Alan Earl and Shane Ettestad are back at CO+HOOTS
They’ve returned home. Two former nest members who grew their businesses and previously “graduated” out of CO+HOOTS are back in the space. Entrepreneurs Alan Earl and Shane Ettestad have partnered on a team collaboration project appropriately called “The Collective PHX” and have moved into one of CO+HOOTS’ private offices. Both Alan and Shane still have their own companies. Alan is managing partner of Local One, a search engine optimization firm for the modern-day, small business warrior. And Shane is the founder of Volo Digital, which utilizes decades of experience to help other companies with product strategy, architecture, UX, develpment and delivery of products – both online and via mobile app. Learn more about The Collective PHX, Alan and Shane and why they’ve returned to CO+HOOTS:
Question: What is The Collective PHX?
Shane Ettestad: The Collective PHX is a concept right now. At the core of The Collective are 4-7 anchor companies that offer specialty services, yet are complementary in nature to work on very large projects together. Think of a big, NYC level agency, which is broken into business units. Those core companies may be Web and Mobile Development, Search Engine Marketing, Social Marketing, Branding and ID, Print and Graphic Design, PR, etc. The Collective companies agree to work together, more so than a simple handshake agreement. They are go-to, trusted partners that have a long-term agreement to work together in The Collective space. The Collective PHX space is ideally a 8,000-12,000 square foot, downtown brick warehouse or industrial space waiting for reuse. We will build out The Collective PHX with a high-end, luxury, yet casual feel. Think Restoration Hardware mashed together with a hip, boutique hotel. Open bar – including name brand drinks and espresso, snack wall with unhealthy candies, as well as healthy options – like nuts and smoothies. You may find a rustic cabinet filled with whiskey and cigars if you know where to look. It is a space that you will want to go to work in. One that attracts talent for employees. One that clients want to be a part of because of the energy and cohesiveness of the anchor companies. Each company has its own offices within the warehouse and retains its private ownership. But there are shared spaces for meetings, creative brainstorming and communal tables for working in the center. The communal tables allow for the companies to expand and contract as large projects come in and see the need for contract workers who they want elbow to elbow with their trusted employees. The communal area could also have an aspect of Luxury Coworking. $500 per desk minimum, which includes everything that the anchors have access to. But no drop-ins. It’s a “Get Shit Done” environment. Public events welcome occasionally in the evenings.
Q: How does CO+HOOTS help your companies?
Alan Earl: Local One stands to gain from CO+HOOTS’ fast pace, creative energy and involvement with multiple companies and initiatives and organizations throughout the Valley. It is fun and empowering to surround myself with so many changemakers and projects that create value in so many ways. The opportunity to work along side Shane and be an inaugural member of The Collective, is an incredible honor and we appreciate Shane for considering us to be part of his creative vision.
Shane Ettestad: CO+HOOTS helps us prove the larger model for The Collective PHX. Bringing Local One into the office, as well as Vann Guiterrez (a developer), let’s us see what works and what doesn’t on a micro scale. CO+HOOTS helps because there is a lot of foot traffic and there could be other potential companies that are a good fit as an anchor company at The Collective. It helps us gauge if there is interest in such a place. And we can certainly leverage all companies in CO+HOOTS for projects now.
Q: Alan, what else does Local One specialize in?
Alan Earl: We know search and how to maximize its ability to create traffic to a business website. But we don’t just stop there. We are masters at traffic conversion. New sales, new leads, new opt-ins, and more; businesses want ROI and that is our strength.
Q: Shane, what else does Volo Digital do?
Shane Ettestad: We’re also keen on website projects for companies that are looking to be disruptive in nature. On the bleeding edge of what’s next in their industry. We plan to get back into travel in this way. Lastly, we develop our own products – with the first launching before the end of 2014.
Q: You’ve both been CO+HOOTS members before, how has CO+HOOTS evolved and changed (if it has) in your mind?
Alan Earl: There are some recognizable faces and names but there are tons of new ones, which is exciting to see. CO+HOOTS seems to be this really cool place where people can come and go and still be part of the family. Once you are part of the CO+HOOTS family, you are always part of the family.
Shane Ettestad: I think it’s evident with the CO+HOOTS 2.0 vision coming in 2014. Jenny is doing more and more to branch out to a good portfolio of companies from many industries. And now with eyes looking towards the needs of non-profits.
Q: What are you most excited for this year?
Alan Earl: Local One, Volo, The Collective … things are about to get real, real quick. The value that we will be bringing to the marketplace is going to turn some heads and we are going to have a blast doing it.
Shane Ettestad: 2014 will be big. Volo is Italian for “flight.” It’s the year we will take off. I plan to quickly establish a solid base of projects and begin to build a detail-oriented team that delivers what it promises — first class. I hope that The Collective PHX location has been chosen and buildout is underway, along with the core anchor companies who are as excited as I am about it. And I have to balance all of that work with a couple fun family trips. Maybe Hawaii, Mexico or NYC.
Q: What made you come back to the Greatest Place on Earth/11th St. and Washington?
Alan Earl: The energy and the buzz that is constantly surrounding CO+HOOTS. There is comfort in the hectic nature of people constantly coming and going and getting shit done. (can I say that?)
Shane Ettestad: Jenny. ‘Nuff said.