- London coworking brand Huckletree has announced three new hubs and its first location in Europe, and is set to operate over half a million sq ft of space by 2020.
- The workspace accelerator has set out its criteria for membership: “We are not for everyone… you must be driving good industry outcomes and brave ideas to join our community.”
- Huckletree has also called out short-termism of the coworking industry, instead prioritising delivering long-term value to its members.
Huckletree, the workspace accelerator, will set out to become a pan-European business, after today announcing its strategy for expansion, which will see three new hubs opening by the end of the year, starting in Oslo (Norway) next month.
The expansion into Europe comes as Huckletree marks five years of operations. In addition to expanding to Oslo, Huckletree will open new hubs in Dublin and Manchester, each curated by sector and theme, to deliver much-needed re-energisation to the European workspace market.
Huckletree CEO, Gabriela Hersham, has called for a ‘re-energisation’ of the European workspace market. She says:
“Most European cities now have an array of coworking offerings; but too many are just focused on desk space, and little else. The industry suffers from short-termism, which is not sustainable or what entrepreneurs need.
“We started Huckletree based on the idea that you can’t change the world alone, and we’re prioritising long-term value for our members by building a trusted and curated network of people; mentors, talent, investors, experts, along with the right services to help them grow. The space part almost becomes secondary.
“We love seeing our members outgrow our spaces, but we also understand that for those founders it means the scary task of going on to operate a sustainable business, and that’s where we can hope to play a bigger role. Coworking operators need to remember where the value lies. Prioritising social capital, not just venture capital, will be crucial for the workspace industry going forwards.”
In a strategy which solidifies its shift away from the ‘traditional’ workspace model of offering desk space, Huckletree’s hubs are based on theme and sector, handpicking businesses and VCs who share similar mindsets and operate within similar fields. The model is already tested in the UK, with an Investor and Venture Capital Hub in Huckletree Soho Central London and a GovTech hub in PUBLIC Hall in Westminster, Huckletree’s new workspace with venture firm PUBLIC.
Huckletree’s CEO, Gabriela Hersham, explains:
“To make sure the members see and feel the value, we only want people who are driving good industry outcomes with brave ideas to join our community. In that way, we are not for everyone.
“Having hubs based on theme or sector means that our growth will never be based on landing one or two large corporate members. Instead, our ambition and vision is focused on continuing to bring together thousands of growing businesses and entrepreneurs with shared values, who together are creating a bigger network and driving industry change.
“We also want to champion fairer funding in all hubs and support founders from minority backgrounds to have the same access to opportunities, including fundraising. There is still much work to be done here.”
As such, Huckletree has set out today a refreshed list of criteria for membership, which have been developed in order to handpick the type of businesses which fill its spaces. These criteria will assess contribution to the ecosystem, their collaborative mindset and innovation.
Huckletree’s new hub in Oslo is the business’ first location outside of the UK and Ireland and also marks the first acquisition for Huckletree. Previously the successful Venture hub Pier X, Huckletree will open a Venture Capital and Scale-Up themed hub, following in the footsteps of the Investor themed space in Soho, which opened in June year.
Huckletree is also announcing plans to open its second hub in Dublin in The Oval Building in Ballsbridge – the first Irish workspace specially for fintech companies, advisories, VCs and brands, taking its reach to over 50,000 sq ft of space in Ireland.
Meanwhile in the UK, Huckletree will also be opening a space in Manchester, where it will be taking over the city’s old Daily Express building to bring together local entrepreneurs from across Digital Lifestyle and Media.
The business’s expansion strategy will now see Huckletree target four to five new location openings each year in its target markets, which include France and Spain.
Commenting on Huckletree’s hub in Aker Brygge, Oslo, which is its first location outside of the UK and Ireland and first acquisition for Huckletree, co-founder Andrew Lynch says:
“Oslo’s one of the fastest-growing tech ecosystems in the world. But although the city is host to hundreds of bright, young engineers who are turning their career ambitions to tech, and a Government that is proactively supporting through investment in innovation, there’s a real gap in the market for risk capital, commercialisation and a themed space which brings together investors, advisors and entrepreneurs. We’re excited to work with the community, to connect Norwegian scaleups with international capital and expertise.”