By Rebecca Roebber
PGS gathered together on November 14 for the Bring Your Values to Work, in a stunning space generously provided The Collective, a shared working space co-founded by Alum Alex Mondau. The Collective exists because of Alex's vision. He noticed that Seattle lacked gathering spaces, places to share ideas and to collaborate. He wanted something that was not just a bar or café, but a space to inspire creativity. Mandau excited about building his concept for a community space in the heart of Seattle to meet this need: The Collective.
The Collective is more than a co-working space. It is a place to pursue your passion and a home away from home. The co-working facility is a beautiful open space with comfortable nooks and areas to work, gather, and eat.
Mondau has a background in hospitality and a real collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit. He brought this idea for a gathering space to Presidio Graduate School with him. He then worked with a student team to create a financial plan. They helped him understand the market and get "pitch ready' for investors in 2012 when Mondau graduated.
Alex learned valuable lessons at PGS at the IslandWood campus on Bainbridge Island. As he describes it, "the informal spaces and opportunities to gather with students and faculty were where innovation and collaboration happens, over drinks, food, and great conversation. Opening up the conversations outside of the classroom provides a whole new context." This realization validated the concept for Alex.
Island Wood inspired the programs and design of The Collective. The airy open spaces, natural elements, and most notably, the restaurant with a locally sourced menu, local coffee, and craft beer. "We have fantastic food and beverage space. It sets us apart."
Alex spent five years pitching this idea to investors and building owners looking for the right partners. When Mondau finally found the right fit, he licensed the concept to a developer. He was hired on as the community ambassador and co-founder.
The Collective is almost two years old, with around 1200 members. It is a diverse community of members who thrive on adventure, shared ideas, and purpose. The co-working space is a place to build real connections and conversations. The Collective offers many community events for members, including yoga, mountain bike adventures, wine and watercolor nights, and fundraising events all aimed at bringing people together. "It's not just about the individual; it is about the whole person and supporting all their needs. We offer large events, intimate experiences, meals, and spaces for individuals to connect."
What is so infectious about Alex's vision is his real passion for community building, the environment, and outdoor adventures. The Collective is a reflection of both his principles and values.
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