Exit Interview with Gwen Kohl, Incubator Coordinator

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As we start to say good-bye to Gwen, we asked her to reflect on her amazing career at Spaceworks. Be sure to join us for the going-away party on Thursday, January 30, 6pm-8pm, at 7 Seas Brewery in Tacoma.

What’s the big news? What’s next for you?
I’m thrilled to be moving full time into my own business endeavor, Money Moxy, where I’ll be helping entrepreneurs gain confidence and financial understanding about their businesses. It’s a natural next step for me – I get to continue working with entrepreneurs but can spend more time focusing on individual growth and digging into numbers with business owners.

How did you get your start at Spaceworks?
I started at Spaceworks as a student in the Business Planning Cohort (then called the Creative Enterprise Program) in 2015. When they posted a new position to coordinate the business training, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s an amazing program, and I’m honored to have met and worked with so many people who continue to inspire me.

What is an accomplishment that makes you proud?
I’m proud of strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Tacoma. Entrepreneurship can be very isolating, especially for more introverted people and creatives who don’t see themselves in traditional business communities. To address this, I created the Entrepreneur Success Workshop, a public event where entrepreneurs come together to refine ideas, set goals, and connect with resources. I also created a formal Spaceworks alumni network that includes monthly in-person meetings, where alumni continue to learn from experts and other entrepreneurs. Often, connections at these events spin out into informal networks that are larger than just Spaceworks, expanding the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem.

What advice would you offer the next incubator coordinator?
You don’t have to know all the answers – you’ll get to work with so many diverse entrepreneurs across so many different industries, it’s impossible to know everything! The important part is to support each entrepreneur and help them find resources and connections to find their own solutions.

What are you excited about owning your own business?
I’m excited to use my skills and knowledge to build out systems and infrastructure to help more entrepreneurs be financially savvy. I think there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who believe that business can be good for employees, communities, the environment, and the owner(s). I want to continue to build this ecosystem and help entrepreneurs have confidence in their numbers so they make smart business decisions and continue to make the world a better place.

What about Spaceworks are you going to miss?
Besides the safety net of a steady paycheck, I’m going to miss working with such a talented and dedicated team at an established institution. Spaceworks is so uniquely positioned to combine business, art, and community that it’s able to open a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs/artists/community advocates. Everyone on the staff is so talented and truly believes that they can and do make a difference through their work. It’s been really nice to have been surrounded by that ethos every day.

Congrats, Gwen, and thank you!