Supported by Techspace

How co-working communities are supercharging digital businesses

By Chris Sutcliffe 9 November 2017

Hear from the members themselves.

A great office environment can make all the difference to a new business. As companies look to grow in an ever-evolving marketplace, the right premises can be essential in both attracting the best talent, and boosting the productivity and morale of their workforce.

Startups and new businesses are increasingly looking to new ways of inspiring innovation amongst their employees, and co-working spaces have become a popular solution, with over a million people expected to have used such a space by the end of 2017.

Using a co-working space can allow flexibility on rent and size, avoiding the pitfalls of overspending on expensive rent as businesses start out, with the opportunity to expand their space as their company, and team, grows. With numerous ventures basing themselves in the same space, startups have the chance to build a community within their industry, making contacts and sharing innovations and best practice.

With desks for freelancers, rooms for small teams and even floors for larger companies keen to reap the benefits of co-working, Techspace has become a go-to in London. The tech-focussed space houses 1,500 members across six premises in East London, with a Berlin expansion on the way.

So what kind of companies choose Techspace, and what benefits have their businesses seen from joining the space? We spoke to three residents to discuss what co-working meant to them.

A team talks outside of the Techspace office.

Apps for Good Heather Picov, UK Director

Tell us about Apps for Good

Apps for Good courses get students working in teams to solve issues that matter to them or their communities by creating apps, games and smart products; whilst encouraging girls and students facing barriers to success to engage with technology.

Why did you join Techspace?

We wanted to be part of the wider tech community; to be surrounded by other innovative companies we could collaborate with and learn from.

What did you like about Techspace?

It’s our communities of educators, volunteers, students and corporate partners that help us do what we do, and Techspace shares this value of community. They have also worked with us to understand what’s important to us as an organisation and our needs for our work space.

Why choose a shared working space over a private premises?

We’re a small, close-knit team of 12 people. We’re also constantly in and out of meetings and have some team members who work remotely, so we all really like being part of a larger hub, allowing us to network on a daily basis and not always be inward looking.

What is your best memory of your time Techspace?

It’s exciting to see Techspace grow and to be on that journey with them.

What’s next for Apps for Good?

We’ve just received £1.2m of funding from the Big Lottery Fund to grow our programme across the UK. We’re also continuing to enhance our course content for emerging technologies such as machine learning.

The Plentific Team

Plentific – Cem Savas, Co-founder

What does Plentific do?

We’re a proptech startup and leading home services marketplace in the UK. We allow tenants, homeowners, landlords and tradesmen to transact in a safe online platform. We are the exclusive partner to a growing number of well-known consumer brands such as Zoopla, B&Q, Wayfair, Planning Portal and Notting Hill Housing.

Why did you join Techspace?

We joined Techspace as we were looking for a modern, friendly office space, that could accommodate all of our needs as we grow our startup. We also wanted to be in the right location so we have access to recruit the best talent.

What did you like about Techspace?

We really liked the sense of community, not just within our office space, but across all Techspace offices. The room to grow and expand is key for us, as that’s what we see happening all the time, and the ability to work among other startup tech companies is great for us to be able to integrate.

Why choose a shared working space over private premises?

We’re a startup, so shared space allows us the flexibility to grow. We’ve recently added an extra floor to accommodate our expanding sales and operations team without having to move office. If we were in a private office, it would have been likely to be a costly move, plus the organisation would have been time consuming.

What is your best memory of your time at Techspace?

We’ve been at Techspace for a while now, and we’ve been through a funding round which is a great memory. This has allowed us to go from sharing a few desks, to watching our company blossom within the same office location.

What’s next for Plentific?

We have a lot of exciting developments in the pipeline. Driving growth through marketing, launching new partnerships and continuing to build the best product in our industry.

Andy Bellass

hibob  Andy Bellass,  CSO

What does hibob do?

We are an online HR, benefits and employee engagement platform. hibob gives HRs control over their admin, gives CEOs visual insights into the people in their business, and engages employees with the business and each other.

Why did you join Techspace?

We joined Techspace because we are growing rapidly and wanted our own office space, but somewhere that would be flexible and offer a fully-serviced space.

What did you like about Techspace?

Apart from the contract flexibility, we really like that Techspace takes care of the small things for us (like getting coffee and milk delivered). We also love the facilities at 25 Luke Street and incredibly impressed with the professionalism of the team here.

Why choose a shared working space over private premises?

At hibob we need our own office space to be able to build our own culture, but we also wanted access to extra meeting rooms, break-out areas and event spaces. Techspace offers us all of that.

What is your best memory of your time Techspace?

Moving into our office at Luke Street. It’s such a great building in a quiet bright and airy location.

What’s next for hibob?

hibob is still growing. We recently raised our Series A of $17.5m and we’re putting that to use in building out our product offering, further developing customer support, and expanding our market to the USA.