by Brianna Rae
Last week, we interviewed co-owners Eugenia Podesta and Spencer Hudson about the experiences in their lives that put them on the path to create their new co-working space, Synergy Co-working. This week in Part II, we’ll continue their story and delve into their mission and vision for their new space.
Both Madison natives, Podesta and Hudson are co-owners of a new co-working space that opened the first week of April called Synergy Coworking, located at 5201 Old Middleton Road. Synergy is the culmination of a long-time shared dream between Podesta and Hudson of creating a thriving environment and helping to support people in their community achieve success.
With the increase of freelance workers, people who work from home, and labor that can be done outside of a corporate office, co-working spaces are the answer to the question of how to work productively, efficiently, and collaboratively when there isn’t a designated space for it. They also have the unique capability of being a hub for social and communal activities and resources.
The Beginning of Synergy
Podesta moved back home to Madison after living in D.C. for seven years, and she began working remotely from home. “I wanted to do something in Madison, I didn’t know exactly what, but something that consisted of a gathering place to bring people together. That’s always been my dream,” she said.
The skills and experiences she gained through all of her work and travel combined with her natural skills proved to be a perfect match for what she does with Synergy. She has extensive experience in leadership, economic development, mentoring, program and design management and partnerships across the world. She describes her strengths as being restorative and a connector, constantly trying to see how things can work better and how people can benefit from meeting others with similar interests or that can serve as a resource.
“For a number of years I’ve experienced how bringing a diversity of people together can lead to great things. They all have at least one thing in common, they want to improve and thrive. I knew I wanted to take advantage of everything I’ve learned and my strengths and experiences and create that space in Madison,” she said. “That really culminated in this co-working space.”
Similarly, Hudson’s background provided him with business skills and experience, as well as experience working with people of diverse backgrounds throughout Madison. He had initially planned on forming a non-profit, and many of his ideas ended up lending themselves to the mission of the co-working space.
Hudson and Podesta had known each other since high school, linked back up later in life and now share a family together. After joining 100state to address Podesta’s need to break her isolation from working from home, they began to research co-working in other states and countries while brainstorming and fleshing out their vision for Synergy. When they found the right building, everything started coming into place.
The Mission and the Vision
For Podesta and Hudson, Synergy serves not only the basic functional needs of providing a space to work, but it also serves a community need. “We want to bring people in who are interested in giving and reciprocating, because that’s what it’s all about. We really want to foster learning opportunities as well, because there’s such a need, particularly when it comes to the application of those learnings. There is a lot of information out there but there is still a need to make information easier to digest and apply. In addition to sharing the resources that are available, we will be sharing methods for how to turn learnings into action,” said Podesta.
They encourage people to take advantage of the benefits that co-working offers, such as: opportunities for collaboration, expanding networks to find new clients and new talent, exchanging skills and knowledge with people in different industries, decreasing your isolation, and having a flexible work space.
“When it comes to the events and activities we will hold, we have a menu of possibilities and want to maintain flexibility in order to ensure that we meet the needs of those whom will form part of the Synergy community,” said Podesta.
Hudson and Podesta are adamant about creating a new environment that serves the needs of all people, particularly people who, for reasons of isolation, lack of resources, and practical needs like proximity, do not join other spaces. “We encourage people to come from all backgrounds and industries, because you get exposed to ideas, people and professions that you wouldn’t have any idea of or experience with otherwise,” she said.
“There are so many growth opportunities all around us, and we want to create a momentum that is innovative and welcoming to people who feel like there hasn’t been a place for them,” Podesta said.
“All forms of labor and passions are valid and worthy here,” Hudson said. “It doesn’t matter if you sell tupperware or work in IT, we support everyone’s passion and industry,” Podesta finished.
Curious about co-working? Call (608-709-5550) or visit Synergy (5201 Old Middleton Road) to receive a one-week free trial and experience.
For more information, photos of the space, rates, amenities and to sign up for a tour, visit www.synergymadison.com.