SPACE’s Phil Tadros

CIW Co-op Member Phil Tadros’s consulting company Doejo has been helping Chicago-area start-ups launch since 2008.  Now he is aiming to strengthen the Chicago start-up community more with SPACE, a 10,000 square foot co-working space in River North that will have both Bow Truss Coffee and beer from the brewery Aquanaut (two businesses also started by Tadros) starting in July.

We came out of our conversation with the serial entrepreneur with new details on SPACE—and a playlist that we know we’ll be listening to all week long.

Phil Tadros with his daughter Kayla Tadros.
What was your inspiration for SPACE?
SPACE is a combination of all things professional I have been involved in up until this point: building communities, launching start-ups, managing growth, hosting events and connecting people to human and financial capital.  As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like SPACE is my calling. I’m super excited to help curate the right community and grow into more floors. We are looking to help host classes and talks and events as well as offer the day to day community that fosters collaboration as well as productive privacy. 
Why did you choose Chicago?
Chicago is home. That’s another reason I felt the need to get into this space: Many outside investors are coming to Chicago.  Why send the money to a city like New York City when we can keep it here in Chicago and help put it back into our start-ups?  When Doejo does well, we naturally reinvest in the potential all around us. 
If you could go back in time before you started this project and share one piece of advice with yourself, what would you tell yourself?
I’d suggest that I deliver the furniture after the walls go up. 
What are your next steps?
We are filling up fast and SPACE goes live in July as does our brewery Aquanaut. We are super excited to have free beer and Bow Truss coffee on tap at SPACE. 
We want to be in the know!  Name one person, place or thing that you think is one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets—a secret until now, of course.
Ben Skoda from Workshop—he’s doing an amazing job of curating great people at his co-working space. He’s looking to help us launch SPACE, and I trust his judgement in people as well as in his ability to share.
Finally, with all your experience running coffee shops, breweries and now a co-working space, we want to know what music is on your iPhone.  So, tell us a song that…

Reminds you of home: “You Send Me,” Sam Cooke
My wife and I played this at our wedding. It means a lot to us.
Is on your iPhone right now: “Grown Up,” Danny Brown
It’s just a good song.
Makes you think of Chicago: “Big City Life,” Mattafix
I almost added Yello’s “Oh Yeah” because it reminds me of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but I find this a little more relevant and much better listening.
Makes you want to get up and dance: “Tu Sonrisa,” Elvis Crespo
I’m not sure I’ve ever actually danced to this song, but if it came on at a wedding, I would have no choice but to get up and start dancing.
Perfect for a long drive: “Can’t Do Without You,” Caribou
This song just came out and gives me high hopes for his next album. 
From a new artist you’re excited about: “Everything She Wants,” Wham!
You really don’t want to see (or hear) me attempt to sing this.
You sing at karaoke: “How Long Must I Wait,” Dr. Dog
I don’t have much time to sit and listen to music at work. I’m in and out of meetings all day, with an oft packed schedule, so apropos of my minimal downtime, this is a good tune that reminds me I have other stuff coming up.
Q&As are edited for clarity and length.

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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