Business development often goes in stages, starting with problem-solving and defining goals then progressing forwards towards understanding, identity and finally executing plans. To sum up 2019 we thought it best to take a trip down memory lane and show how Phase Two came to be and what we have learned (thus far) about building a coworking business and more importantly a brand and community of talented people.
Where Phase Two Started
When we started at the very beginning of what was to become Phase Two, our partners sat down and brainstormed together on what we wanted to do. We had some great ideas in the beginning, but we wanted to have a firm grasp of the objectives of this new business. So we observed a lot of different industries and knew that we wanted to make a space and work with innovators, but we weren’t sure which direction to go. We asked ourselves, “What sort of business do we have here? Who are we looking to work with? What do we want to create?”
From months of serious research and deliberation amongst our team, we knew that we were seeking to work with companies on the bleeding edge of their respective industries, but we weren’t sure if we were going to make an accelerator or something else. After going back to the drawing board, we resolved on creating a workspace for startups. Our vision was to create an enriching, empowering workspace for innovative community of forward-thinking businesses. We found that these businesses came in all shapes and sizes. We realized to be effective in our mission and manage the risk of our investment that we wanted to work with companies that were ready and had the funds to move out of the “garage”.
Our first couple of years before opening day involved hunting for real estate options, developing the name and brand, building up a prospective client base, and finally, this culminated on breaking ground in Culver City right off Obama Blvd. It became the space we dreamed of creating and each passing year, Phase Two becomes more and more refined.
Where is Phase Two Now?
We think of Phase Two now as a place for people to grow, innovate, and who are ready to graduate into their own workspace. To Our Team, the space, amenities and our community needs to be a reflection of the spirit of startup culture and function in an enriching way for our members to succeed and grow. We have developed the space over time to feel open, bright, comfortable and most importantly motivating and functional for our members.
The space today has evolved and changed a lot since we first opened up the doors at Phase Two. We’ve installed a greenscreen room, partnered and allocated space to VR companies like Hologate, and hosted events for M!SF!T Labs, The Producers Guild of America, Facebook, and 60+ more. With each passing month our community and family here at Phase Two have grown into a place where talented people can work, play, converse, learn, create, and thrive. Some of our Alumni have even graduated to their “Phase Three” and gone on to grow into huge corporations. Nothing else makes us happier than seeing our space become a place that moves businesses forward.
We are finishing 2019 strong with over 40 events held this year alone and great clients. As our capacity gets ever closer to maximum (100%) around the calendar year after year, we are excited to learn and grow. In the following sections, we would like to share insight into what we think has made our business a success.
What We Have Learned
Being Selective Can Create a Curated Experience
We always wanted to set Phase Two apart from other workspaces. When we researched the industry and saw that what our competitors were lacking, was a community of innovation. When we created Phase Two, we knew how much of an impact our individual members would have on the vibe and culture of the space, and we wanted to make sure we pick people that fit our vision for Phase Two.
We didn’t want to aim for exclusivity or be viewed as an elitist organization with an overzealous approval process, and luckily we haven’t had to be constricted when approving people to work within our doors. But we think it is crucial to curate, and be aware of, and communicate your standards with people you want to work with. We found that by communicating our standards, the right people would find us. By being selective, even if it is a simple criteria of, “We like them, they are doing something interesting, they seem trustworthy and they like us”, these guidelines can have a profoundly positive impact on the culture.
Culture Follows Function and Form
When you build a physical space, whether it be a store or home or workspace, it is important to plan the design of the space around the functions of the needs of the clients and that appropriate space is included to fulfill the intended services. We went back to our mission and our clients to make sure we had all the spaces anyone would want from Phase Two, from the hot desk space all the way down to the kombucha fountain and the patio spaces. By adding our brand aesthetic to all the details and crafting each nook of the space to have its own distinct vibe, we were able to envision and craft Phase Two into both a relaxing and constructive work environment. This feedback from the community seems true, even when the space is at maximum capacity.
We thought all this through with the intent to make the vibe and emotions the space evokes align with our values and make this a space where a culture of innovation can live.
Building a Brand on Your Core Values and Principles
Phase Two wouldn’t exist today as it is if we hadn’t observed our own values and principals. It takes a clearly defined vision to direct any business into being, and we wanted to always put the community first. In doing so we were able to see what we needed to do to become the space we hoped to be. We are always building upon our values and refining our brand to meet our goal of community enrichment. As a collaborative space, our community helps us through their feedback to support us and each other as we all collectively grow together.
Seeing Passion in action Begets More Passion
One thing that makes Phase Two truly unique is that the members are all passionate about what they are doing. It is an infectious feeling seeing the people around you give it their all, day after day. It is the innovation vortex that we dreamed of creating but never knew if it was possible until we grew. And today, it is a wonderful thing to see that our community supports one another’s passion, gives each other insight, and new collaborations happen right before our eyes.
Who Phase Two Is
We are an innovation workspace located in Culver City, California with a community of passionate businesses and entrepreneurs that work across cutting edge industries in Entertainment, VR / AR / XR, Technology, Sports, Media, Fintech, Gaming, Hospitality, and more. Our tight-knit and talented members share their passions and achievements with one another and collectively grow as the space evolves and expands.
We seek to hold more events in 2020 and continue to hold enticing and valuable seminars, panels, and labs throughout the year. We are always looking for new partners and programs that would like to host events within our space and invite you to take a tour or connect with us!
As the new year unfolds and Phase Two “turns 2” we hope to activate new programs for our partners to provide more value and access to our members, extended community, and alumni as we progress forward.