People Behind the Space: Genius Coworking
Meet Clinton from Genius Coworking
A chilled out workspace for people to zig when everyone else is zagging.
Welcome to modern working. Genius Coworking is a place for people to zig when everyone else is zagging. Based in Ferrymead, Christchurch, Genius Coworking inspires productivity and collaboration, whilst supporting local suburban businesses and lifestyles.
We chat to Clinton Selby, founder of Genius Coworking in Christchurch, to learn more about his own unique approach to a coworking space.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background?
Co-founders myself and Gerry come from quite different backgrounds.
I myself Canterbury born and bred own another business called Ergostyle supplying commercial ergonomic furniture end to end for office space since 1996. I have had a huge interest in new ways of working and the evolving workspace, this was just a natural progression.
Gerry moved from Scotland over 10 years ago with his wife and has had a number of businesses over that time - from mortgage broking to various start ups and roles with corporates in property data and analytics. We only met 2 and a half years ago when we co-founded Evil Genius and have not looked back since.
How did Genius Coworking come about? What made you want to start your own coworking space?
Genius Coworking was born from it’s founding business Evil Genius back in 2017. Co-founders myself and Gerry envisaged a coworking space that supported local suburban businesses and lifestyles.
The original brand was an 'in your face' semi anti-establishment, it has since evolved and now become Genius Coworking. My other business Ergostyle had tested the waters 2 years earlier with a small space set up after the Earthquakes in Christchurch CBD, from there I was hooked.
Evil Genius remains as the hospitality part of our business operating 7 days a week as a bar / cafe, whilst remaining attached to Genius Coworking via a secret bookcase door for our members.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and best highlight?
I think both Gerry and I would agree to tipping our hat at Hospitality operators around New Zealand. Neither of us had ever owned a Bar and it has certainly been a massive learning curve. There are tremendous amount of moving parts in running your own business and when you are effectively running 2 from 1 space, it can get complex.
I think our highlight two years on is we are so very proud of our members and their diverse range of skills and ability they bring to the space. We have been lucky to have very low attrition and a good percentage of our members have been with us from the beginning.
What makes Genius Coworking unique to other shared workspaces in Christchurch?
There are a number of things that make Genius Coworking unique.
We are based in Ferrymead with water views and only 10 minutes from the Christchurch CBD. With 35 carparks & a fully licensed bar and restaurant attached. The space caters for business that prefer not to have to go into the City, supporting suburbs like Lyttleton, Mount Pleasant and Sumner.
As I also operate Ergostyle from the space, the furniture is some of the best available in New Zealand including furniture brands like Herman Miller, PLN and Humanscale.
What type of culture are you aiming for?
Supportive and inclusive. There are obvious benefits of collaboration and the ability to use each others services. Our culture has tended toward more lifestyle, example being when the wind is up the kite boarders are gone, or a decent north swell hits they all head to Taylors or Sumner for a surf.
If you could pick any three people in the world to work in your space, who would it be and why?
1. David Attenborough, we could listen to him tell us all about the bar tailed godwits whilst looking out the window from our space!
2. Joe Rogan, because the guy is a [email protected]#$ legend.
3. Jim Jefferies, because every space needs a great comedian.
Do you have any tips for someone thinking about setting up their own coworking space?
Heaps - just because you have some spare desks in your space don’t think you can start a “Coworking Space”. It is really important to create a strong brand with a good vision and purpose. Have a strategy and plan in place around onboarding which compliments where your space is located. Design is vital to making a space feel welcoming and getting your vibe on!
Are there any exciting plans in the pipeline for Genius Coworking?
Yes we plan to do the following...
Genius Coworking is creating the modern workforce and delivering an expanding ecosystem that promotes flexibility, incubates and facilitates ingenious partnerships, increases productivity and supports entrepreneurs running their business more efficiently.
Interested in working from Genius Coworking?
Click here to view their listing on Sharedspace.co.nz for more details.