The first week for the Town Square has been equally exciting and terrifying – an experience which is taking me back to when I took my first leap into the start-up world. Before going into more detail, perhaps I should share my journey so far…
Being part of the founding team of Welsh ICE was incredible, I learnt so much from the day we opened the doors with one coworking space and 5 members to where it is now. However, the distraction more recently has been how can we replicate this beyond Caerphilly and even beyond Wales. The model has seen significant start-up creation, new jobs and a noteworthy contribution to the local economy of where I live, so doing that again with other communities has been a big desire for a while.
Welsh ICE was running like a dream under the direction of the new Community Jamie McGowan and the last thing he needed was to be distracted by my future aspirations. It soon became apparent for both Gareth and myself that in order to follow the new direction, we would need to break from the original business. In the end it was a very easy decision to make.
So here I am back in a start-up, this time with additional aspirations to find towns all over Wales like Caerphilly and create somewhere to bring together communities that learn, develop, start something great and influence real change in their community.
Towns are important to us, the number of coworking spaces opening globally is due to stand at 13800 by the end of 2017, but they are far more likely to be in major towns and cities. We feel it is crucially important to take a different approach.
If ICE taught me anything, it is that great people with innovative ideas and a positive approach have the potential to change lives everywhere, whether they choose a rural life, their hometowns, or city living. Just having the right space with a great community can really influence change on not only a local level but also globally.
So day seven of my new journey has been spent with a great team of web developers to try to bring TownSq to life, I hope you like the results!