How Coworking Spaces Benefit Start-Ups
Coworking spaces afford a hive of creativity.
They are an environment finely attuned to the needs of start-ups, as compared to traditional office spaces.
Australia’s present entrepreneurial climate; incentivising start-ups and bearing a lucrative pool of venture capital; has instigated an increased market for coworking spaces. Why is this the case, you may ask?
Below, we explore the benefits that start-ups can gain from investing in coworking spaces, as opposed to traditional office spaces.
Start-ups historically begin from the home. Picture a person with a thought-provoking idea, huddled unfailingly over their desk. The problem with this? Social isolation. In a coworking space, you operate amongst like-minded individuals, impassioned by their respective projects. Not only will this motivate you, but it will challenge you through exposure to new perspectives. Also, the space is filled with freelancers (who may be recruited as talent) and high-profile potential clients. There is even potential for forging new corporations.
Coworking enables cross-pollination across an expanse of fields, adding value to your project. For example, your project may call for a new webpage, facilitated through the tech-expertise of someone within the space. Coworking spaces expand knowledge repertoires through perforating the historic ‘siloes’ of an office. They bring talent to you, creating exponential opportunity for growth.
“A lot of the time it’s easy to get caught up in your own geographic bubble. It’s really important to remain aware of other markets, and build relationships with different people from different cultures… that’s how one can find the connections or the people who will be able to help you.”
– Jena Wuu of Plug and Play Tech’s International Department, Deskmag
Whilst going at it alone is technically possible, it is arguably less effective. Through collaboration, your project will be enhanced in a way that was not possible from working alone.
Also, who doesn’t like a laugh with blossoming friends to break up the work day?
Coworking spaces are invented with the very intention of promoting both personal and business growth. They provide you with a backbone of support, aiding your development.
- La Maquinita in Argentina hosts ‘Fuckup Nights,’ a global movement in which entrepreneurs share stories of professional failures.
- #tceh in Moscow partnered with the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (a venture capital fund), helping tech start-ups to learn in a supportive and casual environment.
Coworking spaces are a hospitality business: providing more of a service as opposed to just a physical product (the space). Financial services, legal guidance, company registration and patenting intellectual property are a few examples of the services provided. As incubators (the home of start-ups) invest in your brand, they want you to succeed… and will do their part to help.
Start-ups often feature small teams. As their business expands, new team members will be added, and the coworking space affords this flexibility. Also, you may move to different branches, entering new markets or talent niches, such as Distrito Technológico (Buenos Aires).
A business in its early stages often has a tight budget. A coworking membership is much more affordable than traditional leasing, allowing money to be targeted elsewhere. The priorities of a start-up gather notably around its development. This imbalance renders a lack in other areas, such as the appearance of your office space, which may impact clients’ perception of your brand.
Working from a coworking space, there is also less to think about. Amenities and services, often unnoticed but necessary to operate an office space, consume a significant portion of capital and time. Avoiding these stresses is beneficial. Features that may be deemed ‘luxury,’ such as the element of comfort, are in actuality imperative for productivity. The experience of team members must not be undermined, and coworking spaces acknowledge these needs.
The stability of having a consistent place to work from, and the structure that working from an office may provide to your day, is achieved through the coworking space.
“Being in person was a big game-changer… We were able to draw ideas in the room, whiteboard together, do a jam session, throw ideas around and prototype really quickly.”
– Mo El Mahallawy (co-founder of Shepherd), The New York Times
A coworking space enables you to meet clients in a professional environment. This will help you to feel established, compounding the legitimacy of your work and engendering greater performance.
RocketSpace was a technology campus in San Francisco. CEO Duncan Logan spoke to ZDNet about their consulting division, which advised corporates on how to work with start-ups.
“The corporates get cutting-edge innovation to help them stay relevant and the startups get scale and reach in a marketplace that otherwise can be hard to scale in or is expensive to scale in.”
– Duncan Logan (CEO of RocketSpace), ZDNet
Boasting alumni such as Uber, Spotify and Samsung, it is clear (as described by Logan) that coworking as a business model has a far better product-market fit than a conventional office.