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Last night I wrote about a hybrid work space for startups located in Austin called Tech Ranch. Part of my blog post included some information about my desire to create the Austin Tech Meetup and that we are looking for a space for the meetup to start from. The potential event space list includes Tech Ranch, Cospace (another Austin coworking space), the Austin Microsoft office and if I can find a contact, the Google and Facebook offices.
I received an email shortly after my post from Liz Elam, founder of Link Coworking. I had a great in-depth discussion with Liz about what services they offer, who they target and if the space might work for the Austin Tech Meetup. Liz began by explaining that Link is all about coworking and from what I could gather is the next step when you want to move from working at a coffee shop but aren’t yet ready for a full office space. The goals of Link remind me very much of New Work City in NYC and IndyHall in Philly.
Pricing starts at $200/month with a one-year contract, $250/month no contract and $300 for 10 days within a two-month period. The location is good too – it’s in the back of a strip mall so there are places to eat and shop within just a few steps from the coworking space.
For events like the soon-to-launch Tech Meetup, they can rearrange the open area (the desks are on casters) and the space can hold up to about 60 people. And they have chairs to seat all 60 which is important for us.
A couple of weeks ago I held the first brainstorming session to create the Austin Tech Meetup (modeled after the NY and SF tech meetups). The big questions that the group discussed were: where should the event be located to start and when should the event take place. The when is pretty easy – monthly, most likely on either the first or second Wednesday of the month.
The where is more complicated. Eventually I’d like to see the Austin Tech Meetup grow into a space like the one that the Lean Startup Day used at the AT&T Conference Center at the University of Texas in the midtown area. But we need a good place to start from and grow the group each month. The group came up with several recommendations including the coworking space Cospace, a few theaters and Tech Ranch. Also discussed were the Microsoft, Facebook and Google Austin offices. I am in discussions with someone at Microsoft but would absolutely love any leads on contacts at Facebook and Google!
Today I stopped by the Tech Ranch space in North Austin to learn more about what they offer and see if their event space might be a good fit for the Austin Tech Meetup. I’ve written about coworking numerous times and still think it’s a great model, especially for companies that are just beginning their existence. When I left Tech Ranch, I started to think about how to categorize the space and what I realized is that it sits in the middle between a coworking space and a dedicated company office. Tech Ranch is basically a hybrid startup space — bringing together the best of all three types of work spaces. The space reminded me of another space I profiled, Sunshine Suites in NYC.
Back in 2007 I wrote an article wondering if VC-sponsored coworking locations could work. The big names in coworking all shot me down suggesting that the concept couldn’t work or it was against what coworking was all about. Today there are lots of coworking spaces that have sponsors and or VC-backing. And as the incubators including Y-Combinator and Tech Stars continue to grow in popularity, I believe we will see even more of these “sponsored coworking” locations opening around the U.S. and the world.
Today the U.S. government announced some plans to help entrepreneurs of all kinds start and/or grow their startups. As one of the entrepreneurs the government is targeting, I look forward to potentially partnering with the various programs that can help our startup grow.
This weekend I started to think about how local governments can help entrepreneurs. It seems like office space is one of the biggest issues and expenses that early-stage companies have to deal with. I also read a post by Steven Hodson where a local library was showing off how you can borrow books from a vending machine similar to renting a DVD from a Redbox machine.
You can read post after post about library budgets across the country being cut, locations being closed, hours being reduced and issues with books being stocked on library shelves. Could coworking be the way to save our libraries and create a new class of excellent workcenters?
We’ve written about coworking many times here at CN and today we are excited to post that the New Work City coworking location in NYC now has a home. The new space will be located at 412 Broadway which is basically next to all of the subways that stop at Canal St. It was just about two years ago we wrote about the first official space for New Work City at 200 Varick Street.
NWC co-founder Tony Bacigalupo has an overview of the steps the team took to find and secure the location along with how the space will be organized. Important dates related to New Work City include:
- August 27 – launch party
- September 1 – official launch of the new New Work City space
- September 10-12 – Startup Weekend will be held in the space
I wish the entire New Work City team the best of luck with the new space. If I was still located in NYC, I would definitely be there for the big launch.
I’ve been a big fan of coworking for a long time. I’ve written many times about a variety of coworking topics and locations around the world. My post about VC-sponsored coworking was viewed negatively by coworking experts back in late 2007 yet today we see a large number of VC-sponsored coworking locations around the U.S. and in other countries. I think the number of coworking locations will continue to grow this year.
Today I learned about a new coworking location that will be opening soon in St. Louis. The space is located in one of the city’s landmark buildings and the photos of the upcoming launch look great. The pictures show a space that is more office-sharing than the coworking concept of one large open desk where all of the members sit together. The space offer work areas and discussion zones.
From the overview, “amenities will include WIFI, coffee, a business address, custom dedicated workstations, classroom area, open collaboration and drop-in space, conference room(s), lounge, kitchen with break table, open art counter space with sink, community library, printing, copy and fax, secretarial services, postage and more.”
The first event to be held at the new coworking space is later this month and is already sold out (there is a waitlist).
Apparently the space boasts 47 huge windows overlooking the downtown core of St. Louis. No pricing is listed on the website but there is a signup form if you are interested.
It’s too bad I didn’t move to St. Louis — I would have been one of their first residents.
Yesterday we covered the launch of New Jersey’s first coworking location, Converge NJ. Today we’ve learned about a new service that helps manage coworking locations.
Cobot, created by Berlin-based Upstream, offers a suite of tools for managers of coworking spaces. Cobot provides user management, new coworker signup, reporting tools, a lightweight CMS and an issue tracker. The reporting tools includes reports on user turnover, number of coworkers in the location and which plans they are currently on. Cobot can also track location usage so you know how much of the coworking space is occupied, when and by how many.
Cobot is free to use for locations with up to 5 coworkers. Locations with over 5 coworkers are billed at $1.50/month/coworker.
It would be awesome if Cobot could create a coworking directory, signup coworking locations around the world and provide a pass that could be used at any coworking location. This way if my home base is New Work City, and I travel to Berlin, I can use the Berlin coworking space at no additional charge. Not sure exactly how the accounting would work for this type of plan but I am sure something could be worked out.
Update: Alex Hillman, co-founder of Philly coworking space IndyHall has written about Cobot as well.
Coworking seems to be heating up big time over the past 6-12 months. Coworking takes many forms…and the number of locations for shared work space continues to rise. Here in NYC we have a variety of locations including New Work City, Philly has Independents Hall and San Francisco has Citizen Space. My good friend Till works at the coworking location in Berlin, Co.Up. We’ve covered many of the other coworking resources including the new NYU-Poly incubator in NYC.
Today I’ve learned about a new coworking location opening on April 1st in New Jersey. The space is named Converge NJ and will be located in Union. If you aren’t familiar with Union, it’s a bit west of Newark International Airport. A bus from Times Square to Union takes 45 minutes. For more details on Union, New Jersey — check out this map.
The website is currently accepting reservations and the pricing ranges from $20/month for 2 days a month through a full 24/7 access with lots of additional perks including a board seat for $400/month.
Here’s a list of some of the listed benefits of membership:
- Hi-Speed Internet Access
- Free use of Printer / Scanner / Fax
- Conference Room Access
- Special access to Members-Only Events
- Coffee / Tea / Beverages / Snacks
- Access to Converge’s Sponsorship Specials
- Access to the space during normal operating hours (9-5, Monday thru Friday except holidays) as well as freedom to use the space during off-hours, if available
- Potential access to Kean University students / partnerships
If you are interested in coworking in New Jersey and/or details about Converge NJ, there’s a meetup this Thursday which will discuss more of the specific details.
If you work at a coworking location, leave a comment with a brief review and link to the coworking location’s website.