No company starts with everything they need. In our case, necessity is all we knew for a long time. I can’t even begin to express how difficult the first months were, nor how hard it was for us to find a right match between what we needed and what we could afford. And what is one of the first things a startup needs? A place to conduct business. A place to grow. A home.
There are endless stories about an enormous amount of American startups coming out of one of the founder’s garage. Fred and I didn’t even own a car, much less a garage! Finding an office for us to place our computers and protoboards was kind of a primordial task. We needed a small place, a couple of desks, a power outlet and an Internet connection —and, ok, a bathroom was also a “nice to have”, but we considered it a luxury.
HOW IT ALL STARTED?
In the middle of 2014 we had a small break, and we won the second place at iUP25K. This gave us a 6-month incubation period for free at UPTEC. So guess where we ended up?
After some time at UPTEC without any financial support but our very own, 2016 came by. With it, investment came along and building our team became priority #1. But with growth we also knew there were going to be some logistical issues involved. Please welcome the first nightmare of a growing team: where to place them.
HOW DID IT CONTINUE?
So we had outgrown our first place, and we were desperately looking for a new base. In accordance to our Dojo Kun rule #1, we decided to get to it right away. Then we “heard” (we asked) about “some people” (Felipe & friends) that had had the same “necessity” (were also located at UPTEC and needed space to grow).
Felipe was one of the founders of this crazy new project named Founders Founders (F2). Quoting Tarantino: the fact that some other companies had also gotten out of UPTEC and came to F2 caught our interest. The fact that they were creating not an incubator, but a community, caught our attention.
Besides the physical space and logistics that you need to hold your co-workers —it requires some things like having a metro station around, parking spaces, places to have lunch, a bank and a post office— , what you really need is to create a proper working culture and a naturally good environment. It also needs to be appealing for you to feel good about coming to work everyday. But what is incredible important for any startup is to have a place where ideas thrive. After all, what is a startup but a foundry of ideas?
A good environment, an open community, a calendar full of events and a beautiful and smart manager is everything we could have asked for. The house itself feels like all the companies are roommates that share the same flat, but everyone has its own room. It may sound weird pointing it out that way, but there is a reason why: our house is not an open-floor office, nor it intends to be. We are a community, and that means that we are there to help each other whenever anyone requires it —without stepping into each others’ toes.
SO, WHY WOULD A COMPANY LIKE ADAPTTECH BE INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF
Because it makes sense and it is good business. Because the house is better and stronger with us, just as we are by being in the house. And yes, our house is small when compared with other huge incubators out there, but just like Shihan Demura once said: “A great dojo doesn’t need to be a big building. It has to be full with the right people.”