36 Degrees North Welcomes Women Entrepreneurs
Stop, collaborate and listen.
“When I was on a conference call and my son came into the room naked while playing the harmonica, I knew it was time to stop working from home,” said Nicole Morgan, owner of Resolute PR.
Like many small business entrepreneurs, Morgan began her business in her home. As her business grew, working from home was becoming a problem, but leasing office space was a leap she wasn’t sure she was ready to take.
“At home, I was having a hard time balancing my work life and personal life. Plus, I just didn’t like my children seeing me on my computer all of the time. It was definitely time to make a change, I just wasn’t sure exactly what,” Morgan said.
One of Resolute PR’s clients, the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, was in the process of partnering in a new entrepreneurial hub in Tulsa called 36 Degrees North. Getting in on the ground floor of this opportunity seemed to be exactly what Morgan’s small business needed.
“The concept just seemed right for us and the month-to-month lease option was very appealing,” Morgan said. “Having access to the amenities and operations is great. Also, I attribute some of our growth with being here. You can collaborate with other people and it has a great energy.”
When you walk in the doors of 36 Degrees North, you immediately notice that the structure is set up for collaboration with an open floor plan and communal seating options. And like any good commune, there is a vast array of personalities to keep the conversation going. Established organizations such as the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, Tulsa Regional Chamber, Tulsa Tech, the University of Oklahoma and OSU's Riata Center for Entrepreneurship have spaces there, but they’re within ear-shot of burgeoning starts-ups such as the online news source The Frontier and interior design business Kirkendall Design.
“When you’re in the beginning stages of starting a business, and you have a question about something, it’s so nice to be able to discuss it over coffee with someone who may be going through the same thing or has already been through it,” said Shanese Slaton, 36 Degrees North communication and events coordinator.
In addition to networking and collaboration opportunities, members have access to several meeting rooms, desks, endless coffee, video/skype room and even a shower with towel service.
“We’ve set up the space to be a lot like working from home, without the laundry and dishes waiting for you,” Slaton said.
Starting a business is never easy – especially when you’re also raising a family. When childcare falls through, children can join mom/dad to work. In fact, they’ve even created a “junior membership” wall to make the children feel included.
“You’ll see children in here all the time,” said Slaton. “And we love it.”
Although it’s not a daily occurrence, Morgan brings her children to work with her if something happens at day care or during school breaks.
“Just last week, my son Levi was hanging out here. He had his toys spread all over the floor and no one had a problem with it,” said Morgan.
Nicole Morgan with her daughter Alyssa (age 7) and son Levi (age 4).
While there is not childcare at 36 Degrees North, there is a room with building blocks, bean bags and a television dedicated as a kids’ space that older children can enjoy.
Kid's Space at 36 Degrees North.
Mothers who need more childcare assistance can take advantage of Women’s Co-Working Day. The focus of this monthly event is to provide a dedicated time for women to get work done, while having an opportunity to network with other women entrepreneurs.
“We’ve been experimenting with different formats, but we’ve found that 50 minutes of work time and 10 minutes of networking each hour works best. And occasionally we’ll have a speaker come in and talk to the group,” Slaton explained.
Speakers can range from women entrepreneurs such as Molly Martin of Antoinette Bakery to a lawyer explaining the nuances of filing for a patent. Women’s Co-Working day is held the third Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Seeking Sitters is available for children over the age of two – the children just need to bring a lunch and pre-registration is required. This event is free and open to the public. Some events, however, require membership.
Class Room at 36 Degrees North.
36 Degrees North offers three levels of membership: coworking, desk and office. Each level provides a different degree of services and access. Prices range from $149/month to $675/month.
“Working from home is a romantic idea, but being an entrepreneur can be lonely at times. We’re here to go through the highs and lows with you, but most of all, we want to help expedite the process of creating your business.”
To find out more about 36 Degrees North, go to www.36degreesnorth.com.