How your Price Structure Affects Your Coworking Culture

Post Author: Craig Baute.

As space owners and coworking catalyst we work hard to create a culture and community that we view best fits the individuals in the neighborhood  and our current members. We take careful considerations of the design of the space, the amenities, and events that will be held there. But do we think about how the pricing structure affects the culture?

Coworking in Medellin Colombia

Post Author: Eddie Arrieta.

Without a doubt Medellin is one of the most important and recognized cities in Latin-america. It is evident that the difficult that came as a result of the growth and consolidation of Narco-traffic in Colombia have made many decide to leave. Fortunately, this panorama has changed in the last 10 years. Government and private institutions have made an effort to make of Medellín the next innovation center of Latin-America

The support given by government institutions such as Ruta N and iNNpulsa have helped entrepreneurs in the city. Likewise, there are local initiatives such Coffeegrid, which gives a plataform for discussion in topics such as innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. These spaces have provided young entrepreneurs a plce to do networking. Johanna Molina Co-Founder of Intern Latin America expresses that ¨Medellín City is more attractive than ever before¨. and she is not the only one ¨I can see how a digital initiative can grow in an environment like this¨ says Jesse Hopps CEO of Demand Metric.

Evidently, Medellin needs more than just one tool or institution to become a hub of entrepreneurial suggest. The ecosysten in Medellin, similar to others in Latin america, requires a different mindset. Such mentality should favor the entrepreneurial culture. This is why public and private organization in Medellin have become so crucial to the environment. Clearly, every actor involved in entrepreneurship has responsibility in this process and a role to play in the ecosystem.

Conrad Egusa and I have tried finding different ways to support entrepreneurship in Medellín. This is the reason why we founded  ESPACIO. This initiative started in October of 2012 in the heart of Parque Lleras an affluent area of this city. ESPACIO has partnered with: .CO INTERNET, the Founder Institute and Ruta N. Our goal is to cultivate and ecosystem of entrepreneurship, collaboration and networking in Medellin. We facilitate to entrepreneurs such as Ana Corena, founder of eSe Conectivo, the possibility of growing in a well located office, getting advice from mentors and co-workers and launching her startup successfully.

¨Co-Working¨ is a concept that goes beyond working at the same office. Co-Working, as well as startup life is way of living. For members of a Co-Working space it is almost required to collaborate. In fact entrepreneurs such as Giovanny Gomez Founder of GTEKSYS, sharing their ideas and supporting other entrepreneurs has become a common practice.

It evident that there is a lot of work to be done before Medellin can compete with the largest entrepreneurial centers of the world. However, the hard work of leaders and entrepreneurs in the city will continue transforming it into an innovation center. Every entrepreneur still needs to grow and to learn, but the tools they have available will help them get there. Medellin will certainly depend on the success of these entrepreneurs and their ideas. As Stacy Blackman President of Stacy Blackman Consulting mentioned ¨A profession needs to know where he is going. Never playing with ideas, but implementing them.¨

Eddie Arrieta is the Co-Founder, ESPACIO and tuCaribe. ESPACIO is the first Co-Working space in Medellin, Colombia. tuCaribe is the first tour operator in the Golfo de Morrosquillo, Colombia.

Austin Cospace’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem-as-a-Service Supports Accelerator in Serving Entrepreneurs Downtown

Post Author: Paul O’Brien.

cowork in austinEntrepreneurship took a leap forward today in Austin, Texas with the announcement by Cospace of their partnership with Capital Factory, a leading startup accelerator, in managing a new facility sponsored by the City of Austin through Austin Tech Live, downtown. Cospace recently reached an agreement with Capital Factory to manage operations of the 22,000 sq ft startup space and provide the entrepreneurial classes and events there to Austin’s startup community and entrepreneurs.

Austin Tech Live

An initiative supported with staff and resources through the Austin Chamber’s Opportunity Austin funding and executed through the Chamber’s Technology Partnership team, Austin Tech Live is the local initiative to develop a community of entrepreneurs working in a state of the art environment and coworking space in the core of Austin’s creative center – the downtown central business district of Austin.

The partnership is the first of many changes for Cospace in the expansion of it’s entrepreneurial ecosystem-as-a-serviceworkplace, business networking, resources, educational programming, and lean product development services — which helps entrepreneurs start, build, and grow companies.  Akin to SaaS (“Software as a Service”), Cospace serves members and entrepreneurs with the familiar meeting space, workplace, resources, as well as educational programming, project management and product development services, and business networking.

“We are excited to partner with Capital Factory to support the goal of furthering entrepreneurship in Austin,” Shared Kirtus Dixon, Co-founder of Cospace. “At Cospace, we believe that ‘Entrepreneurs Live and Work Everywhere’ and creating a hub of activity in downtown Austin will ignite the downtown economy and give startups and entrepreneurs the resources they need to build amazing businesses in Austin.”

Home to Austin Entrepreneurs

Cospace, known in Austin as the home to entrepreneurs focused on Lean business and product development, is a collaborative business community that has facilitated the launch of more than 50 products, supported nearly two dozen startups, and hosted over 1500 students through classes in technology and entrepreneurship. Cospace has reached more than 5000 entrepreneurs and professionals throughout the Austin community with affordable workspace solutions and meeting space, highly accessible event space, and classes and programs to help entrepreneurs build businesses.

Via the partnership, Cospace and Capital Factory will take coworking to the next level and ensure that startups have the space, resources, and training they need to succeed.

“Today more than ever, executing on ideas is key to success,” added Dixon. “Cospace increases your odds of success by bringing critical elements together: space, people, education, and resources.”

The Coworking Wiki: Building The Movement Together

Post Author: Kevin Skiena.

Imagine what would happen if McDonalds and Burger King shared recipes and business models, or if Comcast and Verizon viewed each other as allies in their efforts to bring cable and high-speed internet to everyone. In a capitalistic society, where competition is branded as the best way to keep prices low and the customer happy, openness and collaboration can work against your business interests. Why give away your advantages?

Enter coworking. The values of coworking are openness, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, and community. These qualities may seem to fly in the face of capitalism. Why should we share? How can my business thrive if someone else is diluting my presence in the marketplace by offering the same services?

We can easily forget that two companies marketing the same service are, in a sense, marketing for each other. What our community has to offer – the exact reason why collaboration suits us better than competing – is the individuality and uniqueness of the communities we create. Space owners and operators recognize that chief among their goals is to foster feelings of support and camaraderie. They may do this using particular techniques or activities, but even if another owner adopts the same practices, it would be impossible to produce the same results. Coworking works as a business model because of our intense desire to feel part of a community, and no matter how much of our techniques we share, every community will be different. Jacob Sayles, Coworking Wiki Upgrade Project Director and Co-founder of Office Nomads, thinks of new coworking space owners in his area as business partners. “When I hear that a new coworking space is opening in Seattle, I want to meet the people opening it,” he says. “I want to buy them drinks.”

A Platform for Growth and Collaboration

The Coworking Wiki was formed as a way to grow the movement and share our values. It’s a free, community-owned and operated web tool meant to help anyone looking to start, find, and run a coworking space. It offers shared business plans and advice. It has links to well-researched press about the movement. It showcases collaborative efforts between spaces, like the Coworking Visa program, which allows a freelancer or small business entrepreneur the use of an office while traveling in another city. The wiki allows us to aggregate and organize all of these resources in one place while reviewing its content and ensuring its neutrality. Today it is one of the top 3 web search results for “coworking” (behind Wikipedia and It’s highly visible, averaging about 500 hits a day, and it’s often one of the first places people new to coworking will go to learn about the movement. But there’s a problem . . .

Until now, the wiki’s content has been moderated by a small group of dedicated volunteers. The movement has grown exponentially, and the demands of keeping the wiki organized and up-to-date have simply become too much for the same level of commitment. Many links on the wiki are broken or misleading. Section heads are missing content, and contact information is outdated. Many wiki visitors feel overwhelmed or lost. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The Upgrade Project

The wiki has amazing potential to help new space catalysts, owners, and bring new people to the movement, and we want to help it live up to that promise. A small team of Seattle-based coordinators are working on a plan to improve the wiki’s content while creating a framework to keep it organized and maintained long into the future. We’ve identified the wiki’s key stakeholders, and we want to restructure the site using the concerns of these groups as a guide. We are working for discounted rates and volunteering our time in order to make this happen, but we can’t do it alone.

How You Can Help


Are you great an organizing and consolidating information? Maybe you’re more of a people-person. Our volunteer coordinator, Sarah Cox of Cospace, is assembling a list of is coordinating wiki volunteers and would love to hear from you if you have some time to chip in.

Join the Team

Going forward, the wiki will be moderated and organized by small team of coworking space employees. Their work on the project will become part of their regular job functions (no overtime necessary), and we expect wiki obligations to occupy no longer than 5 hours/week. We are looking for at least 3 more team members willing to make a one-year commitment. If you are an employee of a coworking space, or run a coworking space and are willing to dedicate up to 5 hours/week of your paid time to the project, we’d love to talk to you about joining the effort.


Your contributions allow for the recruitment and training of new team members, community outreach efforts, and the development of a map-based, searchable Coworking Directory. Our passionate team is fully committed to seeing this through, and they can’t do it without your financial support. Please think about how you could benefit from the shared resources of an upgraded Coworking Wiki and, if you’re able, consider making a contribution.

Spread the Word, and Give Us Feedback

First and foremost in our minds is that this is a community project. Please subscribe to our blog or follow us on twitter. Track our progress, share this information with other community members, and don’t hesitate to let us know what you think.

23 Ways Coworking Will Change Your Career (and Your Life) for the Better

Post Author: gerard.

I’m a writer and when I tell people I rent office space, I can tell they’re often thinking, “what a waste of money.” I mean, sure, I could work at home and save a little cash. We have an extra room with a door and everything. But, honestly, there are so many benefits to my coworking membership that I wouldn’t give it up any sooner than my iPhone.

Here are just a few of the ways coworking can change your life and career:

1. You’ll get twice as much work done at your new co-working desk than you did at home. Really and truly. It’s reverse peer pressure or something.

2. That side project you’re trying to launch? Now you work side-by-side with a bunch of writers, designers, developers and video people who can help you make it happen.

3. Your client needs a big website? But you can only handle part of the project? See number two. Now you can assemble a team to meet those needs in a flash. Or earn some brownie points with a referral.

4. Avoid elderly shut-in syndrome. Seriously, there’s magic just to getting out of the house and talking with real people. Your cat has already heard ALL your best stories.

5. Keep work from bleeding into every corner of your personal life. It’s easier to create a healthy work/life balance when “leaving it at the office” doesn’t refer to the spare bedroom.

6. You’ll effortlessly keep up with all the latest Internet memes. Like this one. Or maybe this one. And I’ll go ahead and throw in a totally self-serving link.

7. It solves annoying business problems. After whining about bookkeeping, my office mates introduced me to a wondrous thing known as Fresh Books.

8. You’ll build and expand your professional network. Even when you’re too busy to make it to that Meetup/event/cocktail thing-y that you didn’t really want to go to anyway.

9. Your grandma will start to think you have a real job. Maybe your mom, too. It’s something about going to an office that impresses the older relatives.

10. Have you looked at your tax bill yet? Your co-working membership is one more awesome thing to decrease your taxable income.

11. Creative energy is contagious. Being around other people working on awesome projects makes you more excited about your awesome projects.

12. If you’re a parent with kids at home, I hear it’s delightful to work in an adults-only space. No crying or tantrums or impromptu Candyland games (well, most of the time).

13. You’ll have people to bounce ideas off in real time. Not sure if that headline is too nutty? Or need advice on a client issue? Ask your desk neighbor.

14. There’s almost always beer and wine in the fridge. And no one cares if you break it out at, say, 3:30 on a Friday afternoon.

15. Wow, you now have two conference rooms at your disposal for client meetings. Or just to take a private phone call. Aren’t you fancy?

16. When you do decide to go to a Meetup/event/cocktail thing-y to network, you won’t have to go far. We host a bunch of them right here in the space.

17. Want to hold an event for you own industry or professional group? Your membership gives you 24/7 access to the space, and you can hold those events here for free.

18. Umm, sunshine=happiness. And we work in an awesome light-filled loft in a historic building. We’re even convinced there might be a secrete passageway somewhere.

19. You’ll sound (and be smarter) in all those client meetings. It’s easier to keep up with what’s going on in the business and tech worlds when you have office mates.

20. You can still work at home when you feel like it. I do it a couple days a week. A coworking membership doesn’t cost all that much, so you don’t have to feel bad about not going every day.

21. You’ll have real-life co-workers again, but no boss. Or weird corporate rules about what you can put on your desk. It’s the best of both worlds.

22. We know all the awesome lunch spots. And want you to come with us. Just be prepared to hear about the latest Internet meme (see # 6).

23. Co-workers are better than a personal cheerleading squad. They want your business—and your most offbeat side projects—to be smashing successes.

Did you make it all the way to the end of this post? You should definitely set up a time to drop in and work with us. We’re even better in person.

– Written by Michelle Taute, Cincinnati Coworks Member, @michelletaute

Evolved: Regus to Coworking.

Post Author: Craig Baute.

Since Regus claimed a few weeks ago to be the pioneers of coworking in the late 1980s a lot of coworking evangelists, myself included, were struck by their audacity to rewrite coworking’s origin story. The coworking community loves to share how coworking emerged from San Francisco in 2005 when the Hat Factory opened and the community-driven concept quickly spread throughout the world with the help of Jelly! But after reading Alex Hillman’s post about the many histories of coworking it made me realize that Regus did partially pave the way for coworking as it is today by creating a new type of work space and business model even, though the two models stand apart now.

So what did Regus teach us?
Regus and many other similar executive suites emerged in the 1980 and 1990s as the workplace changed and responded to new technologies – personal computers, networking, fax machines, the dial-up Internet. The new technology allowed for workers to leave their corporate offices to telecommute from home or start their own business and rent an office in a executive suite. Executives suites shared some spaces, which is how Regus claims to be a founder of coworking, but were designed to provide a perception of stature while sharing some office resources and services. However, they were designed with physical barriers of walls and cubicles to provide seclusion and privacy.

Regus was pioneer in the executive suite industry and did prove that people want to get out of the house to work, that sharing resources could lower expenses, and that there was a market for workplaces sold at the individual level. They might have proved that tiered monthly plans was a viable business model, but I’m not sure. All of these lessons helped lead us to modern coworking.

How coworking evolved from Regus.
There have many great posts about the difference between coworking and executive suites so I wanted to think more about what caused coworking to emerge and people’s relationship with the space since executive suites first opened. Coworking was a reaction to and enabled by technology, just as Regus was decades ago. Instead of the 80s and 90s technology allowing for people to work remotely coworking was a reaction to mobility. New wireless technology allowed for coworkers to share more resources and eliminate the need for a dedicated space since people could work anywhere with a wireless signal. The freedom to move around and still be connected changed how coworkers were able to design and relate to work spaces which lead to the coworking transformation from the Regus business model.

Cultural shift: Coworking eliminated walls, lowered the price, and let people talk.
Coworking started out and continues to be a relationship between people and between space. Coworking spaces tore down walls and built relationships between people instead of things.

Minimal physical ownership of a designated space drove coworkers to think of the space as a collective ‘ours’ and contribute to its evolving form. This is drastically different than the relationship that Regus creates between its members and the space they rent. Regus members have a designated space they can make their own office, but otherwise they provide a cookie-cutter utilitarian space. Regus creates a relationship that is transactional between two companies versus a growing partnership with vested interest found in a coworking community.

Coworking spaces have also managed to keep prices low and flexible in most instances by sharing resources. Modern wireless and web technology have changed what workers use with  daily carrier mail and phone calls replaced by email elminating the need for many of the extra services provided by Regus. Many coworking spaces share speedy Wifi, an address, a printer, meeting rooms, chairs, desks, and other resources. Coworking realized that many people just want a plug, quality coffee, and amazing people around. This extreme form of collaborative consumption enabled by technology allowed for membership prices to be low and flexible because of the reduced expenses compared to Regus’ model. The new lower prices allows for a diverse culture of freelancers just starting out, funded startups, and remote workers to come together in one community.

This all leads to coworking’s greatest divergence/evolution from Regus; a culture of openness and community between a full range of skills and experience. Coworking communities want people to talk and connect. A coworking community is not about proprietary information and secrets but learning together and friendship.

Did Regus contribute to coworking community? Yes. Were they leaders and founders of the coworking movement? No. Regus contributed in their own way to the changing work space but they have a different vision and that’s okay.

This article was contributed by Craig Baute. Craig runs Creative Density in Denver and has other posts on their blog

What are the differences between Office Rental Facilities, Startup Incubators, and Coworking Spaces?

Post Author: Tony Bacigalupo.

Tony Bacigalupo is the Mayor of New Work City, a coworking space and community center for independents in NYC. This post originally appeared on Tony’s personal blog, HappyMonster.

The world of work is changing, and that means times of transition. We’re in just such a time now when it comes to places that independents work, with old models being repurposed, new ideas coming online, and mishmoshes galore.

To help navigate this tumult, I am going to describe three basic categories into which any given space might likely fall. Some places fit pretty purely into one category, while some very deliberately attempt to cross all of the categories.

Generally speaking, however, every place has a primary reason for existing, and those can usually be pretty easy to spot. This constitutes my best attempt at helping clarify the core differences between these things.

Office Rental Facilities

Primary reason for existence: Rent space at a profit 

These are organizations whose business models are primarily based around taking a piece or several pieces of real estate, cutting it up into smaller pieces, adding services, and sub-leasing the space out at a profit.

The market is made up of businesses that, for one reason or another, require the privacy and services of an office without necessarily wanting to lease an office of their own. That might mean one-man operations or large teams.

This industry is useful because it makes office space accessible to smaller businesses whose founders are not in a position to take on spaces of their own. These kinds of facilities have been around in New York in various forms for decades.

They compete on location, price, and services. Some are more full-service than others. Sunshine Suites positions themselves as offering lots of basic business services for an extremely affordable price, while something like eEmerge caters to an audience interested in prime midtown location and higher end services.

They generally do not have a formal application process, but may have long-term obligations, sign up fees, criminal background checks, and upcharge for additional services. The relationship is one of landlord-tenant.

Startup Incubators

Primary reason for existence: Stimulate high-growth venture-backed startups

These are places whose models are a little less straightforward, as their success is defined by the growth of the companies they house. They are often subsidized by an entity whose interest is in economic development, like government agencies, or investment firms who hope to discover promising young companies to add to their portfolio.

The market is specifically people with ambitions to build high-growth companies, who do not already have access to what they would need to build their businesses.

In theory, they are useful because they take talented new entrepreneurs and provide them guidance, education, resources, and connections to propel them forward as growing businesses.

They compete to attract and develop talented and ambitious startup founders. Since incubators are subsidized, they provide services at a value higher than whatever it may cost to participate. In some cases, the programs are free.

They always have an application process of some kind. You must fulfill some basic criteria which may include the number of principals, the age of the company, the amount of existing funding, the existence of a prototype, and the industry the company operates within.

Coworking Spaces

Primary reason for existence: Facilitate a healthy community of independents

The newest entrants into the arena, these are organizations that offer membership to a community of like-minded people in a central gathering space. While some may treat these memberships as effectively the same thing as what one might find in an office rental facility, a coworking space does not compete as one.

Uniquely, coworking spaces are often organized organically as a community first before a business entity is formed. They tend to be part of a global movement that generally subscribes to core values of community, openness, collaboration, sustainability, and accessibility.

The market is focused on people who don’t need office space or incubator programs, but access to a place and community to plug into on their own terms. That could mean individuals or small teams whose work doesn’t require much more than a desk and an internet connection. This appeals to groups that the other two industries do not cater to, including: freelancers, contractors, telecommuters, and travelers.

Coworking spaces are open to all who play nicely. They almost always offer a drop-in option, so you need not even be a member to participate. Membership options generally range from single days to 24×7 access, with part-time options offered in between.

Coworking spaces distinguish themselves by their communities. Every coworking community has a different culture, so finding the best personal fit is paramount.

Similarities and Differences

Each area has its merits and drawbacks, but more importantly, it’s important to understand what is most useful to you and your needs. You’re less likely to bump into a potential investor at an office rental facility than you are at an incubator, for example, but you’re far more likely to find a customer or a cofounder in a coworking community than anywhere else.

New Work City, the space I help to run, is a coworking space. It is not an office rental facility, though membership does include basic office services. It is not a startup incubator, though we do house and nurture many successful startups.

We don’t exist to maximize return on our real estate; we simply want to cover the costs we incur and maintain a sustainable model. We empower individuals to get out of the community as much as they put in. Your application process is your own participation, and nothing more. People who don’t fit in weed themselves out.

Most importantly, the office rental facilities and startup incubators service the needs of businesspeople. These people have more or less existed forever. Coworking spaces service the needs of people who do something they care about, while their business entity, if any, may act more as a means to an end. They are communities of practice, where people go to work on their craft.

It is that latter group of people I find the most interesting. In light of everything that is happening in the world right now, the notion of making a living doing something you believe in on your own terms is a liberating one. In it may lie answers to repairing our economy.

By building services and doing things to help people start and maintain healthy independent careers, we have an opportunity to make a really fantastic opportunity to make a long-lasting positive impact on the world.


Coworking Spaces and Nomad Workers in Japan

Post Author: Tomomi Sasaki.

Coworking is a growing worldwide movement, and Japan is no exception. Although known for its culture of long working hours and office-bound work style — traditions ingrained into the psyche of the salaried worker — the shift to coworking is not perhaps as surprising as it may seem.

View Coworking / Jelly! Map in a larger map

The phase “nomad worker” hit mainstream consciousness with the publication of “You don’t need an office to work – The Nomad Workstyle” by popular writer Toshinao Sasakiin July, 2009. The conversation was taken to the next level by the earthquake on March 11th and the events that followed. With Tokyo facing several weeks of severely disrupted work and months of reduced electricity usage, the conversation around alternative methods of working naturally accelerated, from daylight savings time to a renewed interest in freelancing. Coworking was among these.

Read the full article on Global Voices

Coworking: No, it’s not an Office

Post Author: Robert Wayne.

I’ll get to the meat quickly but first you must know, my passion for coworking erupted like many house fires, unexpected in the night.

One early morning between 4:00 AM and 9:00 AM this blinding surge became a blueprint to open a coworking space in downtown Salt Lake City. I don’t know where the idea came from… it was just there. I don’t remember ever hearing the term coworking before, but one thing was clear, it was time to open a coworking office.

To me coworking is truly about, collaboration: a unified, high-impact, high-energy workspace. Not really an office at all.

The passion I feel for the community, this collaboration, is blazing inside me. You’ve surely felt it before working on a choice project. Coworking is a blazing fire.

If you want an office, you can go to one of many virtual suites. You’ll get a posh facade and a killer address for your business card. You’ll pay twice as much as most coworking joints and you’ll get a box office that maybe has a window. This isn’t coworking.

To me coworking is about energy first, it’s about the harmony that happens when two or more like-minded people are in proximity focusing on the same thing. In this case, building something, working –coworking. And now that I think about it, coworking is really a mastermind.  The kind that Napoleon Hill swears will change your life.

So I think you can see that coworking is really, not an office. Truly it is more of a mastermind with a footprint.

About the Author: Robert Wayne is a philanthropist, investor, urban mystic, educator, and fund manager. To date he has made millions in real estate, is currently creating a salt lake city coworking mastermind, and notability… has walked on fire TWO three times.

How to Attract Women to Coworking

Contributed by Angel Kwiatkowski of the Cohere Coworking Community in Fort Collins, CO.

Ladies of Cohere wear their Bike to Work tees designed by Suzanne (middle).

Since Cohere opened in 2010 we’ve maintained about a 1:1 female/male ratio. We didn’t think this was odd until people started asking us, “how can you possibly attract that many women?!” Our short answer is: women beget women via word of mouth. The long answer is below…

Men might fit into the popular ideal of what a freelance digital professional looks like. But in the coworking world, women are giving this stereotype a run for its money.

The Global Coworking Survey found that “most coworkers are in their mid twenties to late thirties, with an average age of 34. Two-thirds are men, one third are women.”

But some communities exist in complete opposition to these statistics. And those spaces that are predominantly male are very interested in reaching out to connect with what some consider the untapped freelancing audience: women.

Attracting talented, motivated women to coworking must be done delicately, however. Coworking space owners must not perpetuate damaging perceptions by thinking that a few women-only events and some girly decor will do the trick…read the full post on Cohere’s blog.