Molly Strawn is a junior at California Lutheran University and has been the Content Creator for Hub101 since March. Seeing the center's need for media coverage and publicity, she utilized her journalism and graphic design skills to fill in the gap. She has since written over 30 articles for blog and printing purposes, designed numerous flyers and helped put together the space's first inclusive print magazine, Hub101 Insider. She now manages aspects of daily content production and company branding. Working full time over the summer gave her the opportunity to meet startup specialists, land jobs in productions and find connections to follow her passion for environmental journalism and advocacy.
I did not want to be at Hub101 that day in March. I was a journalist who had zero interest in the crazy world of entrepreneurship. But because I was a good journalist, I wasn't going to back down from my editor's special assignment. Taking one for the team, I ventured down to Westlake Village to cover "Conejo Valley Startup Week" for the Echo student newspaper.
I walked into the place and the first thing I thought was it was beautiful: polished concrete, bright open rooms with towering glass ceilings and walls with industrial-style exposed piping that I had always loved. As great as the space was, it was empty. Only one office door was open and one person sat quietly on their laptop wearing huge headphones. The front desk had a chair and computer, but was vacant.
I shrugged as I walked in further, hoping I was in the right place. I was met by the smiling face of Alon Goren, Hub101 Mentor and InvestedIn founder/CEO. I instantly felt at ease, and asked where I could find Daniel Ball, the only contact I was given by my editor. He pointed me around to a different section of the space. He also mentioned something about someone named Greg, but I pushed it to the back of my mind.
I talked with Daniel for almost an hour about everything, not just the event that week. He told me briefly about his journey to the space, his time in the corporate world and how Hub101 had just gotten its start last month. Oh, and of course that I should talk to someone named Greg.
I chatted more with Alon afterwards, both about his entrepreneurial involvement in the community and my article topic. Each time I ran into someone, they kept mentioning Greg and I was starting to get really annoyed. Where the heck was this guy!?
Then a bright-eyed happy guy walked into my life with a refreshing dose of confidence, taking a seat across from me. He brought light and energy to the room without saying a word and emitted an infectious dose of friendliness that had everyone smiling. This had to be Greg.
And more than an interview, this guy I'd met five minutes ago gave me a new perspective and reinstated a belief that I could create something bigger than myself. These crazy goals we chatted about were suddenly so tangible and real. He is an inspiration in his own right, and I didn't know it at the time, but he would soon become the most influential person in my life.
Now, almost a year later and with over 100 hours spent in that building, I'm a new person creating a new the future. I am building a world that I love calling home.
That is truly what entrepreneurship is about. It's not so much about the money or the management or even the product, it's the passion and the people. It's the bright minds that are infected with an idea to create a world better than yesterday. They aren't dreamers, they're doers.
Hub101 now has over 70 members, is ground zero for many local startups and involves students who are all employed to do a variety of things, whether it be manning the front desk, publishing social media content, designing a magazine or writing articles. I am privileged to say I helped build a beautiful place. Those windows were pretty, the polished floors don't hurt, but now the space is filled with color, voices and hope undeniably more beautiful.
I would have never expected to meet so many close friends and have so many amazing moments at Hub101 after that first time I walked in. I have a second family in a place I never expected to visit.
I am proud to say I am an entrepreneur. Will I ever run a financial banking business as a CEO? Well, probably not. But I think like one; I learned the hardworking mindset that sets off amazing ideas.
Hub101 makes global citizens, and Greg Monterrosa helps people believe in their wildest dreams again. He finds that spark deep inside and brings it to full flame before you’ve even realized it’s there. He is passionate about seeing others succeed. He never stops trying to make the world a better place, all with a smile. He loves so limitlessly. His favorite five words never fail to spark revolutions: “So I have this idea…” He adores and incubates ideas that will change the world, and I am lucky to call him a friend.
Hub101 has changed my life, what will it do for yours?
Operated by Cal Lutheran University in Westlake Village, CA, Hub101 offers coworking, incubation and community for entrepreneurs and small business owners to start, grow, and scale their startups with the help of mentors, coaches and service providers.