Danny Wahlquist Wordpress Blog

July 31, 2013

Work your own way in one of RVA’s creative spaces – RVANews

Filed under: Entrepreneur — dannywahlquist @ 7:25 pm

Gangplank RVA is part of a national organization that got its start in Chandler, Arizona. With three locations in Arizona, one in Canada and one here in Richmond, Gangplank is a registered nonprofit that uses “pay it forward” ideology to support their dream.

“We’re really a collaborative workspace, where there are no dues, nobody pays you a dollar to be there, and how you actually pay back is to pay it forward,” said executive director of Gangplank RVA Mike Vizdos.

Gangplank RVA founders Mike Vizdos and Mark Deutsch

With no memberships and free infrastructure, anyone can use the space for their business but is asked to actively participate when someone else asks for help. About 40 – 50 people a week drift through Gangplank RVA’s doors and participate in weekly meetups. But part of what makes Gangplank RVA different is the extra focus on mentoring that is lacking in most coworking environments, says Mark Deutsch, a Gangplank RVA co-founder.

“My primary focus was: can we do a better job not providing information to businesses but really holding their hand in the process of starting and driving it?” Deutsch said.

Since Gangplank is a nonprofit, it relies on sponsors and municipalities to support their concept and donate space. Local professional painting company 89paint currently hosts the organization in their space above 2930 W. Broad Street. But Gangplank RVA is looking for a more permanent home.

“There are people that are looking for free infrastructures, those people who want to get out of the coffee shop, there are people who want to network and business building and then there are community builders,” Vizdosaid. “Putting all three of these kinds of personas into our ecosystem really makes a powerful place for all three groups. When all three groups can work together thats when really good things happen, and that’s what’s appealing to people.”

Whether you prefer to work at home, at a coffee shop, in a collaborative workspace, or in a cubicle, there are an abundance of spaces around the city for creative working. And although it might not be traditional, these creative, collaborative workspaces may be the alternative trend that defines the world of business for the years to come.

via Work your own way in one of RVA’s creative spaces – RVANews.

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