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The Tech Industry is Booming, Here’s How to Hire Top Talent

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According to a Tech:NYC study published in Bloomberg, New York-based tech jobs increased  30% over the past 10 years; twice the city’s economic growth in the same time period. Politicians are funding major Tech Accelerators and Institutions to further drive the tech boom, one of biggest initiatives being Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute. More commonly known as Cornell-Tech, the campus opened in September 2017 on Roosevelt Island with the help of a $100 million grant from the city. With the industry growing rapidly, the question is, how do you choose the right talent for your company. Below are the top five questions  Inc. lists as the “must ask”.

Top 5 Interview Questions Startups should ask: 

1.   Tell me about a time there was no clear answer to a project. What did you do? How did you move forward?Startups succeed when comprised of an enterprising team, a team that thrives on the challenge of brainstorming, analyzing, testing, refining. Look for resourceful, action-oriented talent. Candidates that are comfortable with building as they go.

2.   Tell me about a time when you worked in a fast-changing environment. What did you do when priorities shifted? Since the nature of a startup is to disrupt an industry, there will not always be a clear plan for how; it will take some trial and error. Entrepreneurs that are  agile and react quickly are great hires.

3.   Tell me about a time you were given constructive feedback. How did you respond? Feedback is pivotal for any job – there’s a reason professional athletes spend hours watching Game Day tapes; it’s important for personal growth to learn from any mistakes or to recreate any good plays. Employees that do well with honest, transparent feedback as part of the constant learning process are the best employees.

4.   Tell me about the last time your day ended before you were able to get everything done. This is a clever way of asking if the prospective hire will be okay working long hours. Of course, determine what your company culture is before asking this question – is it an occasional late night or two, or is your company a 24/7 type culture? You’ll also learn insights into the candidate’s soft skills; how do they communicate if their workload is too much or if the deadline will not be met.

5.   Tell me about a time you had to raise an uncomfortable issue with another employee. Then tell me about a time you praised a coworker. What did you do? Culture is extremely important. Particularly when hiring for a team that works closely together, and on challenging projects, which is pretty much how every startup operates. “In a challenging environment like a startup, people tend to be closer-knit and form tighter bonds. The best startup teams support each other, embrace a common purpose, feel that they are in it together… and in the process, transform what was a collection of individuals into a real team.”

Once the talent is hired, the next step is retention. The office environment is frequently cited as a big factor in retention.  According to Business.com, 74% of coworkers are more productive in a coworking space. In our coworking space, we definitely see that productivity is the norm.  Most of our members are so productive that they achieve work/life balance, leaving the office by 6pm, and throughout the day they make the startup life look effortless and fun.

Workville’s office design and personal, hospitality approach to helping members leads to productivity. This is a primary reason Workville has a high membership retention rate, 95% of our member companies stay with us, with the 5% moving out largely because of location change to a new city or because they are moving into an accelerator program. The member companies themselves have high retention rates too. Member companies often feature Workville in promotional videos for employee prospecting, as a showcase of the happy, productive, inspiring culture.

The Workville team loves supporting our scaling member companies. Contact info@workvillenyc.com to learn more about our member retention rate and the best practices our members use to successfully hire and retain leading talent.

Workville Coworking Space Member Company in Conference Room

New Year, New Press. Workville is Featured in TravelMag Best CoWorking Spaces!

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Nothing like starting the New Year with a feature in our favorite, TravelMag! Read below to see what they have to say about Workville’s coworking space. 

The nature of work is evolving, and one of the biggest changes is the number of self-employed and remote workers around the world. Of course, the stereotype of flat-white drinking, MacBook Air wielding hipsters huddled in cafes and coffee shop will be hard to shift, but one way in which freelancers are gaining a more ‘professional’ reputation is through the proliferation of co-working spaces, which can now be found in most major cities. At these venues, so-called communal desks and private offices are available for hourly, daily, monthly or annual rent, either for individuals or small companies, who then have access to all of the location’s amenities, as well as the chance to meet like-minded workers too.

Rated the number one Best Coworking Space in New York by Yelp, Workville has built a reputation for fostering the city’s most talented growth-stage startups. It is also one of the most luxurious co-working locations in the city, featuring spacious offices and open desks, along with sumptuous private terraces where you can kick back and relax, or even take your laptop if you prefer. With over 300 members, including a number of thought leaders and industry disrupters, this is certainly a space where people are focussed on success. The atmosphere is a harmonious mix of professional and friendly, largely due to the management team’s style which focuses on being hands-on and personable. To accommodate growing member demand, Workville recently launched a brand new floor exclusively for large-team offices with between 8 and 25 staff.

LOCATION 1412 Broadway. Members have 24/7 Access. Front Desk hours are Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Closed Sat-Sun WEBSITE www.workvillenyc.com

Workville

Desks at the Workville co-working space (Photo: Leonardo Mascaro)

NYC Coworking members network effectively. Picture of group standing in line to shake hands.

Networking tips from NYC Coworking Members

By | Co-Working, companies, Interviews, networking, Newsletter, Partnerships, services, Uncategorized | No Comments

Workville members are busy disrupting all industries. Our NYC coworking space attracts the best of the best. Their success is a sum of all parts, including expert and agile teams, a clear company focus, strategic marketing, and quality networking to drive customer acquisition. We asked members the hard-hitting question: how do you achieve quality networking?

While a bragworthy amount of connections seems great, the real ROI is when your network understands what you do. Take LinkedIn as an example.  The most efficient LinkedIn users educate their network. Connections should understand your work well enough that they can do the 30-second pitch for you! Post company updates (job openings, awards, accomplishments, and so on). Also post helpful educational articles that are to likely get shared, an action which increases brand awareness for you.

When it comes to networking at events – time is money. Our share space members listed their top three favorite events this Fall, and explain why:

InBound 2017HubSpot’s huge event in Boston attracted over 20,000 attendees, which equates to a lot of handshaking and networking. It also had an impressive lineup of speakers, including Michelle Obama, Mario Batali, and Issa Rae. After listening to these speakers, networking is easy. Just mention which speaker you heard, what was funny or wise about the speaker, and that’s the conversation starter!

NYC coworking space cofounder drives in BMW i8 to TechWeek, pictures here with cofounder of DropCar.

Workville’s co-founder, DJ Dashti drives in style to TechWeek courtesy of DropCar.

TechWeek – A benefit of our NYC coworking space’s central location in midtown is the easy commute to events! TechWeek held panels, speaker series, and community events all over the city.

The Workville fan favorite event was open bar cocktail hour. Not because we’re all lushes (plead the fifth), but because it’s a chance to hang out with industry friends and fellow coworking members outside of the office. All of those “we should hang out sometime” invitations come to fruition during TechWeek.

StrtupBoost – Workville members know the StrtupBoost founder personally. He was a founding member; so full disclosure that this may be a biased favorite. StrtupBoost is a close-knit circle of quality attendees investing in learning, networking, and helping. Nine times out of ten, your contact will send that follow-up email and help with introductions.

To learn more about joining our talented community at Workville, in which networking is a natural experience, email info@workvillenyc.com.

Workville Member Spotlight: Zyp Home Cleaning

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Introducing, one of Workville’s newest members, Zyp home cleaning.

Unlike the other cleaning/task apps out there, Zyp allows you to customize your cleaning service the way you want it; you only pay for what you need to be done. You can book a cleaning for a single room (bathroom, bedroom, or living room) starting at $24.99, up to an entire home cleaning. And quoted rates include all cleaning supplies.

There are customizable options too, for those simple but cumbersome chores like fridge clean-out our hand-washing dishes.

The business model is scalable because Zyp App works well for both the individual and neighborhood alike (whether it be your building or your block). Zypp App works from apartment to apartment, house to house, servicing each customized request.

Hailing from Boston with a stronghold on that market, Zyp is now expanding into NYC.

The founders of Zyp are not only the newest members of Workville, they are also the youngest. At only 23 they have already gone through the Lumos 10-week accelerator.

Book a Zyp home cleaning today and receive 10% off your first cleaning with the referral code: NYCLAUNCH

We’re thrilled to welcome Zyp as a member company to Workville, our Midtown coworking and office space. But it’s much more than just office space. Workville can only be defined by our members. Companies like Zyp, Function of Beauty, and Lampix VR, for example. It’s these companies that make Workville the best NYC coworking space today.

If you’d like to visit the coworking and office space at Workville NYC, please schedule a tour.

Workville Member Spotlight: Zahir Dossa, Ph.D of Function of Beauty

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Launched in December 2015, Function of Beauty recently closed a new $9.5 million Series A funding round led by GGV Capital. Y Combinator followed on in the round, bringing Function of Beauty’s total funding amount to $12 million. But how did this personalized, customized haircare company come together?

Co-Founder and CEO Zahir Dossa, who runs Function of Beauty out of his private office suite at Workville earned his PhD at MIT with a concentration in sustainability. “I established [my first business] The Argan Tree to directly connect a cooperative of 60 women in Morocco producing and manufacturing argan oil with customers who wanted argan oil based products,” says Dossa on the sunny terrace at Workville NYC.

“While it was a successful brand and we were growing rapidly, every time I asked for feedback from customers they all gave different and often conflicting feedback. Based on this, I had the idea starting a shampoo/conditioner line that truly gave everyone the option to completely customize their own beauty products and give each person exactly what he or she wanted out of the products they use.

 

Using a unique algorithm based on results from each customer’s survey results, Function of Beauty generates over 12 billion shampoo/conditioner combinations and each bottle is individually filled per each individual order.

“It took years of working with cosmetic chemists and utilizing my engineering and development background to get it to where it is today,” Dossa says. “We’re always continuing to make tweaks and improve our formula on a daily basis. We take customer feedback very seriously and adjust when necessary to continue to offer the best product for every single person.”

Working with his team at their Workville NYC office space, Dossa really values the natural light of his office and the common areas. “Natural light is something that’s extremely important to me and my productivity,” he says. “I love all the natural sunlight in our office. And I have long hours, often working late at night or on the weekends, so it’s always great to have a familiar face working alongside me. The Workville team is incredibly supportive, especially with our popup this past November. It is clear they care about us, Function of Beauty, and our success.

And, of course, Dossa and his team like the centrally located, midtown Manhattan office location. “Izakaya Mews is my new favorite discovery for Japanese food,” he says. “Frame is a glorified bodega with any food imaginable, and Parker and Quinn is perfect for after work drinks!”

This summer Function of Beauty will be launching a retail store in SoHo featuring an interactive experience where customers can order their shampoos and conditioners and watch the products be made and filled live in real time.

Function of Beauty is customizing and revolutionizing the haircare industry, and continues to grow in their Workville HQ. 2017 is already shown to be a big year for Dossa and his team.

Congrats, Zahir Dossa! We’re proud of your success and happy to champion you here at Workville!

Workville Member Spotlight: Sumeet Shah of Brand Foundry Ventures

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Sumeet Shah is Workville’s in-house Venture Capitalist and startup advisor.

As the principal of Brand Foundry Ventures, Shah has over six years of experience across the startup and private equity industries, formerly running new business strategies at Gist Digital and handling business development and project work at Gotham Consulting Partners. He also assisted in the creation of XRC Labs, a consumer and retail accelerator run by Kurt Salmon and Parsons, as the Program Manager for their inaugural class and was Head of Strategic Partnerships for their second class.

Together, with Andrew Mitchell, Shah launched BFV in March, 2014. I met Andrew back in 2011,” says Shah, “when I was in the private equity consulting world via a mutual friend. He was working on the early stage world at his angel shop while I was handling later stage work. We hit it off (at a steakhouse, I may add) and kept in touch.”

Shah had originally planned to send him promising startups but Mitchell quickly poached him and brought him on to Brand Foundry Ventures. “We are now moving with our second fund that is doing $500k-$1MM checks to lead/co-lead on seed deals on consumer product startups,” Shah says. “We’re excited for this year!”

For Shah, vetting and valuing companies boils down to three main categories. “It’s all about people, product, and pipeline,” he says. “The cyclical atmosphere of strong teams building key cohesive products and how they’re looking to take their business and brand to the next level.”

For someone starting a new business, Shah has one piece of advice: “Passion is key,” he says. “However, set yourself an internal clock of 12 months to pull together savings and you can survive. It’s easy to get driven into the entrepreneurship ecosystem but you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.”

For for a company currently seeking seed round funding, he recommends Alex Iskold’s deck outlining seed funding as well as RRE Ventures’ Steve Schlafman’s Slideshare on pitch decks.

Sumeet Shah is available by appointment for Workville members. “Coworking is so fantastic because you’re always tapped into the ecosystem and can see people working on some amazing stuff,” he says. “By being curious, you learn more and have the opportunity to help!” With Workville specifically, he loves the central location. “It feels above the clouds,” he says. “Away from the crazy hustle of NYC.”

Workville is truly an oasis in the heart of midtown Manhattan, offering NYC coworking space and private offices for startups and entrepreneurs. Book your tour today to see the space.

Workville members, please let your community managers know if you’d like to meet and chat with Sumeet Shah. If he’s not in the office, you may catch him at Nios in The Muse hotel. “It’s an old favorite,” he says.

 

Workville Member Spotlights also include Deeksha Gaur of Show-Score, Jason Malki of StrtupBoost.

Name that Tune -Workville Interviews ShowScore

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As promised, here’s an interview with Show-Score, one of the talented members in our community.

But before we begin, just a quick fyi that we’ll be introducing a subscribed news-letter — word is spreading and too many people want to be in the know.  So make sure to sign up!


And now, back to the show:
Can you tell us about the origin of your company’s name, Show-Score?
Show-Score is exactly what it says on the tin!  We invite members to score the shows they’ve seen to help others decide if it is the right show for them.  

Give us your company’s elevator pitch!
Show-Score is the ultimate fan guide to New York City theater.  We list all shows playing in NYC, all reviews from critics and our members, and all the prices in one place.  Like “Rotten Tomatoes” but for theater, we help answer the question, “What show should I see?”

When was your company founded?
We were founded a year ago, but we launched to the public on September 15, 2015. 

What’s your company’s plan for world domination?
Create a great product, build a wonderful experience, always surprise and delight our community, and iterate fast!

How many employees are currently working on said plan?
We have 5 people here at Workville and many more who work from home, coffee shops, or wherever works for them!

What are 3 things you do at Workville to make your day better / more productive?
Go stand out on one of the amazing balconies and stare at the view / chat with Sue and her team, take advantage of the beautiful lounge area for some thinking-time away from our screens. 

Why did Show-Score choose Workville?
It’s beautiful, functional, light, and airy, and the Workville team are awesome, responsive, and fun!

Can you share a deep, dark secret about your industry? (or at least a fun fact we might not know?)
On any given night in NYC, there are 150 – 180 shows running.  And 30% of them cost $25 or less.  There’s truly something for everyone so there’s no reason not to go!

Any secrets on Hamilton you can spill?
Many on the Show-Score team have a huge actor crush on Daveed Diggs, who plays Lafayette and Jefferson, and we got to interview him last week.  Read the interview here .  You’ll see why.  Another secret?  Believe.The.Hype. 

Where and when did you first see Hamilton and how were you in the know?
We started hearing the word about Hamilton when it started previews at the Public Theater Off-Broadway.  The minute the show started, people were raving about it.  So we made sure we had tickets way before the reviews came out!  That’s the best thing about Show-Score.  We tap into the buzz early and tell our members.  So you don’t have to wait till all the tickets are gone to hear about it!

What are each of your employee’s go-to karaoke song?
Many members of the team had an aggressively strong reaction to the word karaoke.  Seems like we’re not the right crowd.  Having said that, the songs “Let it Be” “American Boy” and “Dancing Thru Life” from Wicked all got special mentions. 

Well, that’s a wrap on the Show-Score interview.  We’re inspired to go see / rate some shows; hope you are too!!

And until next time, feel free to submit a bid on a sun-drenched office, or contact us directly at info@workvillenyc.com.

Cheers!
Sue

Name your own price