At this startup, the office is going to the dogs

Scotch is a natural icebreaker.

That’s the word from Greg Hayes, marketing analyst for the investment company OWLshares. “All-American mutt” is how Hayes describes Scotch, the adorable mixed breed dog he brings with him to work.

“They wrote it into my job offer that I could bring my dog to work,” says Hayes. “So I brought him in since pretty much day one. I arrived that day with a dog bed and some treats.”

OWLshares is based in Santa Monica’s WeWork Promenade, which happens to be a dog-friendly office.

At This Investment Startup, the Office Is Going to the Dogs2

“I was surprised by how many dogs there are in the office, and how much it encourages mingling,” says Hayes. “People come up and greet my dog before they even notice I’m there.”

And Scotch is more than a people magnet. He’s actually helped OWLshares make some valuable business connections. For example, the company is teaming up with a web design firm that’s based in the same WeWork space. OWLshares co-founder Ben Webster says it’s because there are dogs in both offices.

“It wasn’t us, it was the dogs,” says Webster. “They started sniffing each other, then everyone from both offices came out and started talking with each other.”

At This Investment Startup, the Office Is Going to the Dogs3

That wasn’t the only canine connection. The guys at OWLshares, which offers “creating investment choices for people who care about their impact on the world,” also met the founder of a non-profit organization that operates out of the same WeWork office. They’ve talked about working together on projects in the future.

Scotch isn’t the only dog around the OWLshares office. Co-founder Andrew Smith occasionally brings in Winston, his very expressive bulldog. But Scotch, who recently celebrated his 10th birthday, has the charm and charisma that got him featured in this year’s “Dogs of WeWork” calendar.

“He has definitely gotten some attention because of the calendar,” says Hayes. “He’s recognized around the office. Actually, he’s kind of a dog celebrity.”

Photos: Lauren Kallen

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