We talked to founder Justin Knapp to learn more about SpaceTogether in July 2018…
Tell us about your company. What problem are you trying to solve?
We found that most people that rent or own a commercial space were only in their buildings for 40% or less of the time, but paid for their space 24 hours a day. By connecting these owners and lessees with other business owners that need a building but don’t need it full time, we are helping to maximize the output of the commercial spaces that businesses spend so much money to operate.
How did your company get started?
My wife and I have a non-profit organization, and when we were looking for a new building, I was shocked that there wasn’t a platform to find commercial space to use as needed. Once we moved into our first building, I realized that I was paying for a space that I didn’t use all that much and was again shocked to find that there was no way for me to list the space I was paying thousands of dollars a month for. After doing a study into business owners with similar spaces, we found that 85% of those people were looking for the same type of service, so we created SpaceTogether.
Why is your team well positioned to solve the problem you’re tackling?
The bedrock our culture at SpaceTogether is simple, we help people. So we have found very talented early hires that have the same passion to empower small businesses and non-profits. Every one of our employees has some experience where they, a friend, or a family member ran into a problem with commercial real estate where a platform like ours would have solved the issue.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
You will have huge days where you feel like you are on top of the world, along with really bad days where you wonder if this company is really going to do the things you planned for it to do. We’ve learned to take the good with the bad and learn from both. I would also say the investors and advisors that you surround yourself with could not be more important. We’ve always said that we’re looking for sparring partners that will punch you in the nose when you need it, and shock absorbers that are there in the tough or confusing times.
What resources do you rely on to help your company grow?
We’ve been really fortunate to learn from the successes and mistakes of founders before us. Our local community has been extremely helpful through organizations like Peak Startup (https://peakstartup.org). We’ve also learned so much from books written by founders, like “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz, “Lost and Founder” by Rand Fishkin, and “Startupland” by Mikkel Svane.