ThriveCo is a personalized coworking space located in St. Louis County. This full-service community was founded in January 2019 by Washington University in St. Louis alumni Katie and Alex Silversmith (LA '08, PM '13). I recently sat down with Katie Silversmith (LA '08, SW '12) and ThriveCo Director of Special Projects Daphne Benzaquen (PM '17) to hear more about ThriveCo and all it has to offer local entrepreneurs. Daphne is a founding member of ThriveCo and owns her own businesses – daph., Daphne Benzaquen Consulting and The Chomp.
Q: Can you define ThriveCo?
Katie: ThriveCo is a personalized coworking space. We provide start-ups, small businesses, nonprofits, remote workers and freelancers with access to space, customized furnishings, events, concierge services, funding and community needed to have a thriving business.
Daphne: ThriveCo is inclusive and warm. The community is full of supporters who have my back. It is nice to have experts who can give insight on how to approach a problem and encourage my ideas.
Q: How was ThriveCo developed?
Katie: As a social worker, I am always looking at ways to address people’s needs and my husband (co-founder Alex Silversmith) has a background in commercial real estate. It was a natural fit, and we were able to apply the social work concept of wrap around services to our member businesses to grow a thriving community.
Q: How did you discover ThriveCo.? What made you want to get involved?
Daphne: I discovered ThriveCo through a Facebook ad and decided to sign up for their newsletter. After that, I wanted to meet with Katie and visit the space to see if they practiced what they preach. After that meeting I saw that they were firm in what they believe and my businesses have grown significantly from ThriveCo.
Q: How has WashU shaped you as an entrepreneur?
Katie: WashU has been a constant in my life since my parents moved here to work at the university when I was 18 months old. WashU professors and staff have been a huge part of my life and an invaluable resource and support. Jami Aki, Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, has been a life-long mentor. I worked with her in high school, in college she was my advisor and now she serves on the ThriveCo Advisory Council. WashU is also where I met my husband and co-founder.
Daphne: WashU was a great place to build relationships and sincere connections, my cohort is still close. This closeness is reflected in the community and energy at ThriveCo.
Q: Can you describe your experiences as women entrepreneurs?
Katie: I feel like it’s an interesting and opportune place to be a woman entrepreneur. There is so much support of and sense of community for women entrepreneurs right now in our city.
Daphne: I see collaboration over competition growing. More and more women are growing together and showing resiliency in our developing our businesses.
Q: How can our readers support ThriveCo?
Katie: The best way to support ThriveCo is by supporting the member companies that are housed in our space. By coming to our open monthly networking events, you can learn more about the businesses that call ThriveCo home and get involved in their important work. Additionally, if you know of any companies that are seeking space and community, please send them our way.
Daphne: You could help us by supporting us on social media and spreading the word about what we're doing.
If you’re looking for a chance to explore ThriveCo check out some of their events: https://www.thrive-coworking.com/events
On February 18th they are hosting a Networking for Introverts event led by WashU’s Jordan Watson.