’t think our company would look like this when we got here. Meeting the people at Geekdom helped bring it [Braustin] to life.”
Another set of CodeUp alums, Stefanie Young and Lorne Barfield, wanted to use their coding skills to enhance the tech scene here in San Antonio and give back to their community. Innov8 Place leverages the best tools available to the WordPress community for website and small business solutions. They agreed that Geekdom attracts a certain kind of person. “[Members are] Community-driven, tech-driven” Young states. Barfield agrees, with a slight nod. “Yeah, they’re all in the same place as we are. The need to network and the need for resources tend to be prevalent here” Members share lessons they’ve learned with each other: “There’s a kind of give and take” with members.
The culture of giving back stands out as a major benefit of co-working. Stefanie began as a mentee and is now giving advice as part of the Mentorship Program— which Lorne aims to join shortly. When they first arrived, Innov8 needed to capitalize on connections to get their feet under them but now they are connecting startups with each other. When asked why they give back, Stefanie shrugs and says “We wouldn’t be where we are without co-working, without Geekdom. We wouldn’t have a platform without it.”
At the end of the day, everyone arrives at a co-working space for different reasons. Whether you’re here to develop your next big idea or to find a sense of community, there are different benefits of co-working for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about our space, drop on by and take a tour. We’d love to have you join our community.