In Part 1 of our Year in Review, we focused on our community and shared some of our members’ proudest moments in 2016. In Part 2, we take a moment to reflect on SOCO, the entity, and give ourselves a little pat on the back for what we’ve been able to accomplish.
This thing started with 5 people and a pretty simple challenge: to build something that would create a sense of place for Soda City’s creative economy, a place that we hoped would help keep some of our friends in town that thought they couldn’t be the best version of themselves here. Three years later, the SOCO community is now home to more than 70 of our city’s most creative, entrepreneurial and inspiring people. In less than one year, we’ve doubled the size of this community. They represent all different kinds of creators: Graphic designers, web developers, content strategists, digital project managers, journalists, remote workers, indie authors, independent contractors, software developers, social media gurus, entrepreneurs, hustlers.
They all have one thing in common. They believe in community, they are taking ownership over their futures and they love what they do every day. So, to all of our members…thank you for being a part of something bigger than any one of us. And we’re just getting started…
2016 saw the next leg vision unfold with the opening of our second location at The Bakery at BullStreet. We’re so thankful to have partnered with Hughes Development on the design/build of this historic building on the Bull Street Campus and to our friends at The Iron Yard choosing to grow with us and anchor the project with their new Columbia Campus. It’s historic, it’s beautiful, it’s got great coffee, good people, ridiculously fast internet (thanks to Spirit Communications), and it’s all part of our long-term vision to build a network of connected spaces all over our city and beyond where creators can work where they want, when they want and on their terms.
A Year of Great Stories
What a year. Check out some of media and coverage we were a part of this year. Huge thanks to all our supporters for following us and helping to tell this story powerfully.
- Columbia’s High Tech Evolution – ColaDaily
- Tech-driven creatives colonize BullStreet, laying out groundwork for ‘a movement’ – The State Media
- Tech Corridor Envisioned for BullStreet – Free Times
- Former Bakery Reinvented as Tech Hub for Bull Street Project – Metro Columbia CEO
- SOCO Named One of the 50 Coolest Coworks Across the Country – Paste Magazine
- SCETV Podcast on Innovation in Columbia featuring Greg Hilton, Heather Dughaish and Robert Hughes
- Spirit and SOCO Gigabit Announcement
- Panel Discussion on Making Columbia a Hub for Innovation
We worked with some incredible organizations this year that share our vision for community and creation. Thank you all for your partnership and for doing big things with us:
- The Iron Yard – Co-locating with us at BullStreet
- AMA Columbia – Working together to build their creative army
- Columbia WordPress Meetup Group – Launching the group, hosted at SOCO
- The Indie Ground – Helping Kevin Felder launch an incredible series for musician entrepreneurs
- Hughes Development Corporation – For adopting SOCO and this city like it was their own (BullStreet project)
- Spirit Communications – For helping crank up the dial on internet speeds in Soda City
- AIGA SC – For continuing to bring in inspiring speakers and cultivate a community of creative professionals
- Refresh Columbia – For helping to make the web fun again
For 2017, we’re setting the bar higher and have plans to do even more in collaboration, community-building, and communications. We’re looking forward to you growing with us in the new year!