A Space to Forge

by Fae Young

IMG_8301IMG_8307 IMG_8304In the fall of last year Rob Bart was invited to RC brunch to practice pitch his idea for Forge – a business based on collaboration and bringing more resources to “help new and existing organizations overcome the hurdles that every new endeavor faces when they launch or try to scale up.” His pitch was being prepared for a venture capitol competition through Lewis and Clark College.

The practice session propelled him to revise his approach which he presented the following weekend to the panel responsible for unlocking the necessary cash to get his idea off the ground. Although he did not win the competition, his presentation did secure him an investor. Fast forward to last week:  Rob is set to graduate from law school with doors to Forge opening in April 2014.

We visited him on the eighth floor of the Tiffany Center, the culmination of this undertaking. Despite a sling supporting a shoulder operation he was thoroughly excited about the plans for the wide open and light filled space. Desk design options were displayed for an informal vote and Rob engaged people milling about at the reception to share his vision.

This endeavor will bring his interest in law and collaboration together to shake up business as usual. This desire had it’s beginnings in his position as a teacher running an alternative high school in Hood River. Rob reflects, “it has helped me think about the best ways to develop my services and really focus on making sure the space has the right collaborative feel to it.” Whatever the motivation, Rob is driven by the power of people working and supporting one another in an environment where mutual success is central.

Membership with Forge gets you a desk in a collaborative workspace (or a private desk or office) and a load of free services from professionals who’ll help with the details. Members will have free access to basic accounting, legal referral, business development, mentoring and internship placement services. Rob’s background in business law positions him well to guide his members through the nooks and crannies of things to consider and what you could see if you knew where to look. He is partnering with other professionals to create an fluid environment to bolster the needs of the community of the professionals he serves. http://forgeportland.org/