(Photo by Wanda Thomas)
HeadRoom opened last summer to help local entrepreneurs thrive by offering competitively priced space and a diverse mix of skills among residents. However, for managing partners Dan Lievens, Erin Lievens and John Tooher founding HeadRoom was more than an overnight idea, and its location was no accident.
“When I looked at some of the shared-space models out there, I thought there was a way to do it differently,” Dan Lievens said. “Entrepreneurial spirit and innovation is not defined by geographic boundaries. [And] we know that it is time for suburban locations to develop in order to promote and propel development.”
During Philly Tech Week, HeadRoom structured time for 14 entrepreneurs, including two HeadRoom residents, to present for 10 minutes in front of a standing-room-only crowd. iradiophilly broadcast the talks live as #PTW15 attendees tweeted their reactions to each founder’s talk.
Representatives from the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsor AT&T were in attendance at Suburban Innovation day, which the Delaware County Council decreed as Media’s first Innovation Day.
It’s not HeadRoom’s only major event for 2015. This fall the coworking space will award $5,000 to a local “Innovator of the Year” in collaboration with PECO.
In the same way that New York often overshadows Philadelphia, Philadelphia-based entrepreneurs sometimes overlook their suburban counterparts — though historically the area’s innovation corridors have been outside city limits. However, as the tide shifts toward the lively density that big cities afford, HeadRoom has found a way to support suburban innovation, while leaving space for everyone to grow.
“We often see businesses that do not recognize the difference between what is urgent and what is important for their business,” said Tooher. “We work with our businesses to understand the difference and put structure to investing time with what is important to their growth.”
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