NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Andrew Levy: Co-Founder, Kettlespace

My NativeAdVice:


Andrew Levy is a Co-Founder of Kettlespace. He previously led marketing, sales, and product strategy programs at Twitter for the world's top mobile brands across the company's mobile promotion suite. Prior, he was an early employee at TapCommerce, the global leader in mobile app retargeting & re-engagement, where he helped build a global revenue org doing $18M in revenue in less than 2 years before exiting to Twitter for over $100M. Andrew is an expert in entrepreneurial ecosystem development, having been a founding member of one of the largest entrepreneurship platforms in New England and manager or advisor to multiple leading accelerators across the country. He was a strategy and business build consultant for nascent IP spinouts at the Austin Technology Incubator, where portfolio companies have generated in excess of $3B in market value. Andrew is an active startup advisor and investor and started his career as an equities trader. He enjoys reading, outdoor & adventure sports, gourmet chocolates, and hot sauce.

How did you get into the industry?

I had recently left Twitter after we sold my previous company to them and was consulting with startups, accelerators, and other growth stage companies while thinking about what was next. I had also previously helped to build one of the largest coworking & entrepreneurship platforms in New England, so knew the coworking business pretty well. Like many untethered professional New Yorkers, I had a Foursquare list of all the good coffee shops for working around NYC but was still largely unhappy with the unpredictable, inconsistent experience. There was no way to know if a power outlet would be available (let alone seating), what the noise level would be like, if the bathrooms were clean, how long I could stay there without being pressured to leave, etc - and starting around $500/mo, WeWork was way too expensive. During this time, I got connected with my soon-to-be cofounders, Nick Iovacchini & Dan Rosenzweig, through mutual friends. Dan came from WeWork, Nick owned a well-known restaurant in Tribeca, and all three of us connected over different aspects of the asset-light restaurant coworking model. We each had complementary backgrounds and decided to come together to build a business around this.

Any emerging industry trends?

First, freelancers will be a majority of the US workforce in less than a decade. That doesn’t even include the growing class of remote corporate workers, small startup teams, people who are technically unemployed but still doing things, and other untethered groups. It’s never been easier to get your work done on-the-go with nothing but a laptop and a productive space.

Second, restaurants all across the country are shuttering at a staggering rate due to rising rents, labor costs, changes in consumption patterns (hello food delivery & meal prepping!), and a host of other pressures. Most of them are sitting on assets that are entirely or partially unused during large stretches of downtime. Many of these assets (dining areas, for instance) are magnificent spaces that the owners invested millions of dollars into to make them nice to be in -- these are often the same things that make spaces nice to work in.

Third, traditional workspace options aren’t cutting it for the audiences mentioned above. One hand there is your local coffee shop which, while convenient, is highly unpredictable and not ideal as a working or meeting space. It’s a “making do” sort of thing. On the other hand you have traditional workspace operators like WeWork, Regus, etc that limit you to a single location (we provide access to the entire network) and, starting around $500/mo per person, are very expensive. It was clear to us there needed to be better option.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

One of the biggest challenges in the coworking industry right now is differentiation. There are so many coworking companies and workspace options these days (especially in NYC) so ensuring your offering is different in some way and you communicate that effectively is critical. We’re fortunate enough to be doing something that is inherently quite different than traditional workspace operators, so communicating the us vs. them dynamic in this aspect hasn’t been particularly challenging for us. But our model of working & meeting spaces within converted hospitality spaces presents different challenges, namely retraining people to think about the space as a workspace instead of a restaurant. We use street signage and a number of other tactics in order to do this but it’s really an experiential offering. Once people enter our spaces and see them in action, that’s when the “a ha” moment typically comes.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

The original idea for transforming hospitality assets into workspaces came from my co-founder Dan. He was working at WeWork at the time and walking down the street in Chelsea on a rainy NYC afternoon trying to take a call. The Starbucks nearby was too busy and too loud so he popped into an empty restaurant nearby that was “open for lunch” and had the lightbulb moment for asset-light coworking there. Our goal is to provide productive and affordable spaces to get things done convenient to you no matter where you are.   

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We have a lot of great new products and experiences planned designed to make it easier to work, meet, and connect while on-the-go and also to generally add additional layers of value into KettleSpace membership. We will also be expanding the size of our network and are building new tools for our Venue Partners to make it easier for them to understand how their spaces are being used.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

We host a lot of events in our spaces. One of these is a recurring monthly “breakfast with a VC” series where attendees can learn from and connect with many of the industry’s top investors and former operators. Prior speakers include Jesse Middleton, GP of Flybridge Capital Partners & former WeWork senior exec, Nihal Mehta, GP of Eniac Ventures, Dana Lorch of American Express Ventures, and many more. We keep this series in particular intimate so that attendees get real face time with the speaker and with each other.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

One of the things we had to figure out early on was how to seamlessly nail the transition from workspace back to restaurant at the end of the day. The systems, processes, and operations are different at each Venue Partner, so nailing a repeatable process that scales across our network but also fits into each Venue Partner’s unique workflow and delivers a smooth experience for our users was a challenge. After quite a bit of testing and iteration, we feel good about the process we have in place now. The biggest takeaway here is when working with operationally unique and complex partners, it’s best to integrate into their workflow and not try to impose yours on them.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

The ideal KettleSpace experience is when a user is able to take full advantage of our network access model and value-added services in a completely frictionless fashion. An example would be a consultant who has meetings all over the city and who is looking to grow their book of business. They attend one of our events in the morning and hold their meetings at different KettleSpaces across the city nearest to their clients. They decide to hang out at one of our spaces in between meetings to get some work done while ordering lunch on-site (taking advantage of the discounted on-site food & beverage offerings available to KettleSpacers). After work, they stay at one of our spaces and meet their friends at the bar for happy hour (taking advantage of the happy hour discounts available to KettleSpacers).

How do you motivate others?

It all flows from having a clearly defined “north star” vision so that everyone on the team understands and aligns around the overall company direction. It’s like sailing -- as long as you know which direction to orient your sails, you’re unlikely to get lost. There are so many unexpected things that come up, especially in startups and growth stage companies, so managing that risk and ensuring the team is aligned on the overall vision in order to stay oriented and moving forward when these things do arise is absolutely critical. Once that north star is defined and the team understands it, what I like to do is meet with each person on my team to understand where they’re coming from, their background, their strengths, their weaknesses, where they want to be in the future, etc - and orient roles around both the company and individual needs. I tend to manage and motivate in a hands-off fashion: setting clear performance expectations and feedback sessions, outlining a map for upward growth, and then letting people fill in the white space from there -- all with that “north star” orientation. This dynamic tends to work better in smaller, fast moving organizations that in larger, slower orgs but I’ve found it useful for moving quickly while staying on track and empowering others to take charge.     

Career advice to those in your industry?

The customer is always first but not necessarily always “right”. What I mean by that is that if you orient your product/service around delivering what the customer wants (assuming you already understand what your customers want - that’s a topic for another day) and execute well, you will build a successful business. But it is important to be able to separate the signal from noise as there is a lot of noise out there and it’s easy to fall into the trap of building everything your customers say they want. If you try to do that, you will either launch/iterate your product too slowly, overbuild it, or end up with something that nobody likes. Very often there is an extremely vocal minority who have perfectly valid opinions but just because they are the loudest doesn’t mean that their preferences are reflective of the majority of your target audience. So orient everything you do around whether or not it makes your customers/market happy but be sure you’re sampling your audience effectively and stay focused on the things that really matter along the way.