About SoWork

Hi! Welcome to SoWork, where our Mission is to move work from the Earth to the Cloud. We are a super tight-knit team, originally founded and incubated at Harvard, but we’ve since gone global (of course!). We now span plenty of continents and countries, and are so darn excited to be building The Workplace Metaverse - the place where great teams ❤️ to work.

Nearly two decades ago, a group of our teammates met playing World of Warcraft, and it completely changed the way we looked at teamwork, collaboration, and what was possible using social time online. Even though we were on three different continents at the time, we built real relationships, pwned Alliance noobs together, and became best friends. Now, we’re out to build a massively multiplayer, social, online workplace (hence S-o-Work!) to power the new world of work.

As you’re undoubtedly aware, the shift to remote and distributed work has unveiled some serious problems in communication, teamwork, culture-building, productivity, and collaboration, on even the best teams. Perhaps surprisingly, many of these problems mirror issues that gamers have solved in order to work and bond together online for gaming (particularly in MMO-land). So, we’re out to apply proven gaming principles to the business world to make remote, distributed, and hybrid work wonderful. The winners at the end of it all will be all of us people, as well as our planet.

What we care about

  1. Helping work be awesome

    People spend 80% of their lives working, and that time should be as delightful as possible. We built SoWork to help people smile, make friends, and feel good while working.

  2. Helping people live flexible lives

    We think that people deserve to live the lives they want to. So we’re on a mission to unlock as many people as possible to work from anywhere.

  3. Our only planet: Earth! 🌎

    The more we can help online and remote work be great, the fewer miles of commuting, cars, parking lots, and downtown cores there have to be. That’s good for the planet.

Team SoWork

Alberto Rojas Fernández
Software Engineer (Web)

Hi, I'm a senior software engineer working from Spain. I love solving complex problems by building the smallest parts as possible! What I like the most is to play a bit of everything! I love working on different things to learn new things every day. When I'm not programming, you'll probably find me drinking coffee or playing a piece from the Final Fantasy game on my piano. And, of course, there's always time to play a video game.

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

I need the taste of coffee every morning, no matter if it is caffeinated or non-caffeinated. ☕ I check my emails and the slack channels and then, a cup of coffee on the balcony.

Alex Yu
Software Engineer (Web)

I'm a data scientist and software engineer here at SoWork. For data science, I work on analytics and experiments, and for software engineering I work in the front and back end. In my free time I skateboard and overdo Spotify playlists. I’m also a big Cowboys fan and am into health and fitness.

What do you have more than 20 of?

Bugs. Jk haha. Good playlists, can never get enough of them.

Ana Marí
Graphic Artist

I work at SoWork as a 3D artist. I love role-playing games, fantasy series and horror movies. I studied Fine Arts because since I was a child I love drawing and painting, now I dedicate myself to make 3D art. I'm from Ibiza, Spain, but right now I live in the UK with my partner and our cat, Ori.

What fictional character(s) do you resonate with most (movies, books, games, TV, whatever)?

Guts from Berserk, Dustin from Stranger Things, Marty from Ozark, Clare from Claymore.

Ayse Baybars
Growth Generalist

Ayse cannot be contained in a paragraph and has liberated herself from the pesky confines of a title. Part golden retriever, part fox, she can be found prancing around the team bringing gifts from one part of the team to another, concocting magical potions in the dark. Lately, she's really enraptured with holistic experiences in SoWork and is eagerly awaiting the haptic suit. She does not believe in borders. Come find her in SoWork! Ask her about cheese. Or wine. Or the peacock motif.

When was the last time you treated yourself? What did you do?

A sashimi boat on March 6. It was actually too much. It conquered me.

Emma Giles
COO & Head of Product

Hello! I'm one of the co-founders of SoWork. I'm an Australian, British, Canadian Kiwi currently living in Vancouver. When I'm not leading Growth, Ops, or working with our incredible team, I'm ultrarunning in the mountains and exploring North Van cafes. Come find me in SoWork and we can talk leading startups, building a high velocity learning Org, crafting high-performing teams, WFA and, the thing that powers it all: coffee, running and amazing teammates 🏃🏼‍♀️☕️

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Waking up with the sunrise 🌅. Drinking Aussie-strength coffee ☕️. Going on a run in the mountains ⛰️.

Daniel Sanchez
Graphic Artist

As a set of molecules I am not bad at all, I could be better of course, but depending on how you look at it you can say that I am a pretty acceptable individual. Anyway, a series of magical stumbles have brought me here. To SoWork. As a 3D artist I help create unique things and worlds that I would like to be in, and hopefully many more people. I enjoy wandering and digressing. And I love to imagine absurd things all the time.

What do you have more than 20 of?

Definitely books, many many of them. And I usually think it's cool, but not now now that I have to move to a new house.

Eric Guigue
Enviornment Artist

I’m an Environment Artist at SoWork. I really enjoy playing video games, watching movies, building Legos, gardening, board games, travelling, and hiking! I love creating 3D environments and bringing them to life. From 3D model, texturing, lighting and more. I also enjoy building prototypes of games in C# using unity in my spare time.

What do you have more than 20 of?

Legos, Movies, Games and Plants!

Gillian Jinkins
Customer Support

I bridge the gap between Customers and QA, making sure that all of our customer problems are quickly triaged and addressed by our team. You can find me working with new customers to move into their office, writing reports on the pulse of the Customer, and making sure your (yep you read that right!) voice is heard by our product development team. Come find me in our CoWorking Space and tell me your feedback and ideas! Trust me, I would love to talk to you.

Truth, truth, lie

I can rap the entirety of Hamilton from memory, anytime, anywhere. I saw The Rolling Stones perform live in Berlin at the Olympic Stadium. I danced on stage with B.B King several times when I was younger

Howard Kaplan
Operations

I like to say I've done everything you can do in an early stage startup except finance. I've written code. I've driven revenue. I've trained marketers how to think like (data) scientists, and scientists how to persuade like marketers (without lying 😱). I've created strategy and products and strategies to move product. I've led teams & I've learned through it all, all startups fail for the same reason: people.

When was the last time you treated yourself? What did you do?

Three words: mail order avocados.

Jesse Youngblood
Software Engineer (Web)

Jesse is team lead of the lemon zesting department. He is deeply passionate about all of the intricacies of what it means to zest a lemon- the circumference, the depth of the microplane blades, the correct angle to maximize zest delivery, etc. He will never rest until he masters his craft.

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Running. That’s why I try to never take a meeting before 9:30 ET, I really enjoy having the time to get a run in first.

José Bobillo
Graphic Artist

I'm the lead 3D artist and a software engineer at SoWork. I love to read fantasy, play videogames, go to the movies and practice any artistic activity. In World of Warcraft, I was a gnome warlock but sadly, now I live in Spain.

Two Truths and a Lie:

I'm vegan. I met my girlfriend in Japan, during a trip with a friend. I've run drunk on the highway.

Josh Drean
Digital Marketing

Hi! I’m Josh and I love all things marketing, social media, and videography. I was a youth motivational speaker for 10 years where I traveled the nation speaking in hundreds of schools to help improve school culture. In that time I realized the problem isn’t the students, so I started consulting with leadership, conducting teacher’s inservices, and parents nights to teach the community how to build strong culture around the students. Come to find out, this is a problem, not just in schools, but in ALL corporations! I got a master’s at Harvard, built a startup, worked for an HR Tech consultancy, and am honored to be a part of SoWork, where positive culture is paramount to the experiences we design.

I also love electric skateboards, let’s go for a ride sometime 🛹

Truth, truth, lie

I got a scholarship to dress up as a cat in college. I own 2 NFTs valued at 3.2 ETH ($9,900). I was a licensed street performer in Boston

Ju Howe
Graphic Artist

I’m American-born, but I’ve always been an expat at heart. I lived in Taiwan for 2 years, but still have a long list of other countries I want to visit and live in. I’m interested in “slow travel” - where you take the time to live life as a local. Speak their language, celebrate their holidays... and many other things you discover on the way! Just like video games, you get to experience the world through another person's perspective and take a walk in their shoes. Novelty is life!

What fictional character(s) do you resonate with most (movies, books, games, TV, whatever)?

I have the biggest crush on Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spiderman (Tom Holland). But I resonate with a combo of Aang + Zuko from ATLA. 🌊🌱🔥💨

Kenny Vallejo
Software Engineer (Web)

Kenny is a Software Engineer that in the last couple of years has been working in different stacks as Backend, Frontend, Infrastructure and Mobile Development. He's a tech enthusiast and geek, loves to read technical books about programming and some times about the videogame industry.

What fictional character(s) do you resonate with most (movies, books, games, TV, whatever)?

A combination between Ted Mosby from “How I Meet Your Mother” and Marty McFly from “Back to the future” (best movie ever)

Mark Liu
CTO

I'm the coding co-founder. I live to build simple systems to solve complex problems. I’m addicted to caffeine, and to the endorphin from crushing puzzles. I’m an Australian-Kiwi that was born in Taiwan, and I currently call Sydney home. In between work, I enjoy cooking, long walk on the beach, and killing randos in online games.

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Watching the sunrise with a hot latte.

Metinu – Miguel Medina Ballesteros
Software Engineer (Game Engine)

Hi there! I'm a bohemian writer who became a game-dev software engineer in order to create experiences with / * < > { } & % 💻 rather than writing stories with abcdefg🖊️.
I have been a teacher of game design and programming 🧑‍🏫, an indie & AAA game-dev 🎮, a full stack web developer 🌐, amongst many other things. As such, I love writing well architected code as much as working with the people behind it as an agile team; and I'm now using these skills to contribute to the workplace metaverse as part of the Game Engine team at SoWork 🚀!

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Writing down what I dreamed about in my dreams journal before I forget — it's usually about fantasy worlds, magic, and dragons. And then I have a matcha latte while I have an inner conversation with myself to organize the day.

Michelle Zak
Digital Marketing

Born a visual designer, now a fully-fledged digital marketer, Michelle is yet one more of SoWork's resident magical unicorns. She believes strongly in the power of shared language and the joy in beauty. Outside the cloud, she can be found sharpening pencils, climbing mountains, and sipping espressos. Often all three at the same time. Hey, we said she's a unicorn.

What do you have more than 20 of?

Blank notebooks, #2 pencils, and plants.

Miky Arias
Graphic Artist

Hi! I’m a former advertising creative (Like Don Draper but with less smoking) that quit my job to work at home and see my child grow up. I put all my efforts into entering the video game sector and (lucky me!) I found a natural predisposition for pixel art and 2D animation.

What do you have more than 20 of?

Philips Hue lights!!

Pietro Atzeni
Software Engineer (Game Engine)

I've been a software developer for 20+ years with one mission: build clean, SOLID, and elegant solutions to everyday problems. I live for the "Eureka" feeling of solving puzzles, while building complex architectures or playing point-and-click video games. Having been an entrepreneur myself, I'm here to help make the world a better place, allowing people to work together with passion and fun.

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Meditate, do some calisthenics, have breakfast with my family, take my son to school, and start to make a better world (piece by piece).

Rudolf Newman
Software Engineer (Game Engine)

Game Engineer and debug consultant. Outside of work I mull over game designs, keep up with new roguelites, and practice blues dancing.

What do you have more than 20 of?

Full notebooks, Reindeer decor, Pillows, Fidget toys.

Russ Bashaw
Product Designer

Hello! I'm a roaming adventurer, indie music enthusiast, backpacker, and traveling vagabond. Always searching for the cool side of the pillow with my border collie Rin.

What fictional character(s) do you resonate with most (movies, books, games, TV, whatever)?

Jafar.

Sara Pearce
QA Engineer

I'm what happens when someone takes the idea of "lifelong learner" a bit too literally. Information junkie, bookworm, champion of nerds and numbers everywhere; I've worn several hats at different tech startups including software engineer, UI developer, math domain expert, and entrepreneur. Rather than continuing to expand my hat collection, I used magic to morph them in to 1 very useful hat: Quality Assurance (QA). Outside of creating tech magic, my favorite hobbies are biking, playing video games, reading science fiction and playing ukulele.

What is your favorite morning ritual?

Waking up before everyone else, watching the sunrise, and walking my garden as it comes to life in the morning. All with a strong cup of coffee.

Sean Williamson
Partnerships & Legal

If your business wants to work with us to unlock new opportunities in The Workplace Metaverse, then I'm your guy. Let's explore how we can work together to make SoWork better and reach more customers, whether that's through software integrations, complimentary service offerings, or new distribution channels. Oh, and I also handle the boring legal stuff. If you're looking for me outside the office, you can probably find me sipping on some freshly brewed coffee, ☕ attempting a new hike, 🌲 or shaking up a cocktail at home. 🍸

What do you have more than 20 of?

Cocktail glasses, stickers on my water bottle and laptop, addresses in the last 2 years #digitalnomad

Utku Demir
Software Engineer (Web)

I work as a Cloud Infrastructure Engineer here at SoWork, trying to keep our servers happy until the inevitable machine uprising. I have been in a love-hate relationship with a variety of distributed backend technologies for more than ten years, but still enjoy simple solutions. Outside of work, I like reading science fiction short stories, working on hobby projects, and going to day hikes.

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Snoozing my alarm every five minutes until my first meeting. It's my only morning ritual, so I guess it technically makes it my favorite.

Vanisa Punwani
EA, Happiness Officer

Hello! I do many things at SoWork, most formally, I'm an Executive Assistant and Happiness Officer/Health & Wellness Coordinator. I focus on team prosperity, cohesion, and initiatives that build and maintain our culture 💕. I'm also on Team Growth and work with our event and office customers, ensuring a lovely experience for all :) When I'm not working, you'll likely find me out for a stroll along the ocean, hiking/walking in the forrest, listening to live music, hanging with family and enjoying the little things.

What do you have more than 20 of?

Toques/beanies! All the colours, all the stylez!

Vinay Punwani
Software Engineer (Web)

Hello! Thanks for visiting my MySpace page! I'm an engineer at SWork and I love creating fun and engaging user experiences for everyone. Before SoWork, I was involved in scientific research with viruses, front-end development with Shopify, and capturing Pokemon. I love traveling and can't wait to explore the world again. Currently living in Vancouver being perpetually indecisive about how to furnish my apartment...while exploring the water and the forests, learning a new language, and working my way through all the best french toast places in this town.

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Making my latte and checking the $GME stock price.

Vishal Punwani
CEO & Head of Growth

Hello! I'm Vish. I'm here to make sure that your work-life is as insanely delightful as possible. Why? Because you deserve it!

I grew up in Jamaica, then Canada, then lived in Australia, Switzerland, and Boston. Maybe this is why I'm so keen on us breaking down work-borders. I went to medical school, did some emergency medicine, then shifted to full-time startups to really have the impact on the world that I was looking for. I've been gaming since I was 3, and involved in software and hardware since I was 10. I love all animals.

What’s your favorite morning ritual?

Waking up early, stumbling to the couch, playing 20-30mins of videogames to wake up while drinking decaf coffee.