Meet Deshawn Brown, 2x Founder, and Entrepreneur in Raleigh, NC focused on the “Future of Work.” Coworks, his latest venture is aiming to innovate how coworking spaces are managed and how they can continue to deliver exceptional tenant experiences even through the most challenging times.
CED had a chance to catch up with Deshawn, who you may have seen pitch at Venture Connect Online back in May. Deshawn is an NCSU Graduate and a TechStars backed Founder who is continuing to make progress with his platform both locally and internationally.
Where did you find your inspiration?
As an entrepreneur looking to connect with like-minded folks while building out his first venture Lithos, Deshawn found it challenging to understand what engagement looked like at a variety of co-working spaces he was considering and what really was available to him. This led to many engaging conversations around the challenging aspects of managing a coworking space and how those challenges often trickle-down to form undesirable experiences for current and potential customers. After spending a little time on the other side in Investment Banking (RTP) he realized that he’d like to move towards building a solution that looked at coworking or “space-as-a-service” as a way to better leverage communities, events, and its people to drive positive experiences.
What support did you receive from the local ecosystem that has helped you accelerate your venture?
In 2018, Deshawn participated in Google’s Black Founders Exchange, an accelerator program where he landed Raleigh Founded as his first anchor tenant on the CoWorks Platform. From there DeShawn was selected to participate in the 2019 TechStars Cohort which further expanded his network of resources and investors. He has leaned on individual mentors and other community partners like CED along the way and continues to make connections throughout the ecosystem that support him everyday.
What is your primary focus, today?
Deshawn is currently working on closing his seed round ($750K) with lead investor VentureSouth, a contact initially made at CED’s Venture Connect. With this capital he will be focused on building out his marketing and sales teams to drive integration throughout the coworking vertical. DeShaw has aspirations not only to improve the operations of these spaces, but empower employees to work better together, maintain a healthy shift in workplace culture and truly inspire what the future of work could be.
Words of wisdom for your fellow entrepreneurs – out there grinding alongside you?
Start-ups are stressful, and require an immense amount of effort. But as entrepreneurs you have the opportunity to solve real problems. You have the opportunity to challenge yourself and improve the lives of others. Investors are investing, and the right ones will take your calls. Lean on your network for introductions and keep moving forward.
If you are interested in learning more about Coworks, more specifically if you are an investor, coworking space or traditional/corporate office with flexible workspace – we want to connect to you. Reach out to us and we will do the rest.