INNERVIEW: CENTRE FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION
David Gise began his career setting up corporate fitness programs for reputable companies. Through this work, he became a full-time personal trainer. At 29, David was introduced to his first entrepreneurial opportunity when he was asked by a client to become the managing partner at a health club. David accepted the proposition but was soon burned out by the challenges of being a facilities manager. After having invested 2 years of his time and energy, and moving his life to Long Island, the health club was no longer a sound financial investment and closed. Dave was at a crossroads.
David's budding entrepreneurial spirit persevered, however. He had learned what it was like to run a big business and had the tools he needed to begin again. He decided to start a business that would target his former clients who were in real estate. He bought a camera and did virtual tours of real estate properties.
As he delivered on the tours, his clients would ask him to make changes to their websites which sparked an entirely new idea within David. The company that he had purchased the film technology from had 500 folks nationwide operating just like him. David partnered up with the company to provide web services for all 500 of the associates and organizations nationwide. As a result, he worked with hundreds of web designed and created a company called Launch Sites Solutions and subsequently another company providing 3D animation and renderings.
During the economic downturn of 2008, David launched a marketplace for unused open office space to help entrepreneurs find affordable office space during off-peak hours. He later sold that technology and moved on to create his 4th startup, flash networking for entrepreneurs to solve problems in bars, clubs, and restaurants during their off-peak hours.
When his best friend, bought the 10th largest building in Manhattan, the Starlett-Lehigh, he pulled David in to help build community among the commercial tenants of the building. David had been familiar with the Center for Social Innovation co-working space model in Toronto and had read all of their books around creating community. He reached out to the CSI founders and convinced them to open up a coworking space at the Starlett-Lehigh and CSI New York was born.
Since the recording of this #innerview, David Gise decided to pursue another opportunity and is no longer the Executive Director of CSI. He now serves as a board member for the center and continues to be involved in its development.
David reminds us that there are sometimes a series of unrelated roads and paths that we are meant to take and that when we feel that we have run out of luck, ingenuity and creativity are always at our disposal.
Have an innerview into the life and work of David Gise, Former Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation New York.
The Series: Have an #innerview into the lives of people who have steered away from conventional career and life pursuits in exchange for non-traditional, multi-dimensional pursuits.