Thrive Workplace is a family-owned coworking space in Denver, Colorado that’s formed strategic partnerships to foster entrepreneurship and build a stronger community.
In an industry where community is the center and focus of business, this coworking operator seems to have gotten it right.
Thrive Workplace was founded by brothers Chad and Charlie Johnson back in 2010. Although the space was originally created for architects and constructors, the brothers soon realized that that model wasn’t helping everyone thrive and succeed.
“There was some collaboration between the users of the space back then, but people were a bit ‘standoffish’ because they saw each other as competition,” says Chad Johnson.
This completely defeated their purpose, which is why the brothers decided to focus on attracting a diverse set of workspace members.
However, their goal goes beyond that of simply offering space. Like most coworking spaces, they focus mostly on community. Unlike other spaces, they are family-owned which they believe gives them a certain advantage when it comes to building and nurturing their community.
In Chad’s words, “the actual nature of our family and our support system is in our (workspace) community.” Their focus is entirely on getting to know all of their members personally and truly connecting with them.
“I’m actually the workspace manager of the Cherry Creek location,” Chad says. “If I see someone have a bad day, I am able to personally reach out, relate, and connect with them.”
“My brother’s wife, Tonya, is the Community Manager of the Ballpark location. Between us we have a complete understanding of our space and our members.”
Yet, their community focus isn’t confined only to their workspace members. Both Chad and Charlie have an entrepreneurial spirit, and they believe entrepreneurship can help individuals and communities succeed. They believe that the best way to accomplish this is by having a support system, by forming partnerships, and by having access to the right tools.
In other words, success is rooted in collaboration.
Driving Entrepreneurship in Denver
Just recently, Thrive Workplace formalized a partnership with the Founder Institute. The Founder Institute is a leading accelerator and startup program that offers a step-by-step curriculum to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas that will later on lead them to funding opportunities.
This partnership came after Chad was named co-director of the Founder Institute in Denver. For him, this was the perfect timing to find new ways in which to encourage the Denver community to embrace entrepreneurship.
The idea behind the partnership is to provide the Denver community with a place and the right tools and information for individuals to truly succeed in their startup projects.
“We want to make it easy for entrepreneurs to have access to everything that they could possibly need to thrive.” Whether this is funding, networking, mentorship, or just a space to work from–Thrive wants to be the answer.
By partnering with the Founder Institute and also with Rockies Venture Club, the three organizations have created a formula that’s promising.
“Thrive will be the physical zone where activity and collaboration will take place,” Chad mentions. The newly expanded Ballpark location will be the home of the Founder Institute’s curriculum and courses.
According to Chad, everyone is welcome; those who have ideas, those who have already started, and those who “don’t know what I want to do yet, but I want to be successful” are all encouraged to stop by and give Thrive and the Founder Institute program a try.
The program will be offering the traditional 14 week entrepreneurship curriculum or individual courses that will be hosted weekly.
Sticking to their concept of having a diverse community, the new partnership will accept pitches and help develop ideas and projects that are promising, regardless of their industry or nature.
Thrive Workplace in Ballpark will become an incubator-style environment. Though they will not directly be providing funding for startups, their partnerships will allow them to do so and to launch various projects to the market.
As coworking and the gig economy continue to grow nationally and internationally, workspace operators will need to find ways to remain relevant in their local markets. Thrive Workplace has already showed that they are able to pivot and get ahead of market needs and demands.