Location, Location, Location

August 18, 2016

Three years ago, if you had asked me what kind of office space was ideal, I’d have shrugged my shoulders and said something dumb like “An office with free coffee and Kraft Mac & Cheese.” And that’s still true, undoubtedly, but it kind of misses the point.

My brother and co-founder Scott and I have worked out of a dozen different spaces in the past few years. Dorm rooms, clinics, and apartment kitchens. Sometime after bringing Dan on board, we caught a lucky break and were accepted to be based in 1871, Chicago’s largest workspace for young companies.

1871, for those unfamiliar, is a distinctly high-energy place. Based in the Merchandise Mart, it hosts hundreds of companies, many run by young twenty-somethings who bring a lively vibe to the place. In fact, 1871 is so popular that they’ve recently had to expand to other floors of the building in order to accommodate the demand.

In early 2015, MATTER spun off (and down the hall), creating a new space dedicated to companies in the health tech space. We jumped at the opportunity to be part of this new community, and found ourselves moving 50 meters down the hall into a new space.

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We found a noticeably different place. MATTER is a bit more heads down, nose to the grindstone, and laser-focused on solving health care problems. There are pharmaceutical producers, health IT companies, and medical device makers. And this mix of companies has been immeasurably helpful to Supply Clinic.

We’ve swapped user interface notes with the good folks at Fibroblast. Our friends at CareTree.me have helped us craft an email campaign and image for our clinician user base. CancerIQ has taught us how to best organize a semi-Agile workflow that suits our size and growth rate. Multiple individuals have introduced us to clinician customers, vendors, and investors. And what kind of Friday is complete without a MATTER-wide happy hour, followed by terrible karaoke?

And while we’re the only dental-specific company in the space today, we’ve already talked extensively with several others, including a 3-D device company, which have obvious applications in the dental implants space. We’re working hard to help bring more institutional dental players into MATTER, to truly create a hub for innovation in the dental space.

Now we’re just a dental supplies website. We could really be run out of a garage in Tucson. But we’ve benefitted so much by being in a shared workspace, and we couldn’t possibly have gotten to this point without all our friends here at MATTER.

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