Innovative Tech Startup Minerva Builds Remote Company Culture with Digital HQ
Minerva is a venture-backed start-up of 100-remote employees, aiming to help anyone become an expert online with interactive how-to guides. The tech company offers a free Google chrome extension with step-by-step directions telling users where to click, and what to do next.
As a growing company without a physical office, one of Minerva’s challenges has been creating the camaraderie and serendipity that occurs in the workplace. As a solution, Minerva is turning to Kumospace, an immersive virtual office software, where the company has created a workspace that the team can pop into any time to connect.
“It feels like an anchor that we know we’ll always have,” says Theon Freeman, Minerva’s Head of Community. “The Minerva office is online, and it’s in Kumospace."
According to Theon, the company discovered Kumospace through word-of-mouth. They have since used the interactive virtual office software for investor meetings, meet-ups with their community, all-hands gatherings, and team socials. But they use Kumospace most regularly for their virtual workspace.
Each workday the Minerva co-founders, Joaquin Roca, Rafael Gonzaque, and Craig T. Wood, can be found hanging in Kumospace as they work. With this practice they are easily reachable by the team, whether people need to quickly problem-solve or want to drop by the Kumospace and say 'hello.'
“Kumo is our virtual office," says Theon. "If you're in the bottom left-hand corner, we know you can't be disturbed. We call that the bunker. Then in the other sections of the floor, such as the beach or next to the virtual whiteboard, you can go there for a one-on-one meeting or just jump in for a chat.”
Minerva's Head of Design, Jon Belsky, used Kumospace's custom spaces features to redesign their virtual office.
The Minerva space is a verdant floor filled with vibrant plants that separate five different zones, including a beach with loungers, two cozy leather couches, a collection of modern chairs facing an interactive whiteboard, another smaller circle of office-like chairs, and a sandy area they call the bunker featuring a playful Dungeons and Dragons logo.
“I was particularly impressed with the design because there’s just so much more than I thought could be possible in the space,” Theon says.
Minerva’s Kumospace also features a speaker that streams songs from SoundCloud and a Central Park-inspired fountain at the center.
It’s the beach that Theon says he returns to again and again though.
“The beach is my absolute favorite because the closer you get to it the louder you can hear the sound of the ocean,” Theon says. He also loves that Kumospace feels more relaxed than Google Meet or Zoom.
“There's so many conversations that have happened in Kumo that wouldn't have happened otherwise,” says Theon. “We need to have places where it feels like there can be some informal nature of coming together, somewhere where there’s that random magic of human connection.”
He and his team have found that in Kumospace.