First in, First Out (FIFO) at OneEleven
I’m sorry but the Chartered Accountant in me couldn’t resist the terrible accounting joke. Rubikloud has decided to move out of our first office here at 111 Richmond (www.oneeleven.com) – Canada’s first community for data driven start-ups. We were one of the first start-ups to join this community and have recently decided to move into our own space. So what is it REALLY like in Canada’s newest start-up community?
First, let me tell you the reasons why we decided to move into 111.
- We loved the idea of sharing a community with other big data start-ups at similar stages. Entrepreneurs rely on support from each other to navigate the ups and downs of their start-ups.
- The office is absolutely gorgeous and the rent is more than fair. Compared to other communities or shared offices, 111 is a complete bargain. Unlike for profit spaces such as Regus, 111 is sponsored by Omers Ventures and OCE and focused on community vs the bottom line. Besides, who wants to share an office with stuffy satellite office financial advisors anyway?
- Our priorities were hiring and product development, not commercial lease negotiations.
- The managing director has a passion and entrepreneurial hunger. We could sense that he was willing to do anything necessary to get 111 up and running.
So after 5 months, here are our thoughts:
- 111 is a great place to meet strong start-up. Even though “sharing” between start-ups doesn’t actually happen during working hours, we were still able to connect with great start-ups and entrepreneurs after the hectic day was over. We’ve shared product ideas, tackled engineering problems, and even referred potential recruits to each other. In fact, we are moving out with another start-up we met at 111. Isn’t that the definition of community working?
- 111 is a quiet place to work (during the day). When you are in a technically deep company like Rubikloud, focus is critical. A co-working space that is quiet and free of distractions is essential for our engineers.
- 111 has a very strong network. So far we’ve been referred to two potential direct customers, two potential partners, and relevant HPC leaders from Scinet, Sharknet, and OCE to help us find a permanent home for our long term data processing clusters.
- Day to day operations has been very smooth. Now that we have our own office, we’re dealing with the headaches of Internet, keys, access cards, security, etc. 111 took care of all of that. We’ve probably spent less than an hour dealing with everything.
111 has an opportunity to become a significant community player in Ontario. Here’s how we feel they could have an even larger impact:
- Hold more data driven events. Start-ups that are data driven care more about issues affecting us. For example, a session on running big data applications on elastic compute platforms hosted by Azure or Softlayer would have been much more relevant than meeting government party officials. Or better yet, give us a chance to present what we’re working on.
- Take more time to really get to know the companies. I believe that the sponsors and staff should spend more time with the founders and entrepreneurs. Sit down with our teams and dive into our businesses. This will make it easier for introductions and networking.
Overall we’ve had a great experience. I would recommend 111 to any data driven start-up in the country. We are moving because of one simple fact- we are growing. We’re going to be 10+ people next month and need more space and privacy.
So with that, a big thank you to the 111 community, Bilal Khan, and their sponsors for making our first 5 months incredibly enjoyable. I’m looking forward to seeing this space and its team grow!