It made me want to get started creating a new life abroad.
Yesterday it was Thursday, the day we usually visit companies around Chicago. This week we visited an interesting business called Industrious. It’s a new office concept in Chicago for freelancers, growing start-ups, and small businesses. The concept is thoughtful and smart, and the place is lovely—with modern design, huge offices, and a luminous floor.
We met with Nicole Meyerson, the community manager of Industrious Chicago. She was a really nice woman who was always smiling. She explained the company’s concept and how it works. It’s basically an all-inclusive business office rental company. The clever advantage of this business is that the offices are rented out on a month-to-month basis, so there is more flexibility. You can also talk with other professionals who are working in the office spaces near you if you need advice or want to build a network. It’s great for communication.
Industrious was so pleasant, modern, and luminous. There are both private offices and common area spaces. Each office contained big windows so you could see everything—a design that’s definitely American. It creates a friendlier workspace instead of an isolated and private one.
There were also small rooms for people to take phone calls or concentrate on work. These were modern and comfortable and still had windows, but they were soundproof. There were also blackboards in these rooms where people could write down ideas.
We met two French men who rent offices in Industrious. They work for a business that was created in 2012 called ECD Network. They have created a professional dermatological treatment system. The men talked about their job and how they ended up in Chicago. It was an interesting meeting, and to be honest it made me want to get started creating a new life abroad.
We also met a really nice woman named Sarah. She works for Artworktool, a new company from the UK. Its website allows users to create graphic designs for free. Then they can be printed onto posters, prints, etc. and sold. If everything goes as planned, the website will be launching in March. I’d never heard of a concept like it before, and I found it really smart and interesting. Sarah talked about her team and asked us questions about ourselves too. It seemed like she has a really great team and it was pleasant to meet her.
Visiting Industrious made me want to work there.
This week we visited an incubator, which is a place where companies begin to take shape. The one we visited is called Industrious and is located at 320 West Ohio Street.
We took a tour of the offices with Nicole, the community manager. The offices had a very cool design, which seemed to encourage a very good working atmosphere. There were small kitchens where workers could make breakfast, meeting rooms, and rooms with sofas so people could work but still be relaxed.
After the tour, we met with people who worked at Industrious. They talked about their start-up and why they worked there. They said the advantage of working at Industrious is that there are people around who all have the same ambitions and are working on the same kinds of projects. They said it helps to talk to people, network, and come up with ideas. This concept is very appealing and has only just arrived in France.
It was an interesting experience. Visiting this place made me want to work there!
We learned a lot about how start-ups can be successful.
This week in Chicago was quite busy. We’ve been here for a month and a half so we had our midterm assignments. It was very interesting for me to summarize what I’ve learned in my classes so far. All the presentations I made helped me remember what I’ve personally learned since coming here.
We visited a coworking company called Industrious. It was very nice to see, as I’d never heard of a coworking company before. We began our visit in their office. Nicole Meyerson, the community manager, arranged the visit and was very nice. She explained the advantages start-ups have when they sign up with Industrious.
We then met two French engineers working for ECD Network, a start-up company working on a system that can detect cancer by analyzing moles. It was very informative listening to their backgrounds, the challenges they faced, and the jobs they have as French people working in the U.S.
After that we met Sarah from Artworktool. She talked about their upcoming website that allows users to create designs online. She was very nice and explained to us about how she got the job and what her background was. We learned a lot about how start-ups can operate and be successful.
I left feeling inspired.
This past Thursday, we met with several companies at once. One of them was called Industrious. Industrious rents an entire floor of a building as a start-up space for new small businesses.
I found this concept to be a really great way to make the most of a space. It’s very friendly as well. You can meet up with members of other start-up companies in the common areas, and by chance come across someone who has something you need. It’s a great way to uncover new opportunities, and I love the idea.
We met in the offices of two Industrious start-up companies. The first was called Artwork Tool. They create online graphics, posters, prints, and so forth. The concept was interesting and the platform seemed easy to use. The second company was called ECD Network and they were working on developing high-tech medical equipment.
The tour was very interesting and we were left feeling inspired and filled with good ideas.
Valentine Van Der Slikke
I definitely realized how big Chicago is.
Last Sunday was great. One of my friends who lives in Chicago picked me up at my apartment at 10 AM and took me on a tour of the city. It was really cold and snowing outside—good thing we had a car!
We drove down to the University of Chicago. It’s a really cool university. We looked at the historical buildings on campus, and also the newer ones, like the library. We also saw a monument of the first nuclear reactor from World War II.
After that, we went to Little Village. It was really interesting to see the Mexican subculture in Chicago. We ate at a little restaurant and had avocado and beef tacos, which were delicious.
Then we moved on to Chinatown. We wanted to have lunch there, but unfortunately it was packed, and we couldn’t find anywhere to park the car. Instead, we had lunch in town at a Thai noodle place, which was very good. I ate spicy green curry shrimp and we tried a very strange tapioca bubble slushie, which was surprisingly very tasty.
We drove through the Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, Logan Square, and to Wrigley Field. It was awesome to finally see where the Cubs play. We ended the day by grabbing delicious cupcakes downtown.
The whole day was such a great adventure. I think I saw most of Chicago’s unique neighborhoods. It’s funny because every time you’re in a new neighborhood, you feel like you’re in a completely new little town. I definitely realized how big Chicago is. I think we drove approximately 4 hours in all. I will definitely go back to Chinatown sometime and have lunch there.