News & Views

 

The Riveter – The Time is Now for this Co-Working and Digital Space
AUTHORS: Hope Cochran and Dan Li

Today we are very excited to welcome The Riveter into the Madrona family. Founded by Amy Nelson just 10 months ago, The Riveter has quickly grown into a premier female forward work and community space.

The Riveter has their first two locations up and running in Seattle, but they are not stopping there. They are expanding to other cities – Los Angeles is next. An important part of their appeal is that they complement the space with programming for their members, and soon will be launching a digital platform to help connect their members even when they are not in the physical spaces.

When we evaluate companies, we look at the entrepreneur, the business model, and the market. The first time that we met Amy, we were incredibly impressed with The Riveter across all of these dimensions. There is an amazing “founder-product fit” between Amy and her company, as well as all of her early learnings on building a great community-driven business.

Amy is everything we look for in an entrepreneur. She is passionate about her business, her customers, and her team. She has a vision and mission rooted in her own experience, and she is building a product that she would want to use. She has built her own path and is now on a mission to help other women do the same thing.

Amy started her career in the corporate world but eventually decided to depart and quickly saw a market need and opportunity that resonated – building workspaces and community for professional women. The Riveter embodies the cultural movement to actively support women pursing their passions, stepping up, and succeeding in whatever they put their minds to, and it is clear that this is resonating, not just here, but around the country and the world.

That brings us to their market and business model. The Riveter creates workspaces that are female forward and different than other coworking spaces. They have more open space, programming focused on the issues women face in business, and some quiet spaces and mothers’ rooms. They don’t have onsite daycare, they don’t have pink furniture, and they don’t have ping pong tables and kegs. These are inclusive, professional environments for meeting and working designed with women in mind.

Women start businesses at a rate five times that of men, and their businesses often look quite different than the companies that occupy other coworking spaces. Their working patterns are often more flexible, as they fit a lot of competing priorities in their day. The Riveter has been able to hone in on this market and design a business model with great economics focused on professional women by offering things like part-time memberships and locations closer to people’s homes. Because of these different dynamics, The Riveter is maximizing their space differently than other co-working locations.

Our investment in The Riveter comes at an interesting time for Madrona as well. Recognizing the need for more innovation space in our region, we leased the floor below us to build out such a space. In that space we will be hosting early technology oriented companies, enterprises looking to see the latest tech being developed and will have a programming schedule that supports the companies and the community. It is very different from The Riveter in the market and goals and shows that there is space for all kinds of co-working spaces in cities around the country.

As we spoke to members of The Riveter in our diligence process, the theme we heard again and again was “I love this place, and I love this community,” and now we are incredibly excited to support The Riveter in their next phase of growth. Please join us in congratulating Amy and her team on their funding and success!