Eclau: Opening a Coworking Space in Lausanne, Switzerland

Coworking Move 9I’m thrilled to announce that we are currently moving into our new coworking space, Eclau, in Lausanne, Switzerland. I’m Stephanie Booth, by the way. Here’s a post (in French) with some photos of today’s work. We have a wiki where I’m trying to get the other members to contribute too ;-).

The space will be opening next week (we’re getting the keys on Monday and then making a big hole in a wall, between two rooms).

We offer 3 types of membership:

  • Fixed: members have their own desk, 300 CHF/month (250 when paying six months in advance)
  • “Floating” (“Flying” in French, but it doesn’t translate well): members don’t have their own desk but use the common spaces, 150 CHF/month
  • “Nomad”: like “Floating”, but members can’t leave anything in the space, 100 CHF/month

There are currently 3 fixed members and 3 floating members signed up, plus myself, for a 112 m2 surface. We will be walling off part of the space in December to create a meeting room.

If ever you’re in Lausanne, please let us know (Twitter @eclau or just contact me) and drop in!

BizDevHouse: Oakland, CA

Open House tomorrow

grand opening in 2 weeks

Did the Mayor declare this coworking week in Oakland or something while I was outta town? East Bay spaces in general and Oakland spaces in particular seem to be proliferating all of a sudden. 

There’s not just Derby Creek Coworking Cooperative on Telegraph Ave. in North Oakland at the Berkeley border fresh on the scene (where this past Monday’s orientation meeting featuring a Concord coworking space creator and a Berkeley Coworking founder is a topic for another post). It’s much more than the meeting last night at a co-creative incubator-esque social-venture shared space that’s been together since 2003 just two blocks from my home, NextNow Collaboratory. What popped up today on my radar is another new coworking space in Oaktown

BizDevHouse coworking in Oakland, CA
BizDevHouse coworking in Oakland, CA

BizDevHouse is in the lower Oakland hills/Glenview area, in what looks like a house (a la Cambridge’s BetaHouse) a block off of the neighborhood’s community-oriented commercial strip (Park Street), close to the Montclair neighborhood and MacArthur bus corridor (with frequent 24-hour AC Transit trans-bay service to San Francisco) and 580/13 freeways, one exit up from Grand/Lakeshore business district and Lake Merritt/downtown, near Piedmont and the Parkway Speakeasy theatre with sofas, and also close to the Dimond District and upper Fruitvale neighborhoods. A couple of miles from the BART subway, with a little hill-climbing involved; a similar trek from Berkeley or the downtown Oakland/Oaksterdam, Piedmont, or Rockridge neighborhoods. 

One of the BizDevHouse workspaces
One of the BizDevHouse workspaces (photos on CL)

I first learned of BizDevHouse via a MeetUp alert this morning. It officially opens September 2 (please remove all playa dust before bringing in your laptop), and seems to feature iPhone app developers and seeks Mac developers and “creative tech folks” in general. Another listing adds marketing people to the list, promising a “great place for people who can work virtually but understand the value of creative collaboration.”


BizDevHouse sites

BizDevHouse WordPress blog featuring just the obligatory “Hello, World” post so far: 

BizDevHouse MeetUp group (featuring tomorrow’s open house): 

Open House event listing: 
Tomorrow (Thurs.), 4-8 PM 

Craig’s List ad, including photos:

I’m looking forward to seeing the space and meeting the people behind it. Based on certain clues embedded in the sites linked above, I think I already know some of ’em. 

Raines Cohen, Coworking Coach
Planning for Sustainable Communities (Berkeley, CA)

Quick update from Cowo Milano, Italy.

Hi everybody! As summer steps in, coworkers seem to step out, here in Milano…

In fact, even if we are full booked at the moment (5 desks), we haven’t had much attendance in the office these past weeks, and I wonder if the season has something to do with it.

Furthermore, August is a month rather “slow” here in Italy (most companies/offices/stores close at least two weeks), so these days we are checking who’ll be around and who won’t for the rest of the summer.

To our pleasure, we have received a one-day visit from a blog-friend and are expecting someone from the US too (are you anywhere near here, Susan?).

Besides attendance and visits, we have improved the cowo site (blog, that is) with a list of coworking spaces in Europe and the rest of the world – thanks also to the excellent list provided in the cw wiki – along with few more “coworking resources” such as links to cw videos from Youtube and the wiki, cw photos from Flickr, cw blogs from Technorati… we are open to suggestions and of course ready to include your site, if you like. (Just leave a comment or write to me- max(at)

Last but not least, we are doing a networking effort with a linkedin group we called “friends of cowo-coworking” which counts, at the moment, 43 members from many countries.

The feeling we have is that coworking is taking its course, and we try to go along with it – developing it but also understanding it… it’s good to see people settling down in your place and feeling good about it, we consider ourselves lucky to have such little community, what we mean to do right now is to keep providing such a service and aventually find ways of imrpoving it, but without any rush.

I’d like to get into deeper considerations about cw, but I don’t feel ready yet, cowo is only 3 mos. old…

So, thank you for reading this, and ciao from Milano!

Introducing GiraffeLabs, Seattle

We’re entering out second month at GiraffeLabs in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle.  GiraffeLabs is a relaxed space where you can come to work, talk and play. We seek to encourage creativity by surrounding ourselves with creative people. We’re geeks, artists, engineers, makers, musicians, and computer scientists.

GiraffeLabs also plays host to Saturday House (on saturday’s of course) and next Thursday, June 5th we’ll be having a little bit of an open house to coincide with First Thursdays Open Art Studios in our building (well we are at 620 Alaskan, and the art studios are in 619 Western, but it is really one building with 2 entries.)

So come on down and visit with us on thursday evening.  I’m sure well be there from around 6 to 8 at least.

FYI, we don’t have regular office hours yet.

Werk in progress

Coworking at The Werks

The Werks is a coworking space in Brighton & Hove (UK). It launched in January 2008 with a challenge of filling up over 6,000 sq ft of creative space – a mixture of open plan desk & coworking space, enclosed office space and the events space.

There are 3 of us behind the project and has been entirely self funded (time and money wise). We have discovered that whilst it is a lot of hard work it is really rewarding to see it come together. The excitement of people’s faces is worth all the blood, sweat and tears that comes with trying to make it all work.

Happy Ben

The Werks has and is all about community, where we hope it will be the best local hub – where anyone can really participate. Open Coworking every Friday has proven so popular that we have opened it up to every day of the week. Very popular with the community is the range of free and low cost events (educational and social) that we or community members organise, these give people the opportunity to sample what we are all about and to participate in a variety of different ways.

It’s not a complete surprise, but are we finding that our open and transparent approach is the best marketing tool. People are talking about us, making recommendations, coming to open coworking and events and feeling the positive vibe going on. It is because of this that we are pretty close to full capacity.

We are only at the beginning of our journey and very much looking forward to the future.

Coworking on NPR’s Marketplace


NPR’s Marketplace aired a short piece on Jelly and coworking on Monday, along with the above video.

I’ve always liked the synergy and compatibility between Jelly as a gateway to full fledged coworking, and that this story blends the two initiatives speaks to fact that on ramps like Jellies and Juntos (in Philly) are great ways to coalesce the ingredients to coworking communities.

Citizen Desk no more; party tonight

Citizen Desk (Wausau, WI) coworking - saying farewellThe citizens of Wausau (WI) are deskless! Or at least Citizen Desk-less.

As of last Saturday, there will no longer be “physical” space called CitizenDesk. We’ve shut down the office space.

I’m hoping to interview the space founder, Marcus Nelson, to do a more-detailed failure analysis and find some lessons that other coworking organizers and catalysts can learn from. He does give some clues, however, in his farewell message on the space blog, as he looks in the rear view mirror and notes the “slow adoption rate” of new ideas in the town:

Had I had more time to do it all over again, I would have first focussed on building up the local Web Community, like the idea of organizing the Jellys & a Web715 network (which should still move forward under someone else’s stewardship). Getting a group of like-minded people together takes time – especially in a smaller market like Wausau. My good friend Alex says all the time – community, community, community! I suspect that’ll be the way I do it next time.

Although the physical space may be no more, the community continues, marking the occasion tonight with brews flowing at Red Eye Brewery starting at 7. Let’s all virtually join them from afar, raising a glass to toast the coworking that was… and the coworking that will be… in Wausau and around the world. — Raines

It happens in Milano.

44 days afrter opening, Cowo Milano sees some interesting facts happening.

1- Mostly small groups seem to be interested in our coworking initiative. First a group of architects, then a group of 4 designers, then again 3 professionals… it made us think. Having 5 desks to offer, would we rather go for a rather nice monthly income, settled for a long time (all of them needed a place for the long run) and practically abandon the coworking idea, or refuse these offers to stick to a more open way, allowing only single or mini-teams of professionals, and leaving the coworking door open? Well, we chose the latter, both because we want to give a try to coworking (otherwise we wouldn’t be here) and also because we don’t feel like hosting groups that are larger than ours (we are 3).

2 – Coworking is raising interest in the italian media. On radio and national press (D di Repubblica recently published an article about cw, I’m trying to find it to post it). A couple of journalist have called to get info and get in touch for future interviews.

3 – Coworkers are finding us. Actually we have two regulars (a yacht designer and a new media consultant) and a third one should arrive in the next few days. All of them are interested in staying for a medium-range period and maybe longer.

4 – I really wanted a video to show what the Cowo is like, so ? pikced up the videocamera and did it. Here it is. Ciao from the Cowo!


Face Time: Building the coworking community

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Alex Hillman of Phildelphia coworking space, IndyHall, about finding your niche as an owner of coworking space and than reaching that niche. Coworking spaces vary greatly in their audience. While coworking is about openness and community, each space has its own character and appeals to different groups. Alex wisely pointed out that each space has to build its community in order to be successful.

The face time is absolutely key to the success of any coworking community. There have been several posts recently on the google group about advertising, running events and building membership. To create the community that gets people in the door, you absolutely must put in the faceup. Alex tells a great tale about all the meetups he went to for a month or two before he even signed a lease. In his words, he was looking for “cool, interesting people who might also work from home.” He spread the coworking idea, got interested members, and then signed the lease and got up and running. Of course, we all want successes like Alex.

Finding that niche that is the right audience for your group requires more than just connecting through blogs, online groups, and cyberspace, you need to talk to the people you think will use your space. And you may discover that you don’t always know who will use your space. I was confident our primary members of Cubes&Crayons would be entrepreneurs. As of today, our membership, with the exception of myself, completely lacks entrepreneurs. We have freelance workers in all walks of life from medical translators to biotech researchers to recruiters to professors. It had been a pleasant surprise to find that the common thread comes from the atmosphere we have created more than their careers. We provide a professional and inspirational coworking space. We have new members come in because they are impressed with how much they get done and how much they enjoy working at Cubes & Crayons. And of course, one of my personal favorites is the praise for the free gourmet chocolates available in our kitchen.

In building our community, although word of mouth has been tremendous and we have had some good press (more to come…look for it this weekend), the best marketing has involved simply a conversation. Whether I am talking about coworking to fellow volunteers at a board meeting or hosting a meetup or event at Cubes & Crayons, or going out to meetups and organization’s events, the best marketing is when I tell people about our site, my story, and/or our clients. People are interested in people. Forget that you are “selling” your service. It is about getting people connected to other people in a great community that somewhere has a common thread. We are hosting a blogging day on April 11th to encourage bloggers to come and blog in our space as well as share blogging stories and ideas with each other. I’ll let you know how it goes.

la cantine, coworking paris is now open

the coworking areaas my round the world tour of coworking places is now drawing to a close, i had a great opportunity to follow up on the status of la cantine, the parisian version of coworking. the place is a true hybrid between conference/meeting space, offices, hot desking and café. if you get a chance check out my summer interview of christophe, photos of the space or the long winded day i spent in paris interviewing like mined brothers and sisters.