Difference Maker: Burke Allen from Novologic
Interview by Samantha Proctor and Words by Kasey Wheeler
For Burke Allen, owner of Novologic and Cornerstone Coworking, the entrepreneurial spirit was more of a genetic trait than acquired mindset. He grew up with family members establishing and successfully owning businesses but never felt the push to create his own until experiencing the corporate world. The catapulting moment for Burke was realizing he could create the work environment he desired for himself and others, where employees could grow beyond their job title and be seen as a valued resource.
In 1998, Burke established Novologic – a software company that has reinvented itself over the years. Where the company is today was not the goal in its early stages of ideation. They’ve transition from B2B companies to eLearning to now B2C companies and a coworking space. Fairly recently, Novologic has become a product software company - creating a platform for managers and employees to coach each other while growing in their positions. The goal for Novologic now is to partner with companies wanting to invest in employees and increase employee engagement.
Until 2013, Novologic was based out of a small building on Oak Street in Downtown Lawrenceville. Their space didn’t allow for client meetings, so they would periodically visit coworking spaces. Because they saw the need of a meeting space in Lawrenceville, they decided to purchase a larger building than they needed. For a bunch of “introverted nerds,” as Burke says, they wanted a space where there was opportunity to meet other people, be around entrepreneurs, and have their company grow. Although Burke calls himself and his team introverts, they know it’s important to make intentional connections with those outside their realm of expertise.
Ultimately, in creating a coworking space, Burke was partnering with the city during its beginning stages of revitalization. This was an important time for the city of Lawrenceville, and over the years it’s not only been revitalized but redeemed. Through providing an opportunity for the community and small businesses to grow, he has been a vital part in the push toward Lawrenceville’s new culture. Although many people within Novologic and around Burke thought a coworking space was crazy, Novologic has now partnered with major companies around the world and Cornerstone Coworking has over 140 active members. Although there has been a lot of transition over the years, Burke’s main takeaway is to always press on, even when it’s difficult.