“Work needs to be a meaningful pursuit, you should extract value from that meaningful pursuit. You shouldn’t have to just show up and collect a pay check and get resources. I think it’s ridiculous that we’ve created a system around that. I’m talking about the wellness of a human being—to be alive and vibrant . . . it’s such a gift!”
Emery Bishop on Space Age and living your best life
How does a start-up go from an idea to something more? How do you take a concept and nurture and grow it into a fully formed company? You could start with taking a 6-month trip to Argentina . . . that’s what Space Age Co-Founder, Emery Bishop did, and that’s where the story of Space Age began.
The concept for Space Age was born from several decades of success and failures across several industries that resulted in Bishop taking a trip to Argentina in 2018 in order to recharge and truly determine what would make him happy in both life and business (read more of Emery’s journey here).
LIFE AND BUSINESS
One of Emery’s former co-workers wanted to create a start-up and asked Emery if he’d be interested in working on something together. They stumbled on this idea of building a lifestyle consultancy business that, in theory, would be a thriving company, but would also allow lots of time to work on all their other side hustles.
When Emery got back to Toronto after six months in Argentina, he registered Space Age as a business. The original version of the company was as a consultancy firm that would work exclusively with future era start-ups and get them into functional workspaces to help them grow their business and brand. Working with start-ups and creatively functional workspaces was an idea that jived with Emery’s passion for innovative business and culture-building.
To help with initial growth, Space Age connected with government groups and other companies that were in a growth state in order to best match spaces with start-up initiatives.
But that wasn’t entirely enough. Emery wanted to bake a ‘mission’ into the company where Space Age would act as the ‘mother ship’, and other micro-projects could operate underneath it. For a year they continued to grow the company, adding two additional founding partners, turning Space Age into a profitable business that empowered entrepreneurship, with several side projects headed up by the founding partners.
THEN COVID HIT
By this point, Space Age had already started expanding into the US and the company had grown to provide additional services in marketing and design. When COVID happened and the world went into a global lockdown, Space Age found themselves with working spaces that people couldn’t work out of because the pandemic had people locked away in their homes. Essentially overnight, Space Age lost about 90% of its accounts/revenue with her pipeline of prospects evaporating completely. The founding partners were also working on their own projects, funding them through Space Age so the loss of revenue had a dramatic knock-on effect. Over the next several months, all three partners left and it seemed like the writing was on the wall. It appeared the viability of the original Space Age concept was essentially killed off by the effects of COVID-19.
Emery was left with the difficult decision to SHUT IT DOWN or DO SOMETHING with it. The company, through natural osmosis had already been edging toward becoming an agency so it seemed like a smart idea to build from there, but with the initial mission of working with start-ups still intact. They would help new businesses grow, assist in creating better products, better packaging, marketing, design, etc. They started to get a few new clients, and secured some early work, even managing to re-engage some of the early space operators. Without additional partners, Space Age was able to run on a small scale at a profit. Emery brought in a few side hustles to work on with the team and keep them busy during the quieter periods, and some of those projects are still being worked on today.
One of the team members hired for sales was Walter Footman who, after working on a farm food company in South Africa with Emery, was invited to become a co-founder at the agency. In a similar fashion, Jackson Griese was hired as one of the initial employers and worked so well with Emery that he was also invited on board as a co-founder.
3, 2, 1 … LIFTOFF!
Today, Space Age is an agency that’s forging new pathways for start-ups, particularly in the emerging Web 3.0 space, positioning the company to be at the forefront of this new technological age. The company shares Emery’s passion for creating concept-based perpetual start-ups, building the structure to make it functional, then finding operators to run and grow the business into the stratosphere.
It’s an ongoing evolution of a business that is ambitious, sustainable, that’s working toward global recognition, with one foot in the future, and the other in a grounded culture that thrives on innovative thinking.
“It’s not what we say as a company or as a person, it’s what we do that makes the difference.”Emery Bishop
Learn how Space Age can work with your business to push the boundaries of what you believe to be possible. Contact Us Today!