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For Miles Hischier, coworking with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) is a vital part in building a remote business in San Luis Obispo.
Hischier is founder and senior partner at HiView Solutions, a Google Cloud consulting partner that helps organizations improve their remote collaboration tools and technologies. Most of his workday is spent in front of his computer, connecting with coworkers and clients over video calls. Coworking at the HotHouse allows Hischier opportunities to connect in-person with other local entrepreneurs and foster a sense of community that his workdays would otherwise lack.
“There’s a lot of good energy from the other community coworkers,” Hischier said. “Everyone is excited to be around colleagues and replicate that feeling of working at a larger company, but really, we’re all working remote.”
The HotHouse and the CIE first caught Hischier’s attention when he moved to San Luis Obispo in 2016, but as a UC Berkeley graduate with no direct ties to Cal Poly, he was unsure if he would be permitted to utilize CIE resources.
One year later, Hischier learned of the CIE’s community coworking program, and he jumped at the chance to get involved.
“When I found out that there’s a community program that accommodates not only coworkers that are working remotely from San Luis Obispo, but also individuals who are starting businesses, I got real excited,” he said.
Hischier was impressed with the resources offered by the HotHouse. Facilities such as the phone rooms and high-speed internet would prove to be valuable assets in building a business based around remote technology.
His decision to start coworking, however, was ultimately propelled by his desire “to be around other like-minded entrepreneurs.”
The HiView team has now worked out of the HotHouse for nearly two years, and Hischier still looks forward to opportunities that will allow him to connect with the other CIE entrepreneurs — especially during the HotHouse Summer Accelerator.
The HotHouse Summer Accelerator program is an intensive 13-week program designed to help Cal Poly students and recent graduates develop their startup ideas into real, sustainable businesses. Participating teams are provided with $10,000 in capital and given access to expert mentorship, tailored workshops and other CIE resources, including a workspace in the HotHouse.
The accelerator brings a unique energy to the HotHouse that, according to Hischier, encourages and inspires the community coworkers.
“Seeing people stay at the office late at night, white-boarding, thinking about what their business could be in five years — that energy is infectious,” Hischier said. “It always gives us lots of fun ideas.”
San Luis Obispo, said Hischier, has proven to be a hotspot for young talent.
“When I first got here in 2016, I remember getting a lot of questions [about] starting a technology company in San Luis Obispo, but now, four plus years later, it’s very commonplace and seems quite obvious,” Hischier said. “Why not live in a fantastic area that has access to a great university that graduates stellar engineering and business talent?”
HiView hires Cal Poly students as interns or part-time workers, sometimes retaining these young professionals as full-time employees after they graduate.
Kelly Carroll joined the company during her junior year at Cal Poly when she stumbled across an available position for a Sales Development Representative at HiView.
“The position wasn’t quite what I was looking for, [but] their industry and business model caught my interest,” said Carroll.
She submitted her resume, hoping to speak with a representative about other opportunities at HiView. She met with Hischier and his co-founder Narjit Patel for an interview, where she shared samples of her previous marketing and technical writing work. Hischier and Patel then collaborated with Carroll to create a custom position that was best suited to her skillset.
Carroll worked for HiView as a part-time Marketing Coordinator until she graduated from Cal Poly in June of 2020. Following her graduation, she remained with HiView, working part-time as a contractor until February of 2021, when she was promoted to her current position as a full-time Marketing and Customer Success Specialist.
“At HiView, I feel like my career has been jump-started,” Carroll said. “Working alongside my expert team members at HiView, our colleagues at Google and the industry-leading clients we serve, I learn so much every single day.”
Carroll has gained leadership experience in several realms of business throughout her time at HiView, including marketing, account management, user communications and project management. Her most recent project was spearheading the creation of HiView’s new website.
“It’s been great seeing Kelly’s growth from when she first joined as an intern to now, taking on big projects like overhauling our website [and] running a team of web developers and designers,” Hischier said. “They [were] all reporting into Kelly, who’s only a year out of school, but worked for us 10, 15, 20 hours a week for well over a year before she graduated.”
Coworking has helped shape Carroll’s career at HiView. The HotHouse offers an environment that, according to Carroll, invites collaboration and hard work.
“The friendliness and entrepreneurial spirit of the people working within the HotHouse is inspiring,” Carroll said. “It provides a great in-person working environment that is often missed by remote teams.”
Coworking has similarly shaped Hischier’s startup experience, providing a space in which he can work to grow his company.
“I cannot recommend [coworking] enough for a new entrepreneur,” Hischier said. “If you’re starting a business in San Luis Obispo, I would say the first thing you should do — form your company and then join the HotHouse.”
For more information on coworking or to learn how you can cowork with us, visit https://cie.calpoly.edu/coworking/.