Nate Walke

Nate Walke


July 12, 2017


Code City, Walke & Associates Property Investment


Tell us more about some of your past projects?

I started out as a freelance graphic designer. Early on I saw the potential for print and brought Hotcards to the Toledo and Chicago markets with a friend in 2004. We had a great time building a clientele of several thousand and got to work with some of the most prominent organizations in those areas. In 2008 things started changing when social media put a huge dent in print revenues industry wide. I asked how I could adapt my love for art/design and got into web development, not programming per se’ but Wordpress. I only dabble in code. That’s when I founded Futuristic, a digital advertising agency. I pulled together a team of varying experts in film, mobile, social and I personally still designed and handled print.

What current projects are you working on?

Most recently we founded Code City (along with Matthew Molnar, senior developer and Chris Schooler/film). It started as the idea to build a coding boot camp, which proved to be the most daunting of tasks, so we funneled our energy into creating a space where entrepreneurs, artists and techies could meet and collaborate. We invite local speakers who have an encouraging message or insight. In the meantime, we were able to partner with Hack Reactor, one of the nation’s top coding boot camps in the nation. They’re considered the Harvard of coding boot camps in San Fransisco, LA, and NY...but they had no presence in the midwest. They’ve been following along on social media as to what Code City was trying to do, and about a week ago, one of the co-founders gave us the go ahead to launch a pilot right here in Toledo. It could be the beginning of a fantastic opportunity for those in this area to break into the tech sphere.

What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?

I think there is a unique landscape here, as far as the business climate goes. It’s often passed over by outsiders looking for bigger markets. I think the cool thing is, if you go somewhere else, like San Diego or Manhattan, you go where things are already amazing in many senses. Here, you have the opportunity to build something. Not that you can’t there, but in a different way. So much opportunity to try something new, something untested, to be disruptive. And with technology removing the barriers of time and distance, I feel we truly can innovate here, having many of the same tools as the rest of the world. We just want to spark people, to give them the encourage to be bold, and take the risk.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

Having the most amazing and authentic daughter in the world! But seriously, I cannot take credit for that, she has taught me more than I could ever teach her. It’s who she is. She has had to over come some incredible obstacles, and knowing she’s had to do that, and seeing her be who she is, is so inspiring to me.

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

See answer to above lol. But as far as outside the family heroes have been explorers, adventurers, scientists. People who believed they were onto something new that could help humanity, and forged ahead in the face of strong opposition, knowing they might not even discover or accomplish what they thought. People like Copernicus, Socrates, and yes I’m going to be cliche and say Elon Musk haha. That takes courage.

Tell us about your background.

Well right out of high school I enrolled at The University of Toledo. Minimum wage was $3.35 at the let’s just say I couldn’t even pay the parking bill when it came. i postponed college (and never returned) and went to work at UPS. I was there for 4 years. That job taught me how to sweat and how much I love air conditioning (because the back o those trucks didn’t have it). It made me appreciate every job I had after, no matter the difficulty. Through my twenties I explored positions in Loss Prevention and Corporate Investigations. it was super fun and gave me an insight into different segments of society I wouldn’t have normally come across. It was eye opening, seeing how some people’s minds work. And actually gave me a great deal of empathy.

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I respond to it. Attitude is Everything” - butchered quote from Charles Swindoll.

Favorite place for local culture?

I’m at El Vaquero more than anyone should be allowed. Not just $1 taco nights. But I’m also known for working out of coffee shops. I’ve met some of the best friends there. I think true life can happen in places like that.

Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . .

I know it, but I don’t want to say! lol jk. And maybe it’s not a secret, but just newer. But I recently found “Yer Mom’s House of Eats” downtown. You can’t even tell it’s there from the outside, someone has to show you. Chef Drew and braised pork and fried apples and melted cheese. Delicious.

My favorite place to chill locally is . . .

Rustbelt Coffee

My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . .

The Spot, the enchanted forest at Oak Openings.

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . .

A restaurant or pub with music.

If you could change anything about the current landscape for creative, progressive people . . .

I wish there wasn’t such a conflict of ideologies that make otherwise creative people have a barrier from working together. I’m friends with people from vastly differing worldviews that i know if they just knew each other, aside form those initial labels, they would be great friends, and do great things.It’s a barrier i think, for everyone, getting past these initial archetypes we perceive about each other, to realize that person is so much more than that one label, that one attribute, that one trait or belief.

Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about?

The Hyperloop! We just put together a team of engineers, artists, and civic minded people to help bring the Hyperloop through Toledo on it’s way from Chicago to New York. We have many reasons we believe it’s one of the best routes in the U.S. (The Hyperloop is a human/cargo transport system that moves at the speed of sound, on a cushion of air, powered by the sun). We have a former NASA engineer from the jet propulsion lab on our team, so I think we have a fighting chance lol. Not just for bring the Hyperloop here, but for manufacturing or design technologies to be developed.

Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.

Elon Musk. There I go again.

Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.

The Count of Monte Cristo.

3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .

Synergistic, able to see opportunities, risk taking

Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.

The Killers “Battleborn”
Muse - Any
The Airborne Toxic Event - Any
Lana Del Rey - Any
Yes, Kanye, love the sound

My biggest vice is . . .

Dangerous Relationships

I’d like to see __________ in Toledo.

New infrastructure, re-engineered for living without a car for short distances, bike friendly, solar powered and battery backed.

What’s the last dream you recall having?

I can’t recall one right now.

The last lyric that moved me was . . .

“We’re the best thing that never happened”

One movie character I identify with is . . .

Edmond Dantes’, betrayed, cast away, lost, forgotten, fights his way back from nothing

The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .

Someone believing in who I was

I want my last meal to be _______________.


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