Friday, January 8, 2010

What I’m Doing in 2010 – Social Business Strategies at Qwirk Columbus


by Nate Riggs on January 4, 2010

For the fair amount of you who have emailed me in the past few weeks, confused about what I was doing, I want to apologize for the confusion.

Things have been moving very fast, and I’ve been slacking off on staying transparent. That said, I’m taking a few posts to show you my cards. If you’re not into that, that’s ok. Regularly scheduled blog posts will resume by the end of the week.

But if you care to know what I’m up to and what we will be doing this year, this short series will get you up to speed.

Let’s begin.

Thanks to Bryan Huber & huber+co. interactive
I owe Bryan Huber a lot. Bryan allowed me to spend 4 months under his roof. He gave me a job and income when I needed it to stay afloat, and we were able to work on some cool projects like TweetMyTime. That project was a big success on all fronts and is currently up for a TechColumbus Innovation award. My goal was always to get Social Business Strategies off the ground, and working with Bryan and his team helped that to become a reality. While I no longer work in the Belmont Building, Bryan and I continue to partner on multiple projects. Why? Because they are one hell of a web design/development shop and will continue to be one of my go-to resources.

Why I Chose To Set Up Shop at Qwirk Columbus Co-Working
The first time I met Neal Roberts was in April, when I was learning about the co-working environment in Columbus and weighing my options. The next time was at a Qwirk-sponsored happy hour at Columbus Brewing Company, where Neal bought me a few beers and we spent about an hour talking marketing, soccer and marathons. I liked Neal, and we continued building our relationship. When the time came to hang out my shingle for SBS, setting up shop at Qwirk was a no-brainer.

At Qwirk, each business has their own space, rather than living in one big, noise-filled room. Members also reap the benefits of being around other successful start-ups, while sharing resources and contributing to an overall comfortable (and professional) work environment. The difference with our group at Qwirk is that the focus stays on our work, and away from the typical social drama associated with other co-working environments that utilize a more open layout. We also have a full kitchen, great coffee (provided by Neal) and the best rates in Columbus (current cost for a desk is $275/month). SBS has a full room and we get a slight break (less than 10%) in trade for working with Neal’s intern (Christy Bernard) on some basic community-building strategy. (For the record, we would have worked with Christy regardless because she’s super cool, and so is Neal.)

Here’s the rundown on who makes up Qwirk’s member list (in no particular order):

  • Adrenaline Branding + Marketing – This is Neal’s brand marketing firm. What’s interesting is that Qwirk started because Neal was tired of working from his home office and wanted neighbors, so he started a co-working space. Pretty cool.
  • Hafenbrack Marketing – Hafenbrack is a much larger, Dayton-based firm with a satellite office set up at Qwirk.
  • Rave – I met Tobias once while in here on a Saturday. He’s a good dude with some of the coolest Mac toys I’ve seen. Rave does visual effects and high-end video post production.
  • Social Business Strategies – Yep, that’s us. We’re in Suite E, and because this post is already long, you can learn more about what we’re doing in tomorrow’s post. Cool?
  • Recess Mobile – I met Vitaliy Levit a few months ago. Aside from being on of Qwirk’s resident tech geniuses, he an expert in using SMS to drive sales, promotions and tons of other applications.
  • The Law Offices of Pamela Walker Makowski – Pamela is one of our resident attorneys at Qwirk. She’s always fun to chat with, and helped me out with a few legal questions I had with SBS. Pam also does adoptions, and I plan to use her when I adopt Jacob after Sarah and I get married (2011-ish for all of you who’ve been asking). Why would I use Pam? Because I like her and I trust her.
  • JoeMetric – Adam Winter and Stephanie Rucinski are in here all the time. JoeMetric is one of Columbus bright technology start-ups and is doing some really interesting stuff with mobile surveys.
  • Barham Legal – I met Dan Barham my first day here. He’s the other attorney in residence and works from Qwirk a few days per week. Right after meeting Dave, he offered to help me with any legal questions I might have as we grow. That was nice of him.
  • G-ni-Yes! – I met Rajesh Kanumury our first day at Qwirk. These guys provide full IT solutions, and also some really interesting training seminars for managing stress and productivity in the workplace. I’ll be attending the next one.
  • Innogage – I’m not really sure when I met Tom Williams. Maybe it was an OWL event earlier this year. At any rate, he’s a sharp guy and we’ve become friends. I’m also a HUGE fan of his Innoblogs platform and other shiny social toys. I’m such a fan that Tom and I are working together on using it for some clients in the works.
  • Mark Subel – Mark’s a local SEO/SEM strategist who has also been operating affiliate marketing websites for the past few years. He’s got a great head in terms of hot new technologies and how they can be applied in business.

You may not have known that all of us were shacked up here at Qwirk. But now you do. And although we don’t make a ton of noise yet, believe me, we’re working hastily to change that. The new year is still fresh and we’re all excited about the opportunities to work together and make some noise in 2010.

If you’d like to meet any of these folks or just stop in to say “hello,” please shoot me an email. We’d love to have you visit…


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