Story of Edgecowork.com: Why I quit Start-Up Chile to build a cowork?
Start-Up Chile is awesome. But it’s government…and pushing innovation in government often feels like this:
Constantly crashing with red tape and bureaucracy. No matter how fast you run with your ideas, or how hard you hustle, sometimes your initiatives just don’t fit.
The exhausting but beautiful thing about working at Start-Up Chile is interacting with 300+ early-stage companies a year.
Luke Ball, the Editor of The Edge Network, dealt with crazy diversity in terms of nationality, industry and stage of development. This gave him incredible perspective and many cool ideas.
So why build another cowork?
He says, “If I got a dollar for every person that asked me this question, I could probably pay for all the chairs in our first cowork. Maybe even our delux coffee machine.”
Yes. There are heaps (forgive the kiwi slang) of coworks popping up in Santiago, especially with CORFO throwing money at them.
And yes, maybe a cowork is not the newest, coolest, earth-rocking idea. So why build one?
Let’s check that out.
Luke Ball discovered that he was good at connecting people
There was a moment at Start-Up Chile when Luke felt a little unsatisfied because he wasn’t building “his own thing.”
He looked enviously upon passionate entrepreneurs and thought “Gee, I wish I was anxiously engaged in my own project.”
One day he had one of those mind-set changing conversations. A founder who he deeply respect (you probably know who you are) mentioned that Luke, in many small ways, had contributed to the success of their rapidly growing company.
That felt good.
But do you know what feels better?
When you see others, who you have helped, succeed. That is truly satisfying.
Luke learned that not everyone needs to be a CEO or a rockstar founder to have impact.
Never underestimate the impact of the invisible or silent helpers, connecters and facilitators.
Running a cowork is a perfect opportunity to continue meeting awesome people and to connect them onwards and upwards to their full potential.
It’s all about infrastructure
A while back when he had a conversation with a well-respected investor about the VC ecosystem in Latin America and how to grow it. It’s all about infrastructure he said.
In the Gold Rush days, it wasn’t the miners that got rich, it was those who controlled the infrastructure — food, supplies and services.
Work space is one of the core infrastructural pillars in emerging ecosystems.
Once you have the work space you have the foundation to strap on other services that develop the ecosystem.
“I am less excited about real estate as I am about building a hub, centralizing deal flow and connecting entrepreneurs to smart money.” says Luke.
At Chile this is what people say:
Ours is an infrastructure play with the vision of building the startup ecosystem. We are more than just a desk.
Chile has come along way in the last 4 years, but there is still a lot of work to be done to elevate the startup environment.
“I am excited and feel very privileged for the opportunity to continue to support and build Chile, a country I love.” says Chile.
Luke saw an opportunity to raise the bar of trust and customer service
How is the customer service at Chile?
When asked about this question, Luke says:
“I don’t want to go deep on this point right now, it would probably turn into a rant.
Let’s just unequivocally say that customer service and trust in this country needs some serious serious love.
I believe that one of the greatest agents of change is ordinary people doing ordinary things with greatness.
Running a cowork provides a platform to do ordinary things with greatness, to interact with people and to treat them extraordinarily. It is an opportunity to teach ethics and trust.
Exactly how are we going to raise the bar of trust and improve customer service? I am still figuring it out. But I know that it starts with my team and I being examples.
I can’t wait to start serving and helping more incredible entrepreneurs.”
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Hope you enjoyed reading!