Cool Coworking Space Spotlight

Tigerlabs thrives as a growing coworking community

In 2014, Trish Ryan was working from the first floor of her home while her husband started his new business on the third floor. Though it seemed ideal at first, her husband soon realized he needed to get out of the house -  it was “too quiet.” He heard about Tigerlabs, Princeton’s first coworking space and accelerator program. After visiting, he immediately signed up for a membership. And that was just the beginning.

Becoming the Community Manager

Trish Ryan - TigerLabsAbout a year later, Tigerlabs wanted to bring on a Community Manager to help grow their coworking community. With her background in marketing and natural abilities to connect people, Trish was the perfect fit. 

She explained, “I am a very organized person, so my husband says, 'You could work there while  still working on your own business.' I went for the interview and I said, look, I got my own gig. They said, 'We love that! You can do both right here at Tigerlabs.'"

Trish built up the coworking community while still working her full-time job and raising a family. Her passion for bringing people together and the freedom to develop Tigerlab’s offerings organically led to major growth.

Cultivating connections — through ping pong? 

A big part of Trish’s role was listening to members’ needs and introducing creative offerings to meet them. She shared, “It was always great when members were looking for an intern and they were able to find them within our own four walls...Being able to see that connection and collaboration happen is truly special.”  

Simple activities also brought people together. Although only a small percentage of the 100+ members played ping pong, Trish said, “Everybody talks about it...It really brings people together — even if they don't play.”

Upholding core values as the space evolves

After 10 years in their original space, Tigerlabs lost their lease. While this initially seemed like the end of the community, two new entrepreneurs approached Trish about keeping it alive. Collectively, they now co-own the reinvented Tigerlabs focused on the same mission, just in a fresh new space.

Tigerlabs exterior

And as Trish guides the creation of the new community, she’s upholding the core values that define Tigerlabs — productivity, collaboration, community, and privacy. She explains, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it… We have hired a community manager, so I’m no longer there on a day-to-day basis. I think we’re still on the same page of doing a lot of things the same because that’s what people like.”  While the new iteration brings exciting energy, existing members also enjoy familiar comforts like a coffee shop located below the coworking space and yes, a ping pong table (coming soon!).

Fostering an inclusive community ethos 

Throughout Tigerlabs’ journey, cultivating an inclusive, vibrant community has been central to Trish’s approach.

She noted, “Being part of a community is realizing that you are not the smartest person in the room and you always have something to learn from someone. You have something to share as well.”

Trish carries this philosophy forward by encouraging opportunities for people to teach each other — whether through formal Lunch & Learns or informal potlucks where people share traditional foods. 

By upholding an ethos of openness to learn, listen, and let people be who they are, Trish has created a thriving coworking community where entrepreneurs support each other in achieving their dreams.

Tigerlabs 2

She sums it up beautifully: “I don’t know everything, I can set this up but I still leave space for [others] because everyone has something different to offer...having other people help run the space and allowing new perspectives allows me to be better.”

The new Tigerlabs space opens with the promise of continuing the mission to facilitate productivity, collaboration and community for Princeton's dynamic pool of entrepreneurs and innovators.

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