Last week was the first annual Mobile Work Week in San Francisco and it was organized by the co-working space finder, Liquidspace. During this week-long event, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the co-working phenomenon and just how beneficial it is to not only the entrepreneur, but also other businesses and even local cities.
It all kicked off with a co-working “crawl” throughout San Francisco. Starting at Carr Workplace, event organizers brought Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty to speak about the effect co-working has had on his city. While disclosing his interest in the venue NextSpace, Mayor Coonerty did explain that co-working has helped bring a new change to Santa Cruz, all for the better. And just what exactly can co-working do to help cities? Well for one, it’s an economic boon…you’re creating jobs as a startup, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc and are also by working out of a coffee shop, co-working space, or other office, you’re also giving money to nearby local businesses that you’ll be shopping at for supplies, food, etc. And supporting co-working has been a boon for Santa Cruz, as Mayor Coonerty said that with startup entrepreneurs starting to co-work in his city, it’s helped bring some needed technology credibility to the city since more venture capitalists are paying attention to the emerging markets there. A win for everyone, it seems!
So now that we know a bit about the potential for co-working, what are we to do about it? Chances are that we all know someone who may have decided to start their own business and are on the cusp of hitting it big. But what if they have a big meeting coming up? Do you think that it’s the right thing to do to have the meeting take place in their home or apartment? You’re running a business…it wouldn’t hurt to have a place that shows that you’re a bit more professional. But you’re also not looking for an entire office to rent for the next year. So what are freelancers and entrepreneurs to do?
Well that’s where LiquidSpace comes in with their service. Resembling something like the “AirBnB of venue space“, LiquidSpace is a service that will connect you, the freelancer/entrepreneur, with any available participating spaces in your city and within your budgeted rent price range. From whether you want a conference room to a desk or to an actual office, there can be a lot of opportunities for businesses to connect with other people and grow. There are over 100 participating venues from around the world that you can choose from–and these are only those that are public. It seems that LiquidSpace also offers their services white labeled to other companies so that they can use it to have their own meeting room reservation system powered through their app. An example would be a venture capital firm setting up an incubator and offering their meeting rooms up for co-working opportunities. Rather than doing it through Google Calendar, LiquidSpace would be contracted to power the platform and help collect any or all financial consequences.
Let’s face it, if you’re starting out and doing your own business, you’re not going to want to stay home to do work. It’s going to drive you mad every day of the week. Instead, you’re going to want to be in a more productive environment where people know not to bother you, but it’s also not just another office. Some people can’t work out of a nearby coffee shop or their friend’s office for the day. So why not a co-working space like Citizen Space, the Hatchery, RocketSpace, etc.? Maybe some have specific needs that will work for you–this is what LiquidSpace will help you find out. Using their mobile applications, you can search for availabilities, browse by location, size, venue, ratings, the work environment, see photos, and more…and all the transactions are done through LiquidSpace’s secure payment processing platform.
I’d love to tell you more, but then again, I’d ruin this great spontaneous interview I had with Nanci Anderson, Head of Operations, for LiquidSpace while on their “co-working space venue crawl”. They’re really offering a great service to connect people with a lot of unknown venues that have been really instrumental as a way to get people talking with others and launching businesses. In this economy, with a high unemployment, perhaps starting your own business might be a way for some people to go to try something new…and LiquidSpace gives them, and everyone else, that opportunity to discover a new working space to help facilitate business, the economy, and to better connect us to one another.