Nanaimo’s Input Logic and Cowork are bringing life to the local tech scene
In 2014, Input Logic entered our Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) through our partners at Innovation Island. They were looking for help launching their new blogging platform, Postach.io. Fast forward to 2019, they’ve sold Postach.io, pivoted into a digital product studio, and they now build, invest in, and launch digital products for startups and brands. Recently, they launched Nanaimo’s only tech and design focused co-working space, Input Cowork — a 5,000 square foot building in the heart of downtown that’s injecting life into Nanaimo’s tech scene.
We sat down with Adelaide Russell, Community Manager of Input Cowork, and Shawn Adrian, CEO of Input Logic, to learn more about the company, their passions, and the impact the Venture Acceleration Program has had.
Q: What inspired you to start your own business?
Shawn: My dad is a serial entrepreneur, so as a teenager it didn’t occur to me to do anything else. I started my first business, a web design agency, when I was 17. I traded a website to sublet some office space and went door to door in the mall selling custom websites before I had even graduated high school.
Q: Where does your passion for technology come from?
Adelaide: My overarching passion lies in creating community. I love fostering relationships and memorable moments. My passion for technology is definitely new. Working at Cowork has opened my eyes to all sorts of technologies and companies that I find fascinating. I love the way technology can connect people and create community synergy.
Q: What goals did you have before entering the VAP and how did it help you achieve them?
Shawn: We had recently created Postach.io and wanted to raise an investment round and learn how to get acquired. The VAP program introduced us to various government funding programs that helped us pay the bills while we focused on product development and ultimately, we ended up raising about $500k from investors before we graduated from the program.
Q: What has been some of Input’s notable milestones to date?
Adelaide: At Input Cowork we are proud of our tech and design focused events schedule. Last year we hosted a multitude of events ranging from coding competitions, design talks, meetups, and short film festivals. We also launched our Young Entrepreneur Program in Partnership with Nanaimo’s Chamber of Commerce, where we offer a free desk to a young entrepreneur in order to plug them into the tech community.
Shawn: Launching Postach.io and seeing thousands of people use it every day was incredibly satisfying. Then selling it to try some new things was extremely rewarding. We started investing in other startups, by offering creative capital (design and code for equity), and when one of our startups exited, we purchased the Input Cowork building with the proceeds of that exit. Every new product we launch with a startup or brand is a reward on its own. Last year, we celebrated launching Goose Insurance, one of Canada’s fastest growing fintech startups, who we’re also investors in.
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish in the year ahead?
Adelaide: In 2020, Cowork we will expand and enhance our community events calendar. We plan on renovating the space to include two extra meeting rooms. In addition, we want to expand our corporate sponsorship program to provide increased opportunities for young entrepreneurs in the mid-island region.
Shawn: This will be a growth year for us, focused on providing an even better experience for our clients, team, and community. We’re making some key hires and promotions that will allow us to get products to market faster with better analytics, and really crank up the value we bring as partners to founders and the brands we work with.
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