My name is Aaron Selverston and I'm the CEO of Owlized, and we're a company that is based here at The Gate and The Factory 510 in San Leandro. The reason that we're here is very simple. The reason we're here is because Cheryl and her awesome team spent a lot of time, and put a lot of thought, into creating an environment that is not like any other environment that entrepreneurs ever get the opportunity to discover. What makes it so unique, first and foremost, is the energy that she and her team put into this space. Because you can wave a magic wand and try to create any space that you want, but it's all about the people that create the space, that make the space inviting, and creative, for tenants and anyone else who has the opportunity to work and experience that environment. When I first showed up here, this was just a blank canvas, it was an empty building, there was detritus from decades of old companies that had moved in and moved out. There were boxes stacked in the corner. It looked like a bomb had gone off in here.
Cheryl had a vision and her team had a vision, and that vision is 100 percent why we chose to invest our time and money in launching our company right here in this building. The actual location didn't matter so much. We just needed something that was relatively close to the freeway or bart that we could get to within an hour of where our team lives. Could have been here, could have been Oakland, could have been San Francisco, doesn't really matter. What really mattered was the vision that Cheryl and her team put forward. Then, it became about the execution of that vision. What we witnessed was the transformation of a space that no one ever really gave much thought to, into the coolest space in the entire city and one of the coolest places for any startup in all of the Bay Area.
What made it cool is that you show up and there's incredible art. There's an incredible spirit behind collaborative co-working, and researchers sharing ideas, creating an actual community, which is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Community is central to what has been fostered here. I can say with a high degree of confidence that wherever Cheryl and her team land is a place that I would very, very strongly consider joining. If you have the opportunity to bring her into your space, she will transform it into something beyond your wildest imagination and dreams. Do the right thing because this has been an incredible couple years for us. I would jump at the opportunity for an experience like this again.
You are a pillar in our community and a spark of creative encouragement to my family. It’s amazing and impressive to see you do what you do - and with such grace and dignity!
I am in awe,
Larry and Cheryl: