Dan Norton (Filament Games), Sarah Hole (Common Wealth), Dan White (Filament Games)

Recap of Lunch & Learn with Filament Games

Karen Bednar Business Incubators Leave a Comment

On April 5, 2016, we were fortunate to host our business incubator tenants for a Lunch & Learn at Old Sugar Distillery, one of our incubator tenants. Underground Catering (another incubator tenant) provided a delicious meal of pulled pork and smoked brisket, as well as kale salad, potato salad and brownies. Hinckley Productions hooked us up with a sound system. Kent Sweitzer took photos of the gathering, which are available in this online album.

Filament Games co-founders Dan White and Dan Norton shared their experiences of being a tenant in the Madison Enterprise Center. In 2011, they moved to the top floor of 316 W. Washington Avenue, near the capitol in Madison. Filament Games is an educational gaming company started by “three scrappy guys from Wisconsin,” as White and Norton describe it. Many of their clients include mission-driven nonprofits and academic researchers. They are now moving toward a product-based business model, evolving into something they hope is more sustainable and scalable. The founders all met while working at the same company and decided to give this a shot. They shared their experiences during their humorous and reflective talk of having to evolve over time from just making stuff to having to innovate, develop processes and project management systems.

Some tidbits of advice White and Norton offered included that every business has its own story. Many other business owners will want to give you advice, and they have found that sometimes this advice works very well in some situations, and doesn’t work at all in other situations.

They also described how hard it is to find the right people. Every business has to define its own culture, as people are influenced by the people around them and our own culture is defined by those around us. They also suggested defining your company’s growth trajectory — being deliberate about being scrappy, chasing growth, or doing something in between.

Lunch & Learn events are one of the perks offered by Common Wealth to our business incubator tenants. Visit this page to learn more about our available commercial space.

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