The Research Triangle Park

Reflections on One Year at The Frontier

By Feb 17, 2016

A typical anniversary is an occasion to reflect on the past and to look towards the future. Recognizing one year at The Frontier has been no different. As a staff, we have reflected on all of the wonderful things that the past year at The Frontier has brought. We’ve watched strangers become friends, and together we celebrate the strength in these relationships, both professional relationships and personal ones. As we look towards the future, we imagine all of the beautiful possibilities that another year and many years to come will bring.

The Frontier recently hosted a VIP lounge and brunch as a thank you for our tenants and squatters (as we affectionately refer to users of our co-working space, “home base”). As we sipped mimosas and indulged in chocolate fondue, we chatted about what makes The Frontier so special. Every person that we spoke with brought up the people here. The Frontier is not simply a building, it’s a community. Jordan Shamp of Noteables, who has been here since day one, used the word “camaraderie” to describe the bond between people here, and we could not agree more.

Another word that came up again and again in discussion was “collaboration”. Terry Gregory of CHITA Strategies has been using the co-working space for some time now, and has come to notice something very unique here: “most everyone [at The Frontier] is excited about creating something that doesn’t exist.” The Frontier is full of visionaries, creating new products, forming new companies, and offering new services. Because the space is such a melting pot, there have been many collaborations between total strangers who’ve become business partners. Our staff has been proud to watch as these visionaries have grown from independent business people with an idea into multi-employee companies in need of their own office space. We’ve watched as individuals using our co-working space have graduated to our private office space on the third floor. It has been a dream realized for Research Triangle Foundation staff to witness what has come of this innovative space.

For Laura Edwards and Andrea Radford of Population Health Improvement Partners, the space that they stumbled upon accidentally has become, appropriately enough, a “home base” for creativity and innovation. “We originally visited the space for a business meeting, and we were intrigued by the free co-working space. As we have been in the middle of a transition of office space and our new space isn’t quite ready yet, we have been using The Frontier as our work place. There is a cool vibe here. It’s energizing and inspires creativity, and there is something new here every day. Sitting at a table one day with some individuals we had never met before, a sort of ‘impromptu focus group’ ensued. There is such a great mix of people here and it’s nice to broaden our horizons. Once we move into our new space, we will probably continue to utilize The Frontier. It has been such a blessing to the area.” Because she works in public health, Laura was also insistent that we be sure to point out her favorite amenity: the healthy choices in the vending machine. “Every member of our team that has visited The Frontier has noticed the healthy options available in the vending machine. This is not common so we’ve all been very impressed.”

Alycia Kozlowski, Creative Director for a real estate school in New York, has been working at The Frontier for some time now. Prior to finding the space, she had worked from home for several years and was beginning to feel the effects. “I was in a weird space and didn’t know whether it was maybe time to look for a new job. I looked into other co-working spaces but found that most had fees associated. Once I started working at The Frontier, everything changed. It is such an inclusive space, and I’ve felt so welcome. There is something different every day. I realized that The Frontier filled what I had been lacking before. I have been able to stay at my job and feel more connected.”

These are just some of the stories of how The Frontier has impacted the community over the past year. Because there isn’t much of a model for a space like The Frontier, we rely on your feedback to determine what’s working and what isn’t. We are hopeful in anticipating all sorts of amazing things from the space in the coming year. And we owe so much of it to you, our tenants, squatters, and friends. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for being a part of what we’ve created. Thank you for dreaming with us, creating with us, collaborating with us. Thank you for sticking with us when things have worked well and when we faced obstacles. Thank you for doing yoga with us, for painting with us, for sipping a cold one with us on a Thursday evening. Thank you for your research, your hard work, and your dedication. We owe it all to you.