Link Coworking is a membership club for professionals, freelancers and business owners who want to conduct their business in an interactive space. Link not only provides them with a comfortable work environment that boosts their productivity, but also with a community of coworkers and the ability to network with people in a variety of industries.
In 2008, Liz Elam knew she wanted to open a coworking space in Austin, and turned to her father, a SCORE volunteer in Vermont, for help. “I was working on my business plan, and driving my father crazy,” she says with a laugh. “He suggested I get in touch with SCORE in Austin.”
SCORE mentor Celia Bell, founder of Business Suites, a successful executive suite business in Austin, was a perfect match for Elam. “Celia knew a lot of the things I needed to know, like how to choose a location and how to negotiate a lease,” Elam says.
Beyond the startup basics, working with SCORE introduced Elam to other small business owners who were SCORE clients. “The networking that happens among the people Celia’s helping is very helpful,” says Elam, who frequently brainstorms with and bounces ideas off other SCORE clients. The relationships with other entrepreneurs she’s met through SCORE have enhanced her social media marketing efforts and the live events she hosts. “The very first people to arrive at my grand opening were SCORE mentors,” she says. “They were so supportive, and continue to make me feel part of their community.”
Elam opened Link Coworking in 2010 and a second location, Link Too, in 2012; she plans to open two more locations in the next six months. She is the founder of two national coworking associations, consults on coworking, speaks internationally on coworking and hosts the nation’s largest coworking conference, which will soon go international.
“I recommend SCORE to anyone starting a business,” says Elam, who still talks to Bell weekly. “It’s hard to be a solo entrepreneur, and here’s a team of people ready, willing and able to help—for free. You’d be crazy not to take advantage of it!”
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