Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy, especially if you’re constantly on the move and you don’t have a lot of time to build and nurture meaningful relationships. This is an issue that affects many digital nomads and remote workers around the globe, or so believes Chi Tran, co-founder of the new collaboration app, Loop.
“At the time, I was travelling a lot and used coworking spaces like WeWork from time to time. Even so, I found it hard to truly connect with people. Sometimes, you’ll go into these coworking spaces and it’s like you’re the new kid and nobody wants to talk to you!”
Workspace community is a topic that’s been often debated, on whether it’s authentic and if there are any ‘right’ ways to foster and strengthen it. Doubtless, Chi might’ve come across some coworking spaces whose communities were still in the early stages of forming, or maybe one where people didn’t interact all that often with one another (we all get caught up on work every now and then.)
Still, helping new members feel welcomed should be a top priority for all community managers, and workspace users as well. Eventually, as Chi spoke with his friend and co-founder, Andrew Collins, he realized that maybe it wasn’t that people didn’t want to talk to him…maybe they just didn’t have the capacity or the means to do so easily and quickly.
This is how the idea behind Loop came to be; “we wanted to create something that truly spurred collaboration in shared workspaces.” The more Andrew and Chi thought about it, the more odd it appeared to them that there wasn’t something already out there that did this effectively. Think about it, Chi says, “Humankind is strong because we collaborate together to build and create things. This is what’s central to our brand and our app.”
Collaboration is the New Currency
“Regardless of what stage an entrepreneur, freelancer, or startup is, they all require connections and a network of like-minded people to stay current and competitive in any particular industry.”
With Loop, Chi and Andrew hope to empower digital nomads, remote workers, and corporates by creating an ecosystem that provides value, connections, and space anywhere, anytime.
“With the amount of technology, freedom, and information that we have in the world today, it would be backwards to say that we’re still limited by geography or resources. We want modern workers to break out of the isolated pockets where they’re confined by their offices or geography, and to loop into a larger world of possibilities.”
The reason why Loop is partnering with coworking spaces is because Andrew and Chi experienced first-hand how among digital nomads, coffee shops were the go-to option to go work. “So many people are sitting at coffee shops doing work, but no one is really collaborating or interacting with one another. We want to drive these workers to innovation centers all over the world, where we know collaboration is more likely to take place.”
For the time being, Loop is targeting workers who lead a lifestyle that allows them to go from place to place without missing a beat. “We’re interested in driving these people to tap into innovation hubs wherever they go because we believe they’re the ones that can create real value if given the opportunity to collaborate with the right people.”
Through the app, Loop will be able to match members with one another depending on their personal profiles. Their ultimate goal is to create connections that will lead to collaboration and communal success. “We want to connect startups to investors and mentors, freelancers to projects, and entrepreneurs to teams. We want to create infinite loops of connections that aren’t confined by walls and borders.”
Loop is currently in closed-testing mode and will be officially launched in September with a focus in major Asian and Australian cities, including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bali, Sydney, Jakarta, and others.
“We’re still refining a few of the mechanisms within the app that deal with propelling interaction within the online community. We’re focused on the experience and access for our members, which means that the check-in function and collaboration options in our app are being tweaked.”
Though Loop still has some work to get done, Chi mentions the feedback they’ve gotten from users and partners has been positive.
Workers can become a Loop citizen for $30 a month to get access to partner spaces and communities once per month, and they can also opt for a pay-as-you-go basis.