By Kevin Smith | Pasadena Star News
Cross Campus is a collaborative, on-demand work space and business event venue in Santa Monica founded by Ronen Olshansky. Olshansky plans to open another Cross Campus location in Old Pasadena at Rising Realty Partners' 87 N Raymond Property in Old Pasadena.
A new center for business innovation and collaboration is about to land in Pasadena and the venture already has an impressive pedigree.
Cross Campus, a collaborative, on-demand work space and business event venue in Santa Monica, announced this week that it will be opening a second campus at 87 N. Raymond Ave. in Old Pasadena.
The new location is expected to open in the fall and will include nearly 16,000 square feet housed in three different floors.
The complex of three buildings was recently purchased by Rising Realty Partners and technology entrepreneur David Sacks, who launched a rebrand and technological upgrade with the help of 5x5 Telecom.
Sacks was the founding CEO of Yammer, a social enterprise network that was acquired by Microsoft in 2012 for $1.2 billion. He was also the first chief operating officer of PayPal, which was acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
“Technology evolves in an ecosystem,” Sacks said. “Ecosystems require a diverse array of participants, such as investors, entrepreneurs, and advisers. Hubs like Cross Campus and our Pasadena building are critical for bringing these people together so they can learn, share, and collaborate.”
Cross Campus founder and CEO Ronen Olshansky said the venture will create a unique synergy in Pasadena — and beyond.
“This will be a place where businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to network with each other,” he said. “Pasadena has the raw materials to grow and we’re excited to help catalyze this growth.”
Cross Campus will offer a variety of resources ranging from office hours with entrepreneurs, experts and investors, to personalized introductions to mentors, advisers and fellow members. Networking, special events, seminars and workshops will also figure into the mix. A common area will feature comfy sofas and tables and chairs — even a bar area. And, of course, a circular stage for special events.
The Santa Monica campus plays host to about four events a week and Olshansky said the Pasadena facility will do the same.
“We have developed an expertise in putting on events,” he said. “We did one with Facebook, we did one with UCLA and another one with Disney Accelerator.”
The latter is an immersive mentorship and seed-stage development program for technology-enabled startups in the media and entertainment industries. Other Cross Campus events have featured Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, and Brad Feld of the Foundry Group, among others.
“We think we have built one of the strongest work and event brands in L.A.,” Olshansky said. “We have built our platform and leveraged technology and expertise. We’ve been hearing from a lot of folks that there is a real need for collaborative workspace here in Pasadena. Many of our westside members will be excited that we’re adding an eastside component to our network.”
Olshansky stressed that Cross Campus will offer workspace “on demand.”
The idea, he said, is to provide resources and facilities that meet the fluid demands of entrepreneurs and businesses who often move from one project to another.
“Some might just want to use a space on nights or weekends because they might have family at home and wouldn’t want to keep them awake.” he said. “Others might spend more time here. I think we’ll have anywhere from 100 to 150 individuals involved.”
And when they’re on site the connectivity will be state of the art. And fast, according to Marc Gittleman, CEO of 5x5 Telecom, the Internet and phone solutions business that rewired the building.
“There wasn’t a building in Pasadena before that would support this kind of operation,” he said. “We put in new fiber and a carrier-class network. Your Internet connection here will be about 1,000 times as fast as a home system.”
Mayor Bill Bogaard said the Cross Campus expansion will have a positive economic impact and generate new business opportunities in the city’s commercial district.
“This is a win-win for everybody,” he said.
See More at Pasadena Star News