Taju spent May 2015 in the NoD Work Exchange Program. In exchange for helping us with events and marketing, Taju got access to the space for 1 month and learned a ton by participating in our community! Here’s his story:
Coming into the work exchange program, I knew very little about the Dallas startup and coworking scene. My main goal for the month was to meet people and learn about the cool startups and events that they had going on in the space. Chirag and everybody at NoD were very helpful in this process.
During my first week I went to #BigDOCC. There we talked about many of the new startups on the scene or any new tech that anybody though was cool. It was also a sounding board for people to get feedback or help on their ideas. Coming to this event became a weekly routine for me. I also went to 1 Million Cups which is a weekly event where startups come to pitch their ideas to the community. That first week wrapped up with helping with the UX Roast. This was a really cool spin on your typical pitch competition where instead of focusing on the business plan, it was strictly focused on the user experience and user interface of the app that the company was presenting. I think this really helped me learn about UX/UI and the process of iterating the user experience until it is finally right.
The next week I went to Dallas New Tech which was a really great place to meet a lot of people on the startup scene. I also got to hear more pitches from companies in the Dallas area. The rest of that week was spent meeting and learning about some of the startups in the NoD coworking space and also sitting in on the 12 week Big D Code class that Chirag was teaching. The next week I got the chance to do some work on the partnership between NoD and Tech Wildcatters for North Dallas Startup Weekend. I also got to sit in on a planning call about Techweek Dallas. This led to a call with Sam Kennedy, who works for Techweek and we talked about his career and some of the ways he expects Techweek to grow.
I think the most meaningful thing that I did over the course of the month was learning more about Tech EdVentures. After learning more, I got involved with them afterwards. I was able to teach robots to a group of young men at Hope Farm, which is a camp for underprivileged students. And I will also be teaching students at the Levine School in North Dallas.
To learn more about the Work Exchange Program at NoD, just send a tweet to @ChicagoGupta or e-mail cgupta731[at]gmail[dot]com!