I work in a shared office space with 4 startups — 5 reasons why it’s AWESOME
By Nadir Ebrahim
I spent the last 6 months working out of the TribalScale Toronto office and it’s been unbelievable. Who would have thought that putting four companies with very different businesses in a shared open environment would create one of Toronto’s most exciting workplaces? It may have to do with all founding teams coming from successful startups with exits totalling over $250M! The companies are leveraging various game changing technology such as AI, bots, VR, drones, mobile payments, beacons, and wearables to build products and an ecosystem, which has been the underlying platform that enabled success. Here are the top 5 benefits of working in what I call a startup ecosystem:
It’s about who we know.
The strength of your network is crucial in early stage start-up success — it’s what enables startups to execute and innovate. Being involved in an ecosystem expands your rolodex giving you access to early customers, investors, and employees from the entire community. However, email introductions aren’t enough — our ecosystem hosts Friday socials, Founders Breakfasts, lunch and learns, and product dinners providing vehicles for people to actually connect and develop real relationships.
Startups also need access to quality service providers like accountants, lawyers, tax specialists, computer repair shops, bankers, printers, and so forth. Our ecosystem has given us access to some of the best service providers in Toronto without ever having the risk of working with an unknown vendor. This makes life a lot easier and allows the team to stay focused on what matters!
When we launched WorkTango, we started by releasing the product to the ecosystem — on day-one, we had four amazing companies using our product and giving us feedback. We were able to fix bugs, UX issues, understand the value of the platform and prioritize our roadmap in just a few weeks before taking the product to market.
We also participate in weekly office-wide demos, enabling the entire community to see each other’s progress and provide real-time feedback during the development process. Start-ups live and die by how quickly they iterate. Early/consistent feedback really helped shape our product.
Learning via Osmosis
The rate of innovation is the fastest it has ever been and keeping up is tough! Being surrounded by teams working on different boundary-pushing technology creates a unique learning environment where everyone is challenged and pushed beyond their comfort zone. I learn at least one tangible thing from someone else in our ecosystem every day — whether it’s technical, such as best practices for implementing CI or process driven, such as the benefits of pair programming, there is always a valuable takeaway.
Show me a good time
Being a part of an ecosystem can also be a lot of fun. We might outwork anyone you know, but we take the time to celebrate each other’s wins. Come by the office on a Friday and you’ll be sure to catch a heated game of table tennis or people playing Super Smash Bros in the games room, replete with beers flowing, and tunes pumping!
Drinking Soylent sucks
Lastly, building a business is hard work — it’s early mornings and late nights. It’s amazing highs and stressful lows. Having a network of founders to talk to when you’re on edge and having that sounding-board when trying to solve a deep technical challenge has proven invaluable. The TribalScale startup ecosystem is truly a family that supports each other through our unique journeys.
We started WorkTango with a passion to change (work) lives by enabling managers to develop engaged, high-performing teams, and are proud to be surrounded by some of Toronto’s best.