Alex Hillman is the co-founder of Independents Hall (colloquially known as IndyHall) a “coworking space and community” in Philadelphia. IndyHall is home to designers, developers, writers, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, educators, small business owners, telecommuters, marketers, videographers and game developers, amongst other industries.
I spoke with Alex about his motivations for bootstrapping IndyHall, the experience of running the community, his hopes for the future and advice for others. Incredibly, Alex recorded an extraordinary and engaging 30 minutes of video for us, telling the fascinating story of IndyHall’s history and future.
We edited together some highlights on the background of IndyHall, along with plans for the future of Philadelphia’s coworking community as a single video here for readers who want a brief introduction to the IndyHall story.
You can find the full set of questions, answered as short video clips, over on YouTube:
- Introducing Alex and IndyHall…
- Tell us a little about the background of IndyHall – what were the motivations for coworking in Philadephia?
- What’s the breakdown of residents in terms of permenent residents, drop-ins, part timers. What kind of work are they involved in? Do you see much cross-fertilisation between residents?
- What were your greatest challenges and surprises in bootstrapping IndyHall? And the largest operational challenges?
- What’re your plans for the future?
- What’re the key pieces of advice you’d give to people thinking about coworking and people thinking about establishing a coworking space?
Incidentally, the relaunch of the IndyHall web site site just a few days ago is noteworthy in its approach to cohering and aggregating the community of coworkers in the city, providing a platform and a voice for their agenda.
If you’re interested in the experiences of coworking community founders, you should also check out our earlier interview with Stephanie Booth, founder of Lausanne’s Eclau coworking community.
Like Stephanie, Alex’s insights and experiences are invaluable. Do share your own experiences of coworking or founding a coworking community in the comments below.