Mo Rasheparian, general manager takes us on a tour of NEST, www.cybertechnetwork.org, as part of San Diego Coworking Week. At 16,000 square feet, NEST is one of San Diego’s largest Coworking spaces, and mixes Tech focused business such as CyberTech (CyberHive), Internet of Things (iHive), and Emerging Technologies (xHive) with lifestyle businesses.
The largest incubator in downtown San Diego, CyberTECH NEST is a coworking space for entrepreneurs and small business, particularly those in cyber, Smart City, Internet of Things and other innovative technology. This is where the next great idea could be launched. The City of San Diego helped fund its expansion.
The NEST CoWork space is home to a slew of tech start-ups, entrepreneurial efforts, and non-profit organizations looking for a supportive, yet independent work space. CyberTECH and NEST are sibling companies working together to build a better workplace model here in San Diego. CyberTECH has recently hosted a series of planned and impromptu events that build and enhance an environment of innovation at 1855 First Avenue.
The (unofficial) fun began with a weekend painting party as NEST expanded on the first floor of the First Avenue space. After breaking down some walls, the original CyberHIVE space quadrupled in size. Members gathered together on a Saturday to paint, drink lattes, and interact while taping and painting. By the end of the day, the halls and walls of the new offices transformed into a colorful array of warm spaces and airy collaborative offices.
Next up – sliders and fries. Thanks to a food truck parked out front, CyberTECH was able to offer new and future members great food. Plus, on the side patio, resident businesses participated in a speed networking event. With just 60 seconds to pitch, each business owner had the chance to talk up their daily efforts to more than 20 other businesses operating within the same building. That night ended with an extended concert of local artists performing on the interior patio.
With so many new members moving into the NEST spaces, CyberTECH knew it would take a few events before all faces became familiar ones. And nothing brings people together like ice cream (or beer). But ice cream was on the menu for a last minute, Thursday afternoon social on the patio to celebrate the warm summer days.
Fast forward a few weeks, and CyberTECH brought everyone together for a spaghetti dinner complete with garlic bread and Caesar salad. Shortly thereafter on the same night, another speed networking event meant those who had missed out on the prior roundup could pitch their business plans. And those who had met during the last networking roundtable had the chance to delve a bit deeper. Finally, the evening ended with cigars around firelight on the back patio.\
CyberTECH seeks to build a deeper meaning for CoWorking with its events and comfortable atmosphere. On any given day, you can find workers taking a break from the glare of a computer screen to chat at the coffee bar or outside on the patio. With big TVs, comfortable chairs, and a killer WiFi signal, the NEST CoWorking spaces have set a new standard for coworking in San Diego.
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Gig economy… Side hustle… Digital nomad… The face of the workplace is changing. In an effort to attract talent and reduce costs, employers are utilizing coworking spaces to allow distance workers to work in a professional environment. And individuals are no longer looking towards traditional employment for part-time and full-time work. These workers now crash together in coworking spaces around the world, grateful that they aren’t relegated to a kitchen table or crowded Starbucks to get work done.
For nearly two decades, traditional employers have struggled to manage good employees who opt to work from home. With good employees difficult to find and expensive to replace, most employers have bent strict rules to allow some to work from home. Supervision, productivity, and insurance conflicts arise as (unlikely) problems. Thanks to coworking spaces, however, more corporate employers are allowing employees to work at desk outside of the house, but away from the corporate hub.
Even for those with a full-time corporate job, a coworking space can be a great way to build up a freelance portfolio, work a digital side job, or just get out of the house. The days of working one, full-time job are practically done. Regardless of how full-time employment meets (or fails) modern financial demands, more workers are seeing entrepreneurialism in their future. Coworking spaces are incubators; emerging tech, service, and business ideas come to light thanks to the inherent interactivity of coworking spots. Between the casual coffee pot conversations and the official networking dinners, coworking spaces are the new “garage office.” In other words, the next Apple (Facebook, Google) is probably under development in a coworking space as we speak.
And finally, the digital nomad. Why bother paying rent or a mortgage if you can roam around the world, working digitally every day? For the true tech worker, a network of coworking spaces, coffee shops, and AirBnB apartments can serve as the basis for a nomadic life. See the world and earn a living… what could be better?
Even the face of the coworking office is changing. At one time, shared offices and executive suites were open Monday through Friday, nine to five. But today, the urban coworking space is a 24-hour operation as part-timers, freelancers, and all-nighters come together to feed off each other’s ideas and build momentum towards a more satisfying work-life balance.
CyberTECH is pleased to announce the opening of its in-house coffee shop, Grind. By introducing a fully functioning cafe, CyberTECH is addressing one of the challenges for workers in the Banker’s Hill area – good coffee. With very few cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the CoWorking offices at First and Fir, CyberTECH Members have struggled to fulfill their coffee break needs.
On November 10, the Grind will start providing hot drinks like mochas, lattes, and Americanos. With a focus on high quality beans and well-crafted beverages, Grind will be offering European-inspired products. CyberTECH facility manager, Mo Rahseparian, brings his years of restaurant ownership experience to ensure customers enjoy the highest quality products and services.
Starting with a wide selection of hot beverages, Grind will be expanding its line of products over the coming weeks and months. Cold drinks, bottled drinks, snacks, and sandwiches are all vital components to ensuring every visitor can find something to eat or drink.
And Grind will be open to everyone. Of course, the primary customers will be those Members inside the CyberTECH community. But the building at First and Fir houses office employees and healthcare workers that will be able to easily take advantage of the food services. In addition, Banker’s Hill residents and workers will have access to the Grind coffee and food. CyberTECH Members will get a hefty discount on any purchases.
Initially, operating hours will skew towards the morning with service starting before 8am. And because the shortage of lunch options in the area, the cafe will operate through the lunch hour. Extended and weekend hours will be determined based on demand and need.
In many ways, coworking spaces are the antithesis of traditional corporate culture. With an environment based on flexible working spaces and 24-hour availability, coworking offices have a fluidity that is nearly non-existent in most 9-5 offices. However, because coworking spaces have become so prevalent, and because coworking spaces are producing some of the most innovative products and services, coworking centers and corporations have formed tentative bonds that offer benefits to each partner.
The coworking economic model is not always the most stable. Because coworking lease agreements tend to be highly fluid, coworking managers don’t always know how much revenue is going to be coming in month over month. Corporate sponsors can lend stability to a coworking company’s budget. With an annual sponsorship, the coworking company sees stable revenue and the corporations gets brand exposure to up-and-coming professionals.
Sometimes, coworking spaces get over-run with members who need space to work. And sometimes, corporations have dozens of empty cubicles to fill. A space exchange helps balance the desk equation by offering an additional resource for each side throughout the year. In conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, a desk exchange program can really help both sides use square footage effectively.
Some of the most innovative thinking happens inside coworking spaces. And some of the best resources are locked up inside the corporate structure. For example, a manufacturer with unused machine time might need a new innovative product to produce. And a coworking team might have some great ideas without the financial resources to produce a prototype or finish product. By coming together, both sides of the equation get to maximize resources with minimum risk.
It’s not always easy for corporations and coworking spaces to find each other. Generally, collaboration must come about through casual contact at MeetUp events and networking parties. And as with any possible endeavor, the partnership takes time to develop into something highly productive. However, coworking spaces are the center of enterprise thinking. And corporations will remain the core of financial resources. So each side has the motivation to seek out the other and find common ground for development.
Work can be stressful; but your workplace shouldn’t be. The modern office has come a long way from the dull pallor of the grey cubicles and fluorescent lighting of the 1980s. To be fair, some work spaces seem to have gone too far… basketball courts and open floorplans might seem enviable — but could mean far too many distractions for functional workplace. The right approach to wellness in the workplace means creating a plan customized to match your location and meet the needs of your group of workers.
San Diego’s CyberTECH is embracing wellness with an initial, three-pronged approach: hydration, nutrition, and physical activity. Moreover, CyberTECH is partnering with emerging companies to bring these wellness activities into their co-working space.
To start, CyberTECH has partnered with Kona Deep to ensure its Members have the best water available throughout their working day. According to its website, “Kona Deep offers a very different hydration experience because of its unique blend of naturally occurring deep ocean electrolytes.” As an incubator space for entrepreneurs and tech companies, CyberTECH is a second home to many of its Members. Early morning meetings and late nights are standard in this workplace. Most of the Members will spend more (awake) hours in these offices than at home. And while tap water might be sufficient, proper hydration comes from drinking high quality water, like Kona Deep.
While CyberTECH has a great Banker’s Hill location with fantastic views of the San Diego bay and Lindbergh landing strip, there aren’t many places nearby to grab lunch. To encourage healthy eating, CyberTECH is soon to open Grind – Fresh and Healthy Choices Coffee Cart. The in-house cart will be using local coffee roasters and local food producers to offer Members a way to buy fresh food and coffee. Members will soon have an easy way to grab food and gather around a café table or conference table to discuss collaborative business opportunities.
CyberTECH is also going to expand its use of the interior courtyard at the First and Fir building by offering Feng Gong Relaxation. With the help of a Member organization, CyberTECH wants to help others at First and Fir reduce work-related stress with this Asian practice of stretching and relaxation.
CyberTECH will continue to expand and adjust its workplace wellness plans as Member needs grow and change. Possible future additions include a running club, morning yoga, and in-house benefits consultations.
In an effort to encourage entrepreneurial growth in San Diego, CyberTECH created its Entrepreneur in Residence program (EIR) in early 2016. Because of the success of the initial cohort of businesses, CyberTECH opted to welcome a second cohort of business during the latter half of the year.
Each business represents a new and emerging approach to business by utilizing technology to spur further growth. The businesses have access to low-cost office space inside the First and Fir office along with other Member benefits like high-speed internet, printing, event space, and networking opportunities.
Moreover, these business owners have access to a rigorous regime of one-on-one coaching with industry experts and business professionals. The primary goal of these coaching sessions is to steer each business towards stability and growth. Stability becomes a key factor in the long-term viability for small business owners. While many small businesses experience short bursts of growth due to unique opportunities or market conditions, many of those same businesses fall short of creating a sustainable financial future. The EIR program intends to help those business owners avoid those pitfalls with coaching and mentoring.
Coaches include David Titus (Senior Vice President of Cooley LLP), Ignacio Yanez, Don W Larson for tech guidance, and Susan Rust (FlashPoint Marketing) for marketing support.
The 2016 EIR Cohort 200 group represents a range of industries including cyber-security, drone technology, sports media, and insurance. All the business share an enthusiasm for technology and an entrepreneurial spirit. CyberTECH will officially welcome the second Cohort Class of 2016 at 3rd Annual Good Neighbor fundraiser on Thursday November 10th from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Visit the Entrepreneur in Residence Program for more details
Not all co-working spaces are created equal – and that can be a good
thing. Perhaps you want a super-professional, crisp and clean lobby
with white furniture and no music. Or maybe you need a wide expanse of
desks with active conversations and collaborative teams. Before you
make the decision of which co-working space will best suite you,
consider some of these issues:
Can you easily downgrade or upgrade?
You might feel invincible, but every business goes through its ups and
downs. If you suddenly lose your biggest client, can you easily switch
from a private office to a single desk without much trouble? And when
business picks up, can you easily add one of those desks onto your
lease so you have a place for your part-time employee?
What are the other businesses in the space?
While it might be comforting knowing that you are surrounded by other
businesses like yours (think tech starts ups, non profits, lawyers,
etc), you will likely have a greater sense of workplace satisfaction
with a greater diversity of people at your co-working space. Plus, if
you are a business that is looking to use the co-working space for
networking and business development, the greater the diversity, the
better. Be sure to ask about networking events; people often need some
wine and chips to step outside of their office shells and start
talking to each other.
What kinds of fringe benefits does the space offer?
More specifically, how good is the coffee? Neither you nor your
clients want off-brand coffee that sits all day and turns into tar. If
the co-working space doesn’t include hospitality services, you might
want to consider another place. Single serve coffee machines, free
printer use, and a strong Wi-Fi signal can mean the difference between
a mediocre office and a stellar one. And check on the hours of
operation. Some co-working spaces are locked up by 6pm and closed on
the weekends. So if you are going to use your office for any off hour
meetings, you will need to ensure you and your clients have easy
Parking and Meeting Rooms
Is parking going to be difficult? Many co-working spaces are in busy,
downtown areas. Is there public transportation that can get you to the
office? Without it, you might be paying a meter and moving your car
throughout the day. And how accessible are those meeting rooms? Sure,
you may not need to meet clients at the office every day, but if the
meeting rooms are booked three weeks in advance, then you might
trouble when you need to have a private, professional conversation.
Most importantly, visit each space and try to interact with some of
the current tenants. Every co-working space will post beautiful photos
on the web; but standing at the espresso bar and chatting with some
current tenants about the next internal networking event will make
selecting the office an easy choice.
Triton Services is a recognized leader with deep industry, business, and technology experience working for both Defense and commercial companies.
Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, Triton Services, Inc. recently expanded operations to San Diego establishing their West Coast Offices at CyberTECH as they continue to develop their leadership role in the Government’s acceptance of open source Internet of Things (IoT) application platforms.
Triton’s Shawn Reuland was recently featured in the San Diego Daily Transcript as he works on the company’s cloud-computing technology.
We are excited to welcome Triton to the CyberTECH Community!
To learn more visit the Triton website here.
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