I just read a short article on the Deskmag site about three young companies, Ezeep, Coffee Circle and Orderbird, all of which began their businesses in Berlin’s Betahaus, a prominent European coworking space. Since then, all three companies have expanded into their own offices and now employ between 25-50 people each. In the article they talk not only about the value of coworking, but also their learned experiences about how to create a product or service, move it to the market, and make a mark on the world.
So it begs the question: what are you doing as a business center to partner with coworking space operators? Instead of regarding these folks as competitors, are you hammering out co-marketing agreements to fill your spaces with the people who move out to form their own companies?
There is certainly a lot of coworking activity out there breeding new, successful companies. One of OT’s recent articles provides some metrics on the astounding growth of coworking. Over the past 12 months, the number of global coworking spaces has grown by 83%, serving a total of 117% more members. Based on workdays alone, on average, 4.5 new coworking spaces have appeared daily and the number of coworking users has increased by 245 since this time last year.
Traditionally, business centers have struggled to gain recognition as a coworking space – and the debate continues as to whether business centers can offer a truly beneficial coworking environment. Perhaps a case can be made not to try. Could it make more sense to do what you do best — business office space — and let the coworking operators have their slice of the pie in the form of nice, unique open spaces to spawn your future business center clients?
Certainly food for thought: coworking space operators as business partners. If you are already doing this, let me know how it’s working. I’ll print your response.
Image source: NextEditor, Wikimedia Commons