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MSP On Deck Podcast #20: Kyle Coolbroth Co Founder And CEO Of Fueled Collective


MSP On Deck

In this episode we have a guest… Kyle Coolbroth (@kcoolbroth), Cofounder and CEO of Fueled Collective (formerly CoCo).

We start with Kathy asking our thoughts on the Structural $2.5M funding announcement. Casey talks about the leadership team and I talk about what they are working on. Kyle talks about Scott Burns, Structural CEO, and I was not aware that Structural was originally at Fueled Collective (then CoCo). We’re bullish on Structural.

Kyle talks about Osborne370 and what it means to St Paul and the tech and business community.

That leads us into a St Paul conversation and what is going on there with properties and commercial real estate. And some issues St Paul has.

We transition to talking about CoCo (now Fueled Collective) started.

Kathy asks what might be the best, funniest question ever on our podcast… what is the Fueled Collective “community adjusted EBITDA” referring to the recent WeWork news.

That gets us into talking about the impact WeWork has had on coworking. Kyle gives us his and some industry insight on WeWork.

We talk about the tech companies, startups and large companies that have been in the Fueled Collective space. Thankfully Kyle made a list:

  • Tech: Structural, Leadpages, Jamf, phData, Particle, Players Health, SportsEngine, Kidizen, Kidblog, Kipsu, HomeSpotter, Mobiata, NativeX, Work Out Loud, Zipnosis, Apruve, Vugo, Docalytics & 8th Bridge

  • Enterprise: Google, 3M

  • Revolution Capital

  • And some non profits

Casey asks about how and why enterprise companies are getting involved in coworking spaces.

I asked if the Fueled Collective spaces took on personas… in the beginning the Grain Exchange was almost all startups and tech groups, St Paul became a non-profit hub, etc.

Kyle describes the membership in general now as small, scaling businesses.

I asked about how the Grain Exchange space and the evolution of it has helped groups “graduate” into larger space and still remain under the Fueled Collective umbrella with the sweet spot of 1-20 employees.

Kyle talks about the evolution of space from the original campsite to how groups would build out their space, sometimes looking for a more “walled off” feel while still wanting the social feel of the coworking space.

Kathy gets us into Fueled Collective and how integrating coworking and social is where they are going with their spaces with work, social, food, etc.

We go back and talk a bit more about WeWork and add in the recent Lifetime announcement of fitness and coworking and what it means for blending life, work and activities.

I ask about his thoughts on niche coworking sites like The Coven, women only, which has been a big addition to our community.

Casey has been running a list of coworking spaces and believes there to be 45 in Minnesota and 31 in the Minneapolis and St Paul area. And he thinks that a new one comes around every 8 weeks and one dies every 12 weeks.

While recording I mention I had been looking for photos of the when I randomly showed up at the Grain Exchange to look around. Here they are:

CoCo Minneapolis Grain Exchange Pre Launch 1 CoCo Minneapolis Grain Exchange Pre Launch 2

We go down memory lane a bit about the early days of the Grain Exchange.

With those photos from 7 years ago… I ask about 7 years from now and Kyle talks about where he sees Fueled Collective going.

Kathy asks about how it gets financed… Kyle talks about different possible avenues could have been raising capital or acquisition but how going forward they have gone with a franchising model. Kyle talks about how this idea started, with who and how it evolved.

We change the topic and I ask Kyle, of course, how he thinks our tech and business community is doing and he has an interesting perspective.

Kathy asks what advice Kyle would give to those who are interested in starting a coworking space.

I ask about the significance of Mary Grove and Steve Grove in Minneapolis and working out of Fueled Collective.

We shift back to the Minneapolis and St Paul startup scene with a scoop from Casey about a company called Autopilot, HQ’d in Sydney with an office in the Bay Area, opening an office in Minneapolis and hiring sales and customer success. They are a direct competitor to Drip (Leadpages).

And we close on our dare and you HAVE to hear Kyle’s. Easily a top dare of all time.

Dang… that was a lot of play by play of the conversation. Be sure to listen to the answers of all those questions above.

A not so serious of us after recording:

Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minneapolis Tech Podcast, Minnesota Startup Podcast, Minneapolis Startup Podcast

To connect with Kathy, Casey and MSP On Deck:

Kathy Grayson

Casey Allen:

MSP On Deck

And click MSP On Deck Podcast Is Live And Focusing On The Minnesota Tech And Startup Scene if you are new to this and wondering how it came to be.

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