Why we turned an old house into a coworking space

I have described how coworking communities can usually be started anywhere as long as an engaged community agrees on it. Spaces are adaptable and the physical demands of a coworking space are not that high. However, many of your new community members will take location into consideration with over 54% saying that location was their primary reason for joining. With less than $20,000 to spend on starting Creative Density I chose an 1920’s 3,500 sq. ft.  house in an urban neighborhood to start my coworking space. After five years of being open with an additional location added I thought it […]

Grand Rapids’ Coworking Scene

Grand Rapids is the home to Grand Valley State University (where I spent 4 wonderful years) and nearly a dozen other universities that help make it Michigan’s second largest city and the largest in West Michigan. It is nicknamed the furniture capital with Steelcase, Herman Miller, and Haworth planting it’s headquarters nearby. It’s design focused city that is famous for it’s public art competition, Art Prize, and creative culture wrapped in it’s Midwest humble demeanor. Left Right Boom Downtown Grand Rapids http://leftrightboom.com/ Category: Traditional coworking Left Right Boom is a new coworking space that is a community coworking space focused on […]

This printer saved my coworking space a lot of money and won my love

After starting a coworking space in Toronto with one of those big commercial printers that stand four feet tall and spits out 90 pages a minute I knew that’s not what I wanted for my second space, Creative Density. The big fancy printer was impressive but had complicated controls, needed a separate computer for wireless printing, required a maintenance man to fix really any problem, and was an electricity hog. Ew. Plus, it’s not what my community needed. It was a selling point my partner thought we would get members with. Wrong. The community wanted: Easy to use Wireless printing […]

The Start of Starting A Coworking Community

It is often said that a coworking community is started before there is even a leased signed. That’s because coworking happens when a group of people working on a variety of projects come together to work, share ideas, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s when these people start getting together on a regular basis that someone suggest they should get their own space and make coworking a regular part of their work life. In the mid to late 2000s Jelly advocated such gatherings that eventually lead to the first large growth of the coworking movement around 2009. So how does […]

Has coworking lost it’s meaning in Denver?

Denver is in a ‘coworking’ boom. It seems obvious as a new space or expansion is announced what seems to be every week. According to news reports, RiNo will have around 6 spaces, LoDo 4 or so, the 16th Street Mall will go from 0 to 4 or 5 in about twelve months, the Golden Triangle will rock 2, 1 in Capitol Hill, 1 in Uptown, and Stapleton might get 3. The new spaces are not small spaces either, but rather mammoths that range from 20,000 sq. ft to close to 100,000 sq. ft. At this rate Denver will have […]

How we conduct coworking feasibility studies

Is my city ready for another coworking space? How big should my community space be? Does it make business sense? How can our small town leverage coworking? These are all questions I’ve been asked during the last few months as I have been working with a variety of teams on coworking feasibility studies for property developers, economic development groups, and entrepreneurs that are interested in joining the movement. It’s been a fun and interesting experience as I get to put back on my market researcher cap, and take an academic approach to discovering coworking viability in a market. So what […]

The coworking furniture equation

When I was opening up Creative Density in Denver I was finding space, talking to potential members, and crunching the business spreadsheet. I knew that the space was going to cost a few thousand a month, internet was going to be around a hundred, but then I kept getting slapped in the face – a chair is $400! Dang dude. One off $400 chairs are good but once you multiply that by 20 to 40 then numbers creep past $10,000 FAST. Once you start adding up desks, decorations, and technology stuff you’re up to over $20,000. That’s starting to be […]

Introverts find a place in coworking

‘All I need is quiet space and fast internet?’ While giving a tour last week to a quiet guy, he mentioned that he lives in the neighborhood but is interested in getting out of the house.  He was familiar with the coworking concept and had checked out our website, so we began the tour.  I started the tour in the communal side of Creative Density, where music is usually playing and conversations are taking place.  He let me know that he wants to work in a quieter space, I said ‘No Worries” and we headed into the quieter room, the […]

Remembering why I started a coworking company

Over Christmas I went back to my small hometown in southwest Michigan and former stomping grounds of Chicago and Grand Rapids, MI. I left with an energized spirit after being reminded of coworking’s potential to shape cities and lives. Since I live in the coworking bubble I think of it as the norm and returning to economically hard hit Michigan and traditional manufacturing towns reminded me what inspired me to start a coworking community. I wanted to use a space to develop a support system and place where people could feel comfortable going out on their own or take a […]

How coworking spaces can engage with larger companies

Why this is cool: Corporations like Sprint and Coca-Cola are repurposing space to be used as a coworking space for their workers and the public. It starts as a way to give back to their local community. Local entrepreneurs and remote workers use the space to collaborate on new businesses, learn, and make new connections. Corporate workers are hesitant at first to cowork at the space but find the location change and community inspiring and this increases their creativity. It becomes a reciprocal beneficiary relationship where locals have a supportive community and corporations have an environment where innovation and company […]