Shortly after LeBow alumna Jenny Du ’98 and a former colleague, Brian Cosgrove, opened their own company, they realized they needed a designated space. But, they didn’t want to give up the coworking culture they’d come to love.
In 2013, Du and Cosgrove decided to partner up and start their own agency specializing in web analytics, development, web design and optimization for eCommerce clients, and named it BrainDo.
“What we do for clients is help them to better understand the very intricate details of what happens on individual web pages and in between web pages, and tie it back to a campaign that happened two months ago.”
“The reports we generate help them better understand what drives users to do things and how to get users to do more of those things, more quickly.”
Jenny and Brian met while working at Razorfish, where Jenny first gained experience working on eCommerce accounts. “I was part of the global solutions team, which meant I worked with other Razorfish offices throughout the world,” Du says.
Du and Cosgrove later worked together at an agency called TPG, which specializes in both digital and traditional marketing for eCommerce clients.
In the kind of serendipity that only seems to exist in startup culture, when BrainDo came to life, TPG became its first client. Jenny and Brian worked out of TPG’s space.
We felt having these companies around us helped us, and it added more energy and excitement to what we did every day.
When they hired their first employee, they moved into a coworking space called Venturef0rth, where they remained for two years. “We really loved some of the larger teams working out of Venturef0rth,” Du says. “We got along with them really well. We didn’t feel like competitors, even though we technically were. We offered some of the same services, but it wasn’t a threat. We loved how similar we were, yet there were some distinct differences. We felt having these companies around us helped us, and it added more energy and excitement to what we did every day.”
But as their team quickly grew, the co-founders decided they needed to have their own designated space. Du and Cosgrove set out to find a space that would work for those commuting via public transport, car, bike or foot.
They found what they were looking for on the fourth floor of the building at 444 N. Third St. “Getting a larger space gave us the ability to grow comfortably, take conference calls, do breakout brainstorming sessions,” Du says.
The space was also much larger than what they needed for BrainDo, which also gave them the ability to start their own coworking space so they didn’t have to give up the vibe they loved so much.
“We wanted to create a workspace that was very unique to what we thought would support a healthy, collaborative culture for our company,” Du says. “When we opened, our goal was to have more teams here, so we rented the space with the dual idea of grounding BrainDo and opening a new coworking space called THRIVE Philly (see thrivephilly.com).”
Since they already had a strong working rapport with their friends at TPG, they extended an invitation to join them in their new space. TPG accepted, and they were all back together in the same working space again.
BrainDo is seeking more like-minded companies to share space and ideas; a team of people working in the same industry that is established and can contribute to conversations around problem-solving and best practices in eCommerce digital marketing and analytics. The ideal team would be mutually inspired by the proximity to BrainDo and TPG.
“This setup gives us ability to grow and bounce ideas off one another. BrainDo started as two, and we are 20 today. And we have been able to maintain that culture.”