Coworking environment ideal for ‘Solar Games’ project to help Haiti
Imagine playing games for a living. Now, imagine playing games for a living and helping people at the same time. You’ve just imagined the professional life of GoodXGames President Bradley Bulifant, executive producer of The Solar Games and a new member at CoLab Orlando. The Solar Games is a social impact video game based on actual locations in Haiti aimed at giving gamers a unique experience while simultaneously tapping into the $67 billion gaming industry as a mechanism to fund solar electric systems for schools, medical clinics and households. Bradley has high hopes for the company to branch out and provide assistance to other parts of the globe. Anyone who would like to get in on the action can donate money through the company’s crowd-funding campaign at www.TheSolarGames.com Find out more about the game on the company’s website at www.TheSolarGames.com.
Q. Tell us about your experience at CoLab?
A. We have been working out of CoLab for a couple of months now. We have been working on the project a lot longer than that. It’s been growing and growing, and we needed a good place to work from. I did a lot of research for places, and I was super excited when I came across CoLab. The opportunity to meet people from other tech companies and marketing opportunities and things is exciting. In here there’s a lot of bloggers and publicity-related people. We were able to gain some exposure and some assistance from some of those different groups that we have met through CoLab.
Q. How did you hear about CoLab?
A. My design director had mentioned CoLab. He had some friends who had an office here. I told him I was looking for an office downtown, and he said we should check out CoLab. I checked it out, and the next day I was making a deposit and signing a lease. We actually have a private office.
Q. Where were you before CoLab?
A. We had a lab space at Full Sail University here in Orlando. It just got to the point where we needed our own space.
Q. What made you want to use the coworking space at CoLab?
A. For us, having these additional things going on made a lot of sense, like the conference rooms — there’s extra space, if we need it, to hold meetings. I’ve always loved those collaborative sort of environments. It just really kind of fit with how we work and approach things. It was kind of in line with how we operate. Right now we have a lot of different people coming in and getting involved in the project. The nature of our organization seems to fit really well in the CoLab environment. We are inviting people to come and do beta testing for the program. It works really well. There was a Haitian organization that I didn’t even know was here in CoLab. It was kind of cool to discover.
Q. What are your thoughts about the CoLab community?
A. I think it’s a great way for startups to really kind of work together and synergize. With doing events and things here, it helps to really build awareness within the downtown Orlando creative community. A coworking space is exactly what’s needed right now for organizations to interact with people that are all trying to do the same thing and build up their businesses. What I’ve loved so far is every week or so, there is some type of event that allows us to network with other groups. I’ve noticed since we’ve been in here we’ve had other press opportunities. We’ve been featured in the business journal here. We’ve been able to meet other people that are influential throughout town. That all sort of happens through these events here at CoLab.
Q. What are the advantages to working in a coworking environment?
A. Overhead is cheaper as far as the general expenses. Having electricity and Internet included means less stuff you have to deal with and fewer bills you have to take care of. Having those expanding space options if we need them and having those lease options is good. We may need to bring in 10 people for three months. We can expand if needed for another office for three months and then go back when we no longer need the extra space. That’s definitely a plus.
Q. How does coworking inspire you to be better at what you do?
A. It keeps me on the ball. As I’ve met more people, it’s provided more work for me. It’s a good problem to have. It’s rewarding to see that. Otherwise, we wouldn’t get that interaction if we just had an office, and it was just us, and there was no other company. It’s just great to have that sense of community and that feedback.
Q. Door open or door closed?
A. We definitely have our doors open all the time. We’re a pretty social organization. We have a nice quiet floor, so that helps as well. We are happy to meet people in the community. I’m always happy to talk to people and tell them what is going on here at CoLab.
Q. What about your job do you love the most?
A. I love that it is fun and creative. Our whole team are great people and brilliant and funny. I love that I love what I’m doing right now.
Q. If you were trying to convince someone to join CoLab Orlando, what would you tell them?
A. I would say that if they go and look at other options, they’ll end up back here. I’ve looked at all the options, and this is the best spot to be. It’s a great value, and it’s a great community.
Q. Describe the differences between working in a cubicle environment and working at CoLab.
A. This is very open. It’ s the polar opposite of working in cubicles. It’s not claustrophobic. It almost has a feel of a corporate culture that you want to be a part of, kind of like Google. Tomorrow there is a think and drink event. There’s occasionally some fun things going on. It’s a nice environment to be in.
At CoLab Orlando, professionals from graphic designers to money managers share common spaces with other like-minded professionals. You can drop in for a day, a week, part-time or full-time. The coffee is always hot and ready, and members of the CoLab community are also ready to step in and share their opinions and experiences when asked. Come join us for an adventure in working at 37 N. Orange Ave., Suite 910.
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