Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Liz Elam of Link Coworking Talks about Her CoWorking Space

Liz Elam of Link Coworking Talks about Her CoWorking Space

Where are you from originally?

I graduated from Westwood High School right here in Austin, Texas. My childhood was spent in Virginia and Vermont, where my Dad was an IBM Executive.

What university did you go to?

I have a Bachelors of Science from Texas A&M. I majored in journalism and minored in marketing.

What brought you to Austin?

I moved back to Austin from Italy in 2008 to open a coworking business here in Austin.

What is your group’s mission?

Link Coworking’s mission is to build a community that brings people together who share the need for a place to conduct their business in an interactive space.

What need does it fulfill?

We have a huge workforce that is conducting business from their homes or coffee shops and they desperately need a professional space.

What exactly does it bring to startups?

Link brings a supportive community for collaborate and support for a startup buisness.

What type of startup would benefit from your group?

Anyone who needs a professional space to conduct their business, wants to work amongst other knowledge workers and/or hold a meeting could benefit from Link Coworking.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up the initiative?

Finding the right physical space for the business was a real challenge. I was looking for a space that was:
1. Less than a mile off of Mopac
2. Plenty of parking
3. First floor
4. Covered outdoor seating
5. Walking distance to retail spaces and restaurants

It took me about a year to find the ideal space, but once I found it, I knew in my gut it was right.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

Follow your gut. Period. End of story.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

SCORE was critical to my success. I was immediately paired with a counselor who came from a similar industry. She was with me step by step through my business plan, and we even looked at lots and lots of possible locations until we found the one we both agreed was it. She listened, encouraged and celebrated my success and patiently helped me through the entire process.

The other resource I must mention is the Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club. ACRC is the younger hip version of your father’s Rotary club. My fellow Rotarians encouraged me, supported me and even built furniture with me. It is a great place to network and build business relationships. I even found my web designer and insurance agent through Rotary.