Hi! I’m Evan Wilson. I’m a young entrepreneur spending my summer as an intern at Indy Hall. Meeting new people is something I love to do — and in my time here, I’ve gotten to meet so many creative people who always have exciting stories to tell. After hearing so many amazing things from the Indy Hall community, I realized that I want to document the people of Indy Hall and their stories in the series: #PeopleOfIndyHall.
To me, the beauty of Indy Hall is that I can sit down and chat with anybody here about anything. I want to give you an up close and personal look at those conversations.
This week I got the chance to sit down with Stephan Matanovic to chat about his life, Indy Hall, and I got his answers to some out of the box questions. In his work life, Stephan is mostly a business lawyer who works with companies on everything from coming up with an idea and figuring out how to monetize it, to becoming incredibly successful and potentially getting acquired.
Since you don’t normally see lawyers at coworking spaces, I was curious to hear how Stephan found his way to Indy Hall. He walked me through his path:
“I came to Indy Hall in 2013, we were at the old 3rd street space. I had just founded my own law firm after 15 years in large law firms. It was the second day I had been in business for myself — the first day I worked out of my house, but I needed to be around people.
I had coffee with my friend Tom (a former member) and he told me to come in and give it a try, so I did.
I gave Alex my credit card that day. I was like: ‘sign me up: these are my people, and this is my place.’”
Stephan feels at home in Philly — he tells me that even though he’s lived all over the place, his choice to live here was very intentional:
“I’m first generation American — that defines part of who I am — both my parents are immigrants. I was born in the states and then promptly moved abroad again; we moved around a lot.
I went to University of Virginia undergrad and Temple University for law school. I’d been to Philly a couple times as a rower to compete in college. I loved it, I wanted to live in big city and I wanted a rowing community.
I fell in love with the city (quirks and all) and I’m raising my kids here because I hope they have a broad spectrum education both in the classroom and outside.”
I wanted to hear about what Stephan likes about the Indy Hall community, and why he feels a part of it. He tells me that even though he has always liked being around people when he works, he was never been the one to casually walk up to someone and talk — until he came to Indy Hall:
“What I love about Indy Hall is that you can come here and be very focused and heads down on what you’re working on, but you also have a ton of people you can just have a conversation with about anything.
That took work for me to be able to do that because I’m naturally a shy, introverted person.”
If you haven’t read about one of the #PeopleOfIndyHall before, at a certain point in the conversation I like to ask ‘out there’ questions to see how Indy Hall members handle them. I asked Stephan about time travel, and his answer was incredibly thoughtful and introspective:
“I have three kids, and if I could travel anywhere in time I would travel to the point of my death, because everybody wants to leave a legacy and I’m curious to see my children after I die.
I would love for them to be wildly successful and for them to be making a difference in the world, but what matters most to me is that they are good people — that they have others’ interests in mind.
I want to see my kids in 50 years or so…I hope they’re happy and I hope they’re kind to people.”
Stephan’s answer to my last question was the perfect way to wrap up the conversation, because it left me thinking. I took a minute to reflect on what I understand about legacy, and what that means to me.
Well, just another day at the office with the #PeopleOfIndyHall.