Tobi Skovron, CEO and co-founder of Creative Cubes, runs collaborative workspaces in Melbourne, Australia. A driven entrepreneur, Tobi identified the new trend towards co-working spaces during his nine years in the U.S. in Los Angeles. His U.S. job opportunity didn’t require a large dedicated office space, so he set out and found 16 other entrepreneurs to start a new co-sharing workspace with him. “I fell in love with the community and collaboration and I believe intently that community is the new currency.” Living abroad exposed Skovron to a structure of entrepreneur support he had never experienced before. Skovron knew he was not alone, there were many other entrepreneurs who also thrived in shared working environments, collaborating with other ambitious entrepreneurs. He knew this idea would work as well for others as it did for him.
Skovron explains, “My drive is to create these ecosystems and environments where people can thrive. And as long as you have a good heart and you want to help the world, you’re welcome at Creative Cubes. It’s really that simple.” Skovron realized there was a wealth of knowledge and expertise to extract from all of these incredible people and businesses. Tobi couldn’t help but envision how successful each entrepreneur could be if everyone in the shared workspace collaborated and helped one another.
He realized most new businesses weren’t using the large work rental spaces being marketed to startups and small companies. Instead, trends were moving to more remote work and flex hours for employees which means that companies, startups and businesses needed less traditional “office space” and more multi-functional shared spaces. Add this workplace shift to the rising real estate prices in most major metro and urban cities, and services like Skovron’s Creative Cubes coworking space started coming in higher and higher demand.
Skovron believes, “Ultimately, coworking is a shared office space, a shared office environment. Instead of taking 1,000 square meters, you can take anywhere up to a desk, you could have a private office for one to 50… But basically, it’s taking a slice of the pizza.” You don’t have to pay for the whole pie, or office space, just what you want to use. Creative Cubes cuts the spaces it owns into smaller sections available for use by clients’ needs, whether it be a conference room, personal offices, a cafeteria or whatever else a company may need on a temporary or longer-term basis.
“I think you’ll find, when you walk through the property, we’re not typical.” You won’t find white-top desks, or plain walls, because Skovron emphasizes points of difference to spark creativity and inspiration in order to prevent stagnation and claustrophobia in employees.
Skovron is devoted to separating Creative Cubes from other shared coworking spaces by making everything the company does focus is on its people. They do not solely create coworking spaces for startups. Their coworking spaces can be utilized by almost anyone needing customized workspaces. Tobi elaborates, “For us, what really separates Creative Cubes from other coworking spaces is really those four pillars and an unwavering focus on helping every single person to elevate.”
Those pillars are Community, Events (where experts come in and educate on trends, tactics and more), Physical and Mental Wellness and, lastly Fuel, or healthy food and drinks for employees and clients to take care of themselves. Skovron insists that as much focus and energy that is put into the project should be put into benefitting employees’ physical and mental health to avoid the workaholic burnout experienced by entrepreneurs. These four pillars are a point of pride for Skovron. They represent Creative Cubes’ unique understanding that employees’ wellbeing is just as important as helping them succeed in their business ventures, something he believes similar companies fail to acknowledge as being vital for happy and productive employees.
Another key difference between Creative Cubes and its competitors is its domain name. CreativeCubes.co stands out from competitors as Skovron puts it. “Dot com” is too American of a connotation, so visitors might be confused and think that they’re dealing with an American company. Adding on “.au” to a “.com” domain would be too many words and too clunky. “Less is best,” declares Skovron. The entrepreneur loved the synergy of “CreativeCubes.co” because of the alliteration and the shared prefix of “co” in “coworking.”
Tobi credits the “.CO” domain with helping define that difference in the market. He is grateful to be out in front of the trends beginning to take shape in his field. The entrepreneur settled on “.co” in order “to be different. I did it to be sort of a boundary pusher. Skovron considered URLs as a “cheeky” way to articulate his point of difference. “.co” allows Creative Cubes to be new, different and to have a legacy all on its own. Tobi found the domain name irresistible to pass on. “.CO just felt like it was smart and tied neatly together. It definitely represents who we are. If we didn’t (use the domain), we were kind of doing a disservice to the brand.”
For Creative Cubes future, Skovron wants to go beyond the standard. The numerous other ventures in their NeonLife.co corporate parent umbrella all have plans to expand and offer other services. Skovron explains that all of their “.CO” domains fashion themselves like CreativeCubes. “I think the best way for me to articulate it is Creative Cubes is not your typical space. Nothing here is standard. We want to be pushing the boundaries, breaking, defying the odds and delivering something well above and beyond, and so we need to be in our own skin.” This atmosphere sets the standard for all their other ventures.
When considering what’s in store for the young company, Skovron wants to focus on scale and maintain the balance that Creative Cubes is succeeding in. He considers other coworking spaces more like “cookie-cutter” department stores, traditional in their office space offerings. Creative Cubes has several new properties underway as they try to deliver an impactful experience for coworking spaces across the country. For Tobi and CreativeCubes.co, they want to stay true to themselves on the path to increased growth. They want to be sure that what they offer is true to their identity as an “atypical place to work.” CreativeCubes.co is sticking to its pillars, focusing on its community and keeping an eye open for the right opportunity.