What Does Collaboration Look Like?

February 25, 2015

7:00 am

“The word collaboration is at times so overused. What does that look like? How do you know when you should collaborate? Who with? What time?” says Tilde Guajardo, founder of The Kaleidoscope for Her, a coworking space for women in Dallas.

Guajardo grew up with not one but two entrepreneurial parents and their entrepreneurial spirit of making things happen definitely rubbed off onto her. Watching them struggle, fail, and then succeed instilled in her a passion for business and an eye to diagnose a community need.

The need she diagnosed in Dallas was a lack of communications and collaboration skills among the entrepreneurs. Specifically, Guajardo wants to help female entrepreneurs grow at a comfortable pace and maintain said growth through collaboration. That’s why she founded The Kaleidoscope.

She was a member at some of the incubators in Dallas, but she found it difficult to get hands on learning from these places. After all, online platforms are far different from a brick and mortar business, a market vertical Guajardo had a lot of experience in, and when she did attend some of the classes nobody gave her the steps she need to take right now, in the next month, or the next two months to grow and launch the way she wanted.

“It got me thinking, why not bring a woman's space to life? It could be a place where we could come together, collaborate, and create,” says Guajardo. “We wouldn’t concentrate on funding, but rather on helping women launch and grow their businesses.”

That’s actually one of the major differentiators between The Kaleidoscope and other incubators; they don’t focus on pitch classes. They focus on teaching women the skills they need to run a business, bootstrap, and go beyond simply putting up a website.

Kaleidoscope runs the gamut of women in all industries too, not just tech. According to Guajardo, the tech space is saturated right now and in order to make a positive impact on local ecosystems focusing on tech 100 percent of the time isn’t the way to go.

“Some women only want to make ‘X’ amount of money so they know their bills are paid and they can get their kids through school,” says Guajardo. “They don’t need or want a million dollars; they just need a certain amount of income.”

The Kaleidoscope recently had its first coffee collaboration where a group of women came in for a brainstorming session. Guajardo opens her doors free for first time users to bring ideas or questions with them to learn more and support women’s empowerment: it’s combining life skills with business skills.

It’s important to remember though that Kaleidoscope came to life not because Guajardo had a vision. This all happened because of the teamwork and collaboration that she’s had, and the support from the women in Dallas. That one thing, a community embracing and supporting an idea, has been instrumental in her personal growth and that of her team.

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988