Tobi Skovron is grateful for the recognition after the company he founded, CreativeCubes.Co, made its way onto The Australian’s Top 100 Innovators list last week.
Offering flexible, serviced working spaces, CreativeCubes.Co has five locations across Melbourne with plans to expand into the rest of Australia.
Skovron, who attended Moriah College, came up with the idea when he was working in Los Angeles and running another venture in the pet space called The Pet Loo, “as in a dog toilet”.
“I moved into a co-working space in Santa Monica in 2008 and I just loved being surrounded by like-minded, go-getter, successful people,” Skovron told The AJN.
“It really just inspired me, so after I successfully exited that venture in 2012, I was contemplating what to do next.
“I flew around the country, actually globally, and experienced different offices and really honed in on what I had value for, what I didn’t have value for. Which is how, when I got back to Australia in 2017, I went straight out and found my first building and built out what you know today as Creative Cubes.”
As Melbourne emerged from being the most locked-down city in the world during the pandemic, Skovron admits selling office space was probably not the best space to be in. But he credits his family, in particular his wife Simone, for believing in his vision.
“Receiving the accolade was amazing, but really I think that goes to my wife Simone because as an entrepreneur, there are more dark days than light,” Skovron said.
“You have to have the ambition and drive, and you have to have the perseverance. Because I am a human, sometimes it gets the better of me and it’s my wife who’s picking me up and going, ‘Rise up, let’s go – let’s find the positives here.’ She’s amazing from that standpoint.
“My family really believed in my mission and on the back of it, it’s actually turned into a beautiful swan in terms of people want that flexibility – they don’t want to commit to long-term lease. So what we do is more of the hero in the sector that’s helping commercial real estate rebound and find its feet in a new format.”
Skovron says the essence of CreativeCubes.Co is its Jewish “mishpochah” – “it’s family values in a commercial environment”.
“We exist to enable success,” he said.
“We do programs like ‘pitch for a spot’, where we give 20 companies a space to work from for 12 months rent-free in partnership with various corporations. Not many of them survive, but the ones that do it’s such ‘nachas’ because the odds are stacked against you.”