The new owners of Cowork Waldo have already seen the impact of community through one of Kansas City’s first neighborhood coworking spaces, said Melissa Saubers.
“Powerhouse entrepreneurial duo” Zubin Talib and Talyn Good — who Saubers called “trusted, long-standing” Cowork Waldo members — are set to take over operations of the shared workspace April 1, she said.
“We’re excited to keep the community, friendships, and space alive as the proud new owners of this integral piece of the Waldo business community,” said Good, a Raymore, Missouri, native and longtime social entrepreneur. “We look forward to continuing what Melissa started seven years ago, and we are grateful for the opportunity to grow and welcome new members to our community at Cowork Waldo.”
Saubers founded the space in late 2012 after personally feeling the negative effects of working from home for many years, she said. She hoped to provide options to connect with each other in a flexible, affordable shared space.
“True coworking is collaborative,” Saubers told Startland News previously. “You can go rent an office anywhere, but you can’t build that same intentional community that grows within a coworking space.”
Recognizing an early market awareness challenge — people simply didn’t understand the concept of coworking — Saubers worked with Rick Usher, KCMO assistant city manager for entrepreneurship and small business, and Herb Sih and Sarah Fustine at Think Big Partners to bring the Global Coworking Unconference Conference to Kansas City in 2014, she said.
That experience led to the establishment of the KC Coworking Alliance, a coalition of coworking spaces that Saubers also helped spearhead.
In 2018, Saubers launched Sans Bar Kansas City, an alcohol-free pop-up bar concept that quickly became a passion project. In leaving Cowork Waldo, Saubers plans to continue her work with Sans Bar, as well as opening herself to a new adventure.
“As of right now, I’m a free agent,” she said. “I want to join a team that is pursuing innovative projects and business opportunities with disruptive solutions like I’ve been doing with coworking and Sans Bar KC alcohol-free drinks and events. I think there are some interesting ideas out there and I want to be a part of changing the culture and offering solutions to growing markets.”
Cowork Waldo’s new owners will bring their own strengths and perspectives to the community-focused coworking space, Saubers added. The couple met in Nairobi, Kenya, and moved back to Kansas City with their two children nine years ago.
Good previously co-founded Heshima Kenya. She served as CEO for seven years at the not-for-profit, Chicago- and Kenya-based organization, which advocated for the rights and protection of unaccompanied refugee girls and young women.
After returning to Kansas City, Good served as an adjunct instructor teaching English as a Second language with the Applied Language Institute at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Metropolitan Community College and continues working in the immigration field.
Talib was born and raised in Kenya. An entrepreneur, he successfully ran his family business for seven years in Kenya, growing the client base and expanding it regionally to become the third largest provider of share registry services.
Since moving to Kansas City, he has worked with startups assisting with product management and led a startup aiming to provide instant access to professional advice via online video conferences. He is currently an independent software development consultant.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.