"It's hard to find a place that has such history"

"It's hard to find a place that has such history"

The history of HanaHaus in downtown Palo Alto started with a vision. More than 18 months went into the thoughtful planning and execution of Hasso Plattner’s idea of an innovative space that is open for everyone, before the launch in March 2015. Corinda Wong remembers when SAP and her firm, Gensler, kicked off translating the vision into a physical space. As a design director, she was one of the leading heads, when the brand HanaHaus was created and the New Varsity Theater became a café and a co-working space. Read in our new blog what Corinda told us about how she and her team started creating HanaHaus and what kind of challenges they faced.

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Name: Corinda Wong

Origin: San Francisco, California

Job Title: Design Director

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Working on the HanaHaus “project” was about…
“…imagining how the space and its brand would manifest itself. Our task was to discover together with SAP, how we could embody Hasso Plattner’s visionary concept. The first task was to identify the right location and building. Once the Varsity Theater was selected, creating the space from a customer’s point of view defined the design, organization of spaces, selections of color, material, furnishings and lighting. I like to show potential clients and customers spaces that support the thinkers, makers and innovators in Silicon Valley and that’s the reason I show them HanaHaus.”

When it all started in the end of 2013…
“…we researched other co-working spaces and coffee shops in San Francisco and Palo Alto, but also those in Germany. We wanted to translate the culture of European coffee houses, where politicians gathered to share information and pursue ideas, into the modern American high-tech world. We wanted a design that connects coffee, food and co-working. At the same time, we were searching for the right location. We looked at different buildings in the downtown area of Palo Alto. Social networking is part of everyone’s life, so work should happen closest to the buzz and activity. Downtown Palo Alto was perfect.”

The outstanding thing about this place was…
“…the fact that it used to be a community space. Whether it was a bookstore or a movie theater - it has always been a place where people met and shared ideas. It’s hard to find a place that has such history and remains a critical foundation to the community.” 

The project was challenging…
“… because it was a new conceptual approach to a project type for the SAP team. For example, we had to explore merging the experiences of food and work. The places that existed were either small cafes which serve food and drinks or large co-working spaces with limited food. The task to create a place for innovation and ideas with all the modern high tech tools in a historical building was challenging, too.  In the end, we were able to merge future of work while maintaining the integrity of the building. We celebrated the theater by maintaining the marquee, encourage activity in the courtyard with a variety of seating types and string lights, use the original lobby to house the café and re-emphasized the building arches with a new palette.”

Today HanaHaus is unique because…
“…of the variety of choices. You can come here to have coffee, to work in the open work space or meet business partners in the conference rooms. It feels like a café, but at the same time like a co-working space where there are tools to support entrepreneurial work. Thoughtfully designed spaces disappear when you work in them - you literally forget where you are while you’re here. That is the magic of seamless design and why it’s successful.”

Seeing HanaHaus in the best Co-Working space in the San Francisco Bay Area…
“…is amazing. The biggest joy for a designer is to watch people use the space as intended. Great design should live by itself and evolve. I think HanaHaus does! Every time I come here, it’s busy and full of life. There is a line at the café, families sitting in the courtyard, people working at the tables and lounges. That’s a great thing.”

My favorite place at HanaHaus is…
“…the standup bar right behind the coffee condiments. I spend most of my time sitting, so I just want to stand in the very middle and watch how everyone is using the space.”

HanaHaus in three words is…
“…fluid, inspirational and energetic.”

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors and the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.

“Where you work influences what you create”

“Where you work influences what you create”

Born and raised in New Orleans, Kristopher Francisco made his way to Silicon Valley through Apple and started a cloud software startup a little over a year and a half ago. Read in our new “People of HanaHaus” blog about his career steps from Louisiana State University to being a successful entrepreneur in the world’s most exciting tech-community. 

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Name: Kristopher Francisco

Origin: New Orleans, Louisiana    

HanaHaus Visitor since: Spring 2016

Job Title: Founder and CEO

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My Job in Silicon Valley is about…
“…moving companies into the next generation of cloud software as the Founder and CEO of Evolute Inc. My daily business is engaging with partners and customers to enable their cloud infrastructure and working with our development team to architect new software and capabilities. We typically collaborate with companies and help them to integrate cloud platforms into their processes. In the past quarter, we have signed up experts from Intel, Cisco and jet.com for implementing our next release. We kicked off 1.5 years ago, our core team is about 5 core leaders.”

Got to know HanaHaus…
"
…was sort of like an Apple product: pockets of innovation tucked in the most unexpected places. I was walking down University Ave and found myself walking past this beautiful courtyard and oasis in downtown. As I backed up, I recognized this center of innovation and interaction. So, I started to come regularly and engage with the HanaHaus community.”

Comes to HanaHaus…
"…for board meetings, ad hoc meetings or engaging with our partners and investors. HanaHaus is located in a central point of interaction and engagement with the core technology areas, centered by Palo Alto. It is a great foundation of how we interact beyond our current offices on Santana Row in San Jose and as we extend into San Francisco. HanaHaus is a strategical point that allows to collaborate with the community in a convenient environment. One of the most important things in the entrepreneurial journey is connecting yourself with the community of people who are thinking about innovation the way that you are. At HanaHaus, you are always surrounded by amazing and innovative people.”

My journey to Silicon Valley started when…
“…I went to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for my master degree in Information Technology. This institute is ranked for their master’s program and was one of the core reasons I was able to join Apple in 2014 and be recognized as a leader in Silicon Valley. I got in contact with the company in 2008, when I became an Apple Campus Representative at Louisiana State University during my Bachelor studies. I was able to do presentations, our largest campus event introducing Mac OS X, engage and collaborate with teachers and the student community. Apple flew me up to California and I got the chance to get my first taste of Silicon Valley. This experience set up my perspective where I wanted to go. Nevertheless, I had already signed a contract and started working in the core of technology at Chevron in Houston, Texas; this laid my foundation in technology as an Infrastructure and Applications Analyst after college. That job was an immersion into high performance computing and cloud technology.
     After 5 years at Chevron, I was fortunate enough to be brought into Apple’s core research group and finally made it to Silicon Valley. For about 2 years, I was responsible for cloud architecture and research including their latest Black Projects - new products before they are made aware even to other Apple employees - from capabilities enabling the iPhone to new products like Apple Pay being introduced through IOS.”

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"Everything from the colors to the chair positioning to the area: that’s what I call innovation"

Started his own business because…
“…I liked to move forward my impact. At some point you ask yourself: Is it better to stay and contribute a capability to a single company or do I want to bring my knowledge, passion and impact to an entire industry? As a technologist moving to entrepreneurship, sometimes you are masking the craziness of making this level of a transition from high tech to entrepreneurship. There are highs and lows at all times, but you have to have a sense for the strong impact you are bringing, you need a sense of faith and a strong will to innovate no matter what the circumstances are. Sometimes it’s a crazy road, but through being surrounded by energy and innovation at a convenient place like HanaHaus, you’re able to make the change and create the impact.”

HanaHaus is unique because…
“…the amazing beauty and logic in its design. Everything from the colors to the chair positioning to the area: that’s what I call innovation. I believe, where you work influences what you create. If innovation and beauty is around you, you will create innovation and beauty. That’s why HanaHaus is a home for me, it represents my approach to innovation and what I am doing in the space.”

The favorite spot at HanaHaus…
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…is the lounge in front of the Conference Room “Silicon Valley”. I can always see its beauty and everything that is happening in the environment. It allows me to be very aware of my surroundings and the people that I should want to engage with. I really like to connect with people at HanaHaus.”

In 3 words HanaHaus is…
“…beautiful, technical and innovative.”

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors and the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.

“It’s wonderful that the place has found new life”

“It’s wonderful that the place has found new life”

Courtney Quaintance is a familiar face at HanaHaus. As a professor of Italian Renaissance literature, she is spending the summers in her hometown Palo Alto and loves to come to HanaHaus for her daily work. We talked to her about her current projects, the reason why she is working in the heart of Silicon Valley and the difference between working in a library or a coffee shops and using HanaHaus.

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Name: Courtney Quaintance

Origin: Palo Alto, California

Working at HanaHaus since: Summer 2015

Job Title: Associate Professor

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My Job is about…
“…teaching medieval and Renaissance Italian literature and culture on the East Coast. I grew up in Barron Park in Palo Alto and left the Bay Area when I was 18 to study singing at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Then, I went to Italy to study Italian in Florence and finally did my Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Today, I come to the Bay Area for the summers, because I am still pretty connected with Palo Alto. My mother lives in downtown.”

Got to know HanaHaus…
“… because I’ve been coming to this place since it was a movie theatre. I was very little when we used to watch movies here -
I remember the stage, the red curtains and the balconies where the second level is today. When I was in high school, I used to hang out here when it was “Borders” bookstore. My family and I were worried about what would happen to this nice building after the bookstore closed. It’s wonderful that the place has found new life and some of the architectural details were conserved. My brother is a coffee person who once ran a coffee shop in San Francisco, he was paying close attention to the arrival of Blue Bottle in downtown. By the way: He studied computer science in Stanford and was one of the first people working for eBay.”

Used to come to HanaHaus…
“…in the summers when I am not teaching. Currently, I am writing my second book which is going to be about female opera singers in Italy in the seventeenth-century. Also, I do research and read articles written by scholars about whatever I am working on. At first, I was wondering why people should pay money for sitting in a coffee shop. But after a while I learned to appreciate the fact, that you have a place what feels like it’s yours. If I am in a regular coffee shop, I always feel guilty sitting with my laptop and taking up space - here you don’t. That is genius.”

HanaHaus is unique because…
“…it’s historic. I’ve been coming to the place since I was a child, so it feels very familiar. I like being around people who are working.
I like the easy access to good coffee, the changing environment and the people’s buzz. The noise can be helpful; it feels like a treat to work in a coffee shop rather than shutting myself up in a library, which can sometimes feel like a punishment.”

The favorite spot at HanaHaus…
“…are the standing tables next to the stage.”

In 3 words HanaHaus is…
“…peaceful, buzzy and vibrant.”

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors and the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.
 

HanaHaus in Summer 2017 – The heart of Silicon Valley beats at 456, University Avenue, Palo Alto

HanaHaus in Summer 2017 – The heart of Silicon Valley beats at 456, University Avenue, Palo Alto

Since its launch in March 2015, HanaHaus has embodied Hasso Plattner’s vision of a public workspace café tailored to the community of technology innovators in Silicon Valley. Thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, students, professors, and coffee aficionados show up every day and make HanaHaus the place to be in Palo Alto, California. Judging by the status quo, one could say that this innovative concept of combining a coffee shop and a co-working space has become an efficient gateway to the world’s most exciting tech community.

A Historic Place in Downtown Palo Alto
HanaHaus is located in a unique 90-year old Mission Revival Style building on University Avenue in Palo Alto - right across from where Steve Jobs opened one of Apple’s first flagship retail stores in 2001. This is the neighborhood where many unicorn startups were born and tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg reside. Stanford University and the world-famous garage where Hewlett and Packard started their business 78 years ago are only a stone’s throw away. Originally established as a movie theatre in the 1930s, the building has always been a gathering point for the community and HanaHaus is the latest incarnation of it.

The Best Co-working Space in the San Francisco Bay Area
For two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, San Francisco Magazine named HanaHaus the “Best Co-working-space in the San Francisco Bay Area.” This achievement is a confirmation for our concept and demonstrates our success and popularity. Up to 2000 customers walk through our doors daily for either coffee, casual meetings or conducting business. Since HanaHaus opened in March 2015, more than 17,000 entrepreneurs, startups, founders, innovation managers, venture capital investors, students, professors, researchers, and artists have used our workspaces. If you would like to learn more about them: check out the “People of HanaHaus” blog on the website and make sure to follow the social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) for the latest update.

HanaHaus is for Coffee Lovers
According to Hasso Plattner, Co-founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP, coffee is an integral part of the workspace concept. Today, HanaHaus is an oasis for coffee lovers thanks to Blue Bottle Coffee, one of the rising stars in the food and beverage industry. It is famous for high quality products and organic ingredients. They offer delicious types of traditional coffee, cool drinks, amazing salads, and sandwiches. The latest highlight is the outdoor bar in the courtyard, which offers special coffee cocktails. And the best part? Blue Bottle Coffee also teaches you how to brew coffee, during weekly brew classes.

Event Location for the Technology Community in the Valley
HanaHaus is not only a coffee shop and co-working space, but also a spacious location for events. We host frequent speaker sessions, workshops and networking events focused on technology and science for the community. On the first Monday of each month, we bring the mission of Design Thinking in a casual meetup open to everyone during lunchtime. The third Thursday of each month is reserved for Café Scientifique - a speaker series event with lectures on the latest science topics presented by renowned researchers. Additionally, HanaHaus can be reserved by companies and organizations who want to host science and technology events.

Enhancing the Original Vision Every Day
After more than two years, HanaHaus has grown to be an important part of the business for thousands of people in Silicon Valley. Hasso Plattner’s vision has become reality and the HanaHaus team drives it forward together with our community, one day at a time.

“Young, exciting, different.”

“Young, exciting, different.”

Corey Lenko is the head of the Blue Bottle café at HanaHaus and the guarantor for the deliciousness of our coffee. As the manager, he keeps an eye on everything going on behind Blue Bottle’s counter and in the kitchen. His journey to Silicon Valley started more than 2,800 miles away from here on the East Coast. Read our new “People of HanaHaus”-blog to learn about his great experience in gastronomy and the reason why he moved to California.

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Name: Corey Lenko

Age: 26

Origin: Pennsylvania, Scranton

Working at HanaHaus since: August 2016

Job Title: Cafe Leader of Blue Bottle Coffee Palo Alto & Instagram

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My Job at HanaHaus is about…
“…making sure there are no fires (laughing). I am in charge of a staff of about 29 people. My job is about insuring we open and close every day at the right time, scheduling shifts and meetings of my team. My task it to manage the café based on Blue Bottle’s three values: hospitality, sustainability and deliciousness.”

Got to know HanaHaus…
“…when I was hired by Blue Bottle in August 2016. My onboarding process was in New York over the phone, so I did not know anything about downtown Palo Alto. I knew it was a co-working space, but I’d never heard about the concept of HanaHaus before.”

 Before working at HanaHaus…
“…I lived in New York City and was working for Union Square Hospitality Group for almost 4 years. I was hopping around different restaurants like North End Grill or Gramarcy Tavern. I grew up in Pennsylvania and went to school in upstate New York. I did my Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. The first few years where very strict, you learn how to hold a knife and make something taste good. But I also had business classes. After graduating, I literately started off from the bottom: I was a back server, frontline server, sommelier and finally floor manager.”

My journey to Silicon Valley started…
“…when Blue Bottle hired me in August 2016. I had New York City life for so long and I always wanted to live in California. What finally sealed the deal was a vacation with my girlfriend and her family in Chester in upstate California. I fell in love with the atmosphere and the nature here. Its super easy to get lost in the woods and to go to the beach as well. It’s just a beautiful state. The reason why I live in Silicon Valley is Blue Bottle.”

"It's exciting for a café to work with a co-working space like that."

Like working at HanaHaus…
“…is exciting because you see a lot of interesting people working here. Also, I like the fact that you get almost the same people day by day. Of course, we have a lot of first time visitors but the majority shows up regularly. It’s nice that our team gets to know our guests and talks casually with them.”

HanaHaus is unique because…
“…it’s exciting for a café to work with a co-working space like that. It’s a very beautiful and unique place.”

The favorite spot at HanaHaus…
“…is the Capetown Lounges with its exposed windows and beautiful arches. It is a very creative, relaxing atmosphere over there. Also I like the courtyard with our cocktail corner, it drops a lot of people in our space.”

In 3 words HanaHaus is…
“…young, exciting, different.“

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors are the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.

“HanaHaus is a hotspot in Palo Alto”

“HanaHaus is a hotspot in Palo Alto”

What would HanaHaus look like without our amazing ambassadors? Mariana Pinheiro is one of them – her task is to make the workspace to a pleasant place for our guests. Behind her friendly and good-humored character is an amazing story. Read how Mariana got from a small town in Brazil to the heart of Silicon Valley in our new “People of HanaHaus”- blog.

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Name: Mariana Pinheiro

Age: 32

Origin: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Working at HanaHaus since: March, 2017

Job Title: Ambassador

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My Job at HanaHaus is about…
“…giving our guests a pleasant experience while they are here. We give them information about our concept, our workspace and help them with their stay issues. After checking-in, we monitor how long their reservation is and when it expires. Basically, we are keeping an eye on everything happening in our workspace.”

Got to know HanaHaus…
“…. after I received a work permission in the U.S. and was looking for a job. I’d known the building before because I used to walk around downtown. It attracted me because it reminds me on the architecture I’ve seen in Europe. Working at HanaHaus as an ambassador sounded like the best fit for me because I have experience with customer service. For me, HanaHaus is a hotspot in Palo Alto - the best place in downtown!”

Before working at HanaHaus…
“…I used to work as an operations manager at my family’s bed & breakfast in Brazil. I was born in Rio de Janeiro. When I was seven years old, we moved to Tiradentes, Minas Gerais where my family runs a farm. It has cows, horses, ducks, chickens and a bed & breakfast as well. I was gone for a while for taking Italian classes in Torino, it was a great experience!”

My journey to Silicon Valley started…
“…when I met my husband. He was born in Palo Alto and moved to Brazil to work at a bilingual school in Rio de Janeiro. He was hired by my father, who is also an English teacher running classes for the community in our town. So, we worked together and became a couple. He’s been telling me about the beauty of California and the amazing opportunities here since we met. We moved to Palo Alto after our wedding in Brazil a year ago. After getting my work permission in January 2017, I applied at HanaHaus and started in March.”

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"We are keeping an eye on everything happening in our workspace.”

HanaHaus is unique because…
“…of its location. The fact being in Palo Alto, being surrounded by many tech companies and startups makes it special. It’s exciting to see the people inventing our future. Also, I appreciate the affiliation with Blue Bottle. The special coffee makes HanaHaus even fancier.”

The best experience at HanaHaus…
“…is meeting customers with a Portuguese accent. Realizing people are from Portugal or Brazil is exciting. I love to communicate with them in my native language and describe them the workspace in Portuguese.”

The favorite spot at HanaHaus…
“….is the Captetown lounge. It’s comfortable and quiet.”

In 3 words HanaHaus is…
“…high-tech, stylish and modern.”

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors are the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.

“It’s nice to sit down at a place that feels like it is meant for productivity”

“It’s nice to sit down at a place that feels like it is meant for productivity”

Avery Bedows is probably one of the youngest entrepreneurs working at HanaHaus. Originally from Chicago, he co-founded his own Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality business last year and is running it as the CEO. In our new “People of HanaHaus”- Blog, Avery is talking about the advantages of being in the Bay Area as a VR and AR startup and the variety of tasks he manages as its head.

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Name: Avery Bedows

Age: 20

Origin: Chicago, Illinois  

HanaHaus Visitor since: Late June 2016

Job Title: Co-Founder and CEO

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My Job in Silicon Valley is about…
“…running Altar as a CEO. My job is to define the company’s goals and find ways to achieve them. We, as a company of four, are working to augment human intelligence using Virtual and Augmented Reality. I do some engineering work, help our research team with their studies, and seek inspiration for our products by reading research papers. I also give a bunch of demos and handle the administrative work. As a startup CEO, you are involved in everything.”

Got to know HanaHaus…
“…through Blue Bottle Coffee. I had my first one in San Francisco a few years ago and it rocked my world! I was even more excited about HanaHaus after realizing I could not only come for coffee, tea or snacks but also for work.”

Used to come to HanaHaus…
“…because we don’t have a dedicated office yet. So, I work either in my apartment or more recently at HanaHaus. I work here on a variety of things like coding, researching, reading papers, meetings…the many things you do as a CEO.”

My journey to Silicon Valley started when…
“…a friend and I came up with the idea of creating whiteboards in 3D while at dinner in January 2016. At that time, I went to Pomona College down near Los Angeles, and I couldn’t stop thinking about fusing the ideas of collaboration and productivity into a tool using VR. I incorporated the business in April 2016 and we really got cracking last September. I decided to move to Silicon Valley because most of the knowledge in the U.S about VR and AR is focused here. If I started it somewhere else, it would be very difficult because the number of people familiar with those topics is far lower. As a startup, we’re trying to get good feedback and talk with potential customers or investors. That’s tough when no one knows about the technology we are working with. So, there is a lot of value in being around people who know about the market we’re in.”

"As a startup CEO, you are involved in everything.”

 

HanaHaus is unique because…
“…it has the vibe of an office. It’s nice to sit down at a place that feels like it is meant for productivity. The colors are very bright and airy, the ceiling is high, you see people hanging around with their computers or being in conversation. I like the rotatable and comfortable chairs and nice clean desks where I can spread out a little bit. These things make me more productive. HanaHaus is somehow transient but it also feels like an office space. It’s transient in that people book rooms for hours and not for months. That’s why you can sit down and feel like you’re working in your own space.”

The best experience at HanaHaus was...
“…when I had the pleasure of giving Daniel and Luca from the HanaHaus Team a demo of our software ‘Altar Show’, a VR collaboration tool for brainstorming and organization which leverages 3D space to improve human memory. I showed them how to use it in one of the HanaHaus lounges.”

The favorite spot at HanaHaus…
“...one of the tables on the wooden platform in the center.”

In 3 words HanaHaus is…
“…. transient, rooted and comfortable”

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors and the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.

“HanaHaus is a great resource for Silicon Valley”

“HanaHaus is a great resource for Silicon Valley”

Dave Torrey has been living in the Bay Area for more than 40 years and had the pleasure to experience the HanaHaus space since it was a movie theatre. As an independent consultant, he collaborates with startups and entrepreneurs and helps them to grow their businesses. Read in our brand-new “People of HanaHaus”-Blog what makes him to come over to the heart of Silicon Valley.

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Name: Dave Torrey

Age: 65

Origin: Portland, Oregon

Hanahaus Visitor since: Spring 2016

Job Title: Marketing & Strategy Consultant


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My Job in Silicon Valley is about…
“…working with individuals and especially entrepreneurs to help them figure out strategies for their businesses. I also help them with marketing strategy and with fundraising. I’ve been an independent consultant and coach for about 25 years. Also, I am doing nonprofit work. I just finished a nonprofit project for the Stanford d.school. It was for an exciting new venture called 'Project Wayfinder' which helps high school students find a greater sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.”

Got to know HanaHaus …
“...because I’ve been coming here since it was a movie theatre and then a bookstore. I’ve known about it for a long time. I watched movies here in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was a beautiful place and I am glad that you kept the marquee! When it was a bookstore, I used to bring my kids to shop for books and attend Harry Potter book launch parties. I was curious when I saw it was being converted to a new place.” 

Why I come to HanaHaus…
“…to meet colleagues or to have discussions. Other times I am just working on my projects individually and I like hanging around all the interesting people working here. Also, I like the staff - both the people that work for HanaHaus and BlueBottle. They are fun and interesting people!”  

My journey to Silicon Valley started when…
“…I moved from Oregon to Redwood City with my family when I was 4 years old. It was of course not ‘Silicon Valley’ back then. I grew up here in the 50s and 60s when the valley was more about agriculture than technology. In the summers, I worked in a can factory which provided cans to the agricultural industry. After I graduated from college at U.C. Davis, I was gone for a while for working in Washington D.C. In 1977, I came back to Palo Alto to study at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Then I worked for a management consulting company, the Boston Consulting Group. After that, I was an executive in a couple of high tech companies, including one which went from a small start-up to a successful public company. I eventually started my own consulting practice working primarily with high-tech start-ups.”

HanaHaus is unique because…
“…its space. The design and the history of this space makes it very interesting. Especially if you were there before it was converted. Also, I like the variety of people here. I like being around them, especially when they are being creative and innovative. They are full of energy, working to inventing the future. When I am talking to them you can feel the energy, which I like. In my view, HanaHaus is a great resource for Silicon Valley.”

The best experience at HanaHaus was...
“…starting to go to the events in the evenings. I went to the Pico Iyer’s talk about the 'Value of Travel', which was great.”

The favorite spot at HanaHaus…
“…are the standup tables. They say that sitting is the new smoking. It’s not good to sit all day!”

In 3 words HanaHaus is...
“…creativity, buzz, energy”.

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors and the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.

“I like the buzzing atmosphere here”

“I like the buzzing atmosphere here”

Julia Guenster was transferred to Silicon Valley last year to establish HR Innovation & Digitization for a German Freight Forwarder. She enjoys the atmosphere at HanaHaus and uses the workspace for meetings and workshops. Read in our blog what Julia’s journey to Silicon Valley looked like and why she believes that HanaHaus is a great spot for meetings.   

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Name: Julia Guenster

Age: 30

Origin: Essen, Germany

HanaHaus Visitor since: Summer 2016

Job Title: Director HR Innovation & Digitization

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My Job in Silicon Valley is about…
“…scouting trends, screening ideas and building up networks with start-ups, academic institutions and our customers to generate and catalyze transformation. I am working for a German Freight Forwarder called DB Schenker, which has a long history of more than 130 years, so we are looking to learn from the most innovative companies and start-ups on the planet – concentrated here in the Bay Area. We have a big number of customers in the tech industry and part of my job is to build up learning and development collaborations or best practice exchanges with them. Also, I am scouting start-ups who offer solutions that are related to Human Capital Management. Additionally, I am collaborating with universities such as Stanford, UC Berkeley or the California College of the Arts.”

Got to know HanaHaus through…
“…researching co-working spaces in Silicon Valley. HanaHaus convinced me with its ideal location in the Valley and the flexible scheduling model.”

Used to come to HanaHaus because…
“…of different reasons. First, I use it as a meeting space. When I meet with colleagues from our German headquarters, external vendors or start-ups, I usually meet them here in one of the meeting rooms. Also, I like to come here when I am in transit between meetings in Silicon Valley and San Francisco to work on my mails or an upcoming presentations. Additionally, I use the meeting rooms in HanaHaus for workshops. Once we facilitated a design thinking workshop with MBA students, who we were collaborating with us on a use-case.”

My journey to Silicon Valley started…
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…when I got in touch with DB Schenker during my Master studies in sports management at University of Bayreuth, Germany. I did an internship in venue logistics with DB Schenker at the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing and worked at the Soccer World Cup in South Africa in 2010. I moved on to work as a project manager in Global Air Freight at our headquarters in Germany and implemented warehouse management solutions globally. Afterwards I assisted our Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight as chief of staff and came to the Bay Area to work as an account manager for one of our major tech accounts. In November, I took over responsibility for DB Schenker’s HR innovation space.”

HanaHaus is unique because…
“… of its flexibility. I never had an issue booking a meeting room at the time I needed. There are a lot of options you can choose from: You can get private and open work spaces for meetings with two or more people. And when I am on my own, I can always come in and there is a spot available. Also, I like the atmosphere a lot. It’s buzzing so it’s not quite like a library. At the same time, it’s a working atmosphere and you can focus on what you are doing. I think the quietness of a library can sometimes be kind of disturbing. I really like the buzzing atmosphere here.”

The best experience at HanaHaus was...
"…the design thinking workshop that I think we couldn’t have done somewhere else so easily. We didn’t do it in our DB Schenker office as we wanted to have it in a creative environment, not the typical office environment. Conducting it here with a group of 4 other design thinkers worked really well, because you have everything you need - the white boards, moving walls, screens and markers. It’s a great place for a workshop or a creative meeting.”

The favorite spot at Hanahaus…
“…is in front of the Capetown Lounge where you have a great overview of the whole situation.”

In 3 words HanaHaus in 3 is...
“…bright, flexible and inspiring.”

In our new blog series, People of HanaHaus, we present the folks that fill our workspace cafe with life: Start-Uppers, entrepreneurs, artists, founders, innovation managers, students, unicorns, venture capital investors and the people who make HanaHaus unique. We want to learn about their journeys and what brought them to Silicon Valley. We ask them to speak about their current projects and why how they leverage HanaHaus for their business.