Case Study: American Underground and Roomzilla

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A company starts with a simple idea. Everyone has at least one “great idea.” If you make small talk with someone at a party, you’re bound to hear their great idea. But the divide between ideas and successful companies is vast. Not every idea turns into a product and not every product turns into a company.

In the 1994 movie, the Hudsucker Proxy, Hollywood boiled down the process of taking an idea and building it into a successful company in a matter of six minutes. Within this six-minute montage, there was a mere sixty seconds of hardship. While this hyperbolic montage might gloss over many details of entrepreneurship, it did illustrate how many people are involved in the process of building a business.

While there are many excellent solopreneurs, to build the next Facebook or Amazon, it takes a team to build something big.

During the early stages of your company’s young existence, you’re battling a myriad of daily battles, including inconsistent cash flow, finding seasoned advice, and establishing traction. A coworking space is a resource that can help a founder grow their company and develop as an entrepreneur.

American Underground

One such coworking space is the American Underground, located in Durham, North Carolina. It’s at the heart of three, top-tier universities; Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and Wake Forest. This areas is also known as the Research Triangle.

The American Underground is helping the local community build a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. In its annual report from 2014-2015, the coworking space shared some fantastic numbers that indicate the North Carolina tech community is starting to take shape.

The American Underground housed 227 companies last year and averaged 742 people working out of the spaces on a given day. That’s a twenty-one percent growth from the previous year.

The 227 companies occupying space in the American Underground employ a total of 2,316 people (and growing!). More than 400 new jobs were created by American Underground companies last year, with more than 250 of those jobs full-time.

These new jobs were created largely due to the increased funding American Underground companies were able to raise in 2014-2015. A total of $29,846,000 was raised in venture capital by American Underground employees.

In addition to the increased infusion of capital in American Underground companies, AU helped further the development of the Raleigh/Durham tech community by hosting a total of 138 events, which brought in nearly 10,000 attendees.

The numbers are clear, Raleigh and Durham are becoming a fast growing tech hub for the state of North Carolina.

How the American Underground Gets Business Done

The American Underground has about 115,000 square feet of office space between its four Raleigh and Durham campuses. The sheer size of its campus offers fledgling entrepreneurs something their apartments and coffee shops can’t...ample space and meeting rooms.

Across the massive campus of the American Underground, spans 22 conference rooms and meeting rooms. With 742 people coming into work every day, the space needs a formal conference reservation system for operations to run smoothly.

Roomzilla is proud to play a part in the success of the American Underground community. As the American Underground team was expanding its offices, it knew it needed a better way to manage their conferences rooms. The coworking space has used Roomzilla’s conference room reservation system since July 2013 to create a central process for managing their 22 conference rooms.

Garrett Wood, the Director of Strategic Initiatives at American Underground, said that, “The Roomzilla team has been so important in helping the American Underground grow and provide resources it our members.”

It’s been a joy to see a Roomzilla client grow and be able to use our software to further develop their vision.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of tech entrepreneurship all over the country. The iron grip Silicon Valley has had on the tech industry is slowly beginning to loosen. While still the major region for tech, exciting new areas, like Durham, are starting to establish their footing within their communities.

Coworking spaces like American Underground are a fundamental component to a growing tech ecosystem. They connect bright minds and hard-working talent to one another. Small ideas turn into big ideas. Veteran entrepreneurs can help foster the talent of tomorrow’s tech leaders.

If you live outside of Silicon Valley, know that you have plenty of options to make your company grow. Finding a co-working space in your area is a great step to expanding your company company into a sustainable, and well regarded company for years to come.


Image Courtesy of American Underground