Elvina Beck – PodShare.co
Born in the former Soviet Union, Elvina jokes that she built a socialist, affordable housing model because her conservative parents wouldn’t let her have sleepovers as a kid.
PodShare was founded when Elvina recognized three trends: the rise of the freelance economy, the loneliness solo travelers experience when overspending on solitary hotel rooms, and the difficulty transplants have when apartment hunting in a new city.
Thinking “dormitory style co-living is a great way to save and socialize”, she flew her dad to Hollywood to help build the first “pods” in 2012. Together, they redesigned the rickety bunk bed by replacing the ladder with a stairway, and adding amenities like flat screens, outlets, lockers, and night lights.
In three years, PodShare has proven market value (94% occupancy), collected big data (publishing over 5,000 “Podestrian profiles”), and built a reputable brand (where 16 people have tattoos of the “social travel” logo). PodShare is “a social network with a physical address” that offers “access” to multiple locations with napping pods, co-working desks, full kitchens, showers, bicycles, and a DIY makers lab. As a membership-based live/work space, PodShare offers two pass options: 12 hours ($15) or 24 hours ($50).