I was invited to a potluck dinner on Wednesday to meet a bunch of strangers and discuss the importance of sharing. The potluck dinner—and about 130 other events taking place in 90 cities around the world on the same week—is its first big push to bring people to the cause.Read More
Products, events, social networks, magazines, online tools, conferences and associations have now all been created for this new world of co-working. In a country that used to pride itself on blue-collar jobs, 9-5 work hours and benefits -is our idea of the perfect job changing? And, in turn, has this inspired a new American Dream for the 21st century?Read More
Trevor Ferguson and Jaclyn Sklaver may be based in NYC, but their fitness concierge service SportSetter got its start in Finland. "We enjoy working here and managed to make a bunch of friends and connections," said Ferguson. "One cool thing we've done is set up Wii-Sports on a huge projection screen during happy hour events which always brings members together for some fun competition."Read More
The majority of members at Green Spaces are social entrepreneurs. We also have members who do not work in social entrepreneurship, but they like working from a place where they can compost their lunch. They want to be in a community that has values in mind.Read More
There’s just something about New York that seems to breed creatives. I’m not sure if it’s the environment that makes the New Yorker, or the New Yorker that makes the environment, but one thing’s for sure: it’s no surprise coworking spaces are hugely successful there.
With over half of the 200,000 members of The Freelancer’s Union living in New York City (NYC), there are a lot coworking spaces to choose from.Read More
We're thrilled to be included in Entrepreneur Magazine's piece about B Corp Certification! The organization helps people everywhere "walk the walk". Pick up a July issue. Read on for where Green Spaces fits in.Read More
“Coworking? I love coworking…I am actually thinking of opening my own space.” If you are involved in the coworking community, even just a bit, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard someone say this at one point in time. It’s no surprise that the coworking bug has bitten not just individual freelancers, but companies and corporations as well. In just one year, there are 83% percent more coworking spaces, and as is often the case when an innovative concept takes off, everybody wants to be a part of the action.Read More
Green Spaces, which also has another location in Denver, Colorado, has a vision of becoming a catalyst for “values-driven communities of people who innovate, celebrate and do good.” This vision not only made Green Spaces a place where social entrepreneurs feel at home, but also transformed it into an important hub for the green business community in New York.Read More
Are you ready to share an office with local entrepreneurs? "Imagine an office with people; only these people aren’t employed by the same company. One is a lawyer, the other, a freelance app developer, and the small team in the corner is building a service aimed at disrupting the mobile payments industry. This is coworking," according to VentureBurn.Read More
The Big Apple is filled with “cowork spaces,” a product of the Internet generation. For those of you looking to mix things up at work but stay productive, here are 5 work spaces to consider.Read More
"Denver Coworking Week got started as a way to build awareness of coworking under one voice. We realized that, as coworking spaces, our greatest competition isn't one another, but the general lack of awareness about coworking,"Read More
When it comes to working from home, it’s hard to beat the relaxed dress code, the four-foot commute from your bed to your desk and, of course, having the freedom to sing the HOT POCKETS® jingle even if you are not currently eating a hot pocket. Unless it’s 99 degrees outside. In that case, it might be time to seek shelter in one of New York City’s shared (and climate-controlled) office spaces. A freelancer can have wifi access and a desk for a walk-in rate of $20 a day, while a small business might try a long-term membership with a private office and access to conference rooms and other amenities like fax machines, copiers and phones – all without signing a lease. To find a space near you, check out this map:
Thanks for including us among our peers, Media Bistro! Click here for the full blog post.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2013
The exterior of Green Spaces.
A day in the life of
, Denver's most sustainable coworking space. It's home to such companies as
This is the third in a series of features covering a workday at one of Denver's many coworking or collaborative office spaces. The first two were
Wed. April 17, 2013, 9:15 a.m.
It's an April morning in Denver that reminds me of February in Chicago.
I trudge from the light rail stop at 25th and Welton to
, the city's most sustainably minded coworking space, just past Larimer on 26th.
I get there a few minutes before Stephanie Vannucci, Community Manager.
"There are about 70 different businesses that are members," says Vannucci. That includes
, a movable party that Vannucci runs with her brother Nick while also working for Green Spaces.
She shows me to a desk where I leave my bag and jacket before giving me the dime tour of the place. There's a community kitchen and plenty of
. I look around and take in the funky industrial vibe: brick walls, leafy planters that double as partitions, old lamps and splashes of bright color.
Dedicated desks are $325 a month, while a Lounge membership that includes access to desks, chairs and couches, coffee and other amenities is $175, and part-time memberships start at $50 a month.
Stephanie Vannucci is the Community Manager of Green Spaces.
Vannucci is wearing a Green Spaces Denver kickball jersey. "We just got our shirts, so we're really excited," she says. It's looking like this afternoon's game will get snowed out.
There's a bit of activity as people arrive, have quiet conversations and cycle to the coffee in the kitchen.
Most of the desks are occupied. There are about four people in the Lounge area.
I briefly talk to Alex Stutt, Director of Design & Engineering at
, at the desk behind me. "It's been great," he says of his experience at Green Spaces Denver. "It's a nice open environment to work in."
I have a phone interview. Sensing a sucker, a happy golden retriever wanders up to me for a scratch. She gets it.
The call is notably awkward. Journalism can sometimes be so hard.
The golden retriever comes back for another scratch. There are about 10 people in the lounge area.
Jennie Nevin, Founder of Green Spaces, and her trusted accomplice Hobbes.
I meet with Jennie Nevin and her nine-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Hobbes. "He has a
," she tells me. "He has like 1,000 friends -- way more than I do. People write him messages."
Nevin opened Green Spaces Colorado in 2010 after opening Green Spaces New York in Manhattan in 2008. "It was in the middle of the country and it seemed like an up-and-coming city," she says. "We're looking for up-and-coming cities."
The old warehouse didn't even have heat before Nevin arrived, but now it's got heat as well as 100 percent solar power, a newly remodeled kitchen and plenty of reclaimed and recycled furnishings. It all adds up to a booming coworking space that's been growing at an especially nice clip in the past year, says Nevin. "It's been attracting a lot of new people."
Tenants must sign a sustainability pledge, she adds. "All of the companies in the space have socially or environmentally responsible bent. We want them to make an impact."
Nevin touts the upcoming
(May 6-10), "Every day we're featuring a different space," she says. Visitors get free day passes all week long, and the calendar climaxes with a kickball tournament. "The idea is to engage the community," says Nevin. "We're also trying to cross-pollinate our entrepreneurs" -- putting Galvanize's best tech-heads together with the sustainable and social enterprises at Green Spaces Colorado, for example.
Green Spaces Colorado hosts about six events a month that are often open to the public, and does all sorts of things -- from lunch to yoga and wine to kickball and beer -- as a group. "it's really about creating community," says Nevin. "It's fun de-stressing after running a startup all day."
I go back to work at my desk.
I talk with Ashley Johnson of
. She's worked out of Green Spaces Denver since 2010 after a decade in freelance graphic design. "I just wanted to get to know people and have a place to work that was more community-oriented," she explains.
Now she's trying to weave together the country's coworking freelance workforce with Galaxy Unite. The site aims to be a portal for freelancers, employers and coworking spaces all over the nation.
"Now I'm basically redesigning the website," says Johnson, giving me a couple of "collector's items" -- magnets from her file cabinet bearing discarded moniker Galaxy Quotes. The site is slated for relaunch in mid-May.
Rio Grande Solar's Alex Stutt shows me a 3D rendering of a project he's working on in northwest Denver:
, an apartment complex with plenty of solar panels on its roofs.
I'm starving. Relief comes in the form of homemade turkey noodle soup and a sausage sandwich from
, the Italian deli on the flip side of the block.
Back to work. Post-lunch coma. It's probably inappropriate to sleep on the common couch or curl up under my desk -- one drawback of coworking as opposed to the easy bed access of my home office.
I talk with Grant Southwick of political website
, which compares every national candidate on every imaginable issue.
"The nice part of working here is if you have interns or contractors, they just come in and out and work when they please," he says. Southwick's consulting background was "very stuffy" and included a suit and tie. In comparison, working at Green Spaces "is a breath of fresh air," he says.
It's still snowing and I still want to take a nap.
A lot of natural light comes into Green Spaces.
Molly Mazel works for the Denver office of the nonprofit
. Rather, she is the Denver office of the Chill Foundation, and she just started working at Green Spaces Denver a few weeks back. "We're establishing a year-round presence, so having a real business address is great," she tells me. "The price is right for lounging, and even the desks are reasonable."
After draining the last cup of pitch black coffee from the dispenser, I have a call with Confluence writer
to discuss story ideas.
I again meet the resident golden retriever. I learn its name is Koti, because this time I meet her owner, too: Chris Baker, Founder of
, a social enterprise/guiding company that takes customers on mountain treks in Nepal and Chile.
The company gives back 10 percent of proceeds to both locales where it operated in the form of micro-loans to female entrepreneurs, financing everything from milk cows to eateries. "We're trying to make capital accessible to people who typically don't have access to it," says Baker.
OneSeed's 44 guides are all local to Nepal or Chile, and the company has a small crew in Denver that needs a lot of "flexibility," says Baker, making coworking spaces a perfect fit. He works out of coworking spaces in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Santiago, Chile, when he's not in Denver.
After giving Nevin a copy of
, I pack my bag as one of Green Spaces' tenants waters the plants by my desk, under a weathered skylight.
"They get enough light from the skylight?" I ask.
"These do very well actually," comes her reply.
I bundle up and wander out into the spring snowstorm, which feels even more like midwinter in Chicago as the sun slides further and further down the Denver sky.
MAGGIE OVERFELT (Thanks Maggie!)
APRIL 21, 2013 5:59 A.M.
After a month of searching for an accountant, Joshua Niamehr found one where he least expected: in the elevator bank at AlleyNYC, the midtown co-working space where he rents an office for his startup, Enchanted Diamonds, which sells loose diamonds and engagement rings.
"We met with seven firms, looked at 20, but there was absolutely no authority on startup accounting who knew how to help us," said Mr. Niamehr, whose profitable year-old firm brings in more than $2 million in annual revenue.
After the initial meeting in the elevator, Mr. Niamehr was formally introduced to CBIZ, a Cleveland-based, publicly traded professional services company, and is now working with the firm. In December, CBIZ inked a deal to provide AlleyNYC's 250 members with free accounting, tax and payroll advice.
CBIZ wants to "add value to these companies in the beginning at no cost, with the hope that they become established, developed companies and retain us in the future," said Ted Chasanoff, managing director and technology services practice leader in CBIZ's New York office.
"If I get in a company that ends up to be one-tenth the size of Facebook, I would be happy," he added.
CBIZ, which has on-site office hours at AlleyNYC, isn't alone in donating billable hours to make connections in the city's surging startup market. Many others have realized that local incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces can be ideal places to find clients that are on their way up.
Future acquisition targets
“I'm a big believer of what Wayne Gretzky said: 'You have to go where the puck is going, not where it is,' “ said Jordan Waxman, a New York-based partner and adviser at HighTower Advisors, which provides financial planning and investment advice to a growing pool of startups.
HighTower recently started mentoring young companies in a Manhattan business accelerator, which it declined to name. “Small, nimble companies are being acquired at very early stages,” said Mr. Waxman. “The [founders] are going from having nothing to quickly becoming millionaires, needing all of our services.”
Of course, many startups never get acquired—and plenty fail. For that reason, the rigorous application process at many accelerators can be helpful in vetting potential clients, advisers say.
“Accelerators are doing their own selection process, and we view those [startups] as being endorsed,” said Chip Korn, a partner in the New York office of multinational law firm Dentons, which provides weekly office hours and startup-geared seminars to the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in Manhattan.
Mr. Korn estimates that of the 10 companies in session in the accelerator, he retains less than half of them as clients. “At the very least, working with these companies keeps us engaged in the market we want to know,” he said.
To build relationships with startups, Marla Guttman, a lawyer with six-employee Whitehouse Law, which has an office in Manhattan, structures classes around legal issues affecting the entrepreneurs at Green Spaces, a New York co-working spot. She came to Green Spaces last year to build her online retail business, Marlandia, which sells Fair Trade footwear, but soon noticed that other residents needed legal advice.
“I wanted to help people at the same time as drumming up business for Whitehouse Law,” said Ms. Guttman. It has worked: Whitehouse has landed one client at Green Spaces and is in talks to retain two more.
Mon., Apr. 15 2013 at 11:28 AM
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition author, Charles Eisenstein.
will host "The Deeper Purpose of Your Business," an evening with author Charles Eisenstein aimed at bringing global consciousness to the world of small business. Local business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone working in Denver's business community are invited to the event, which will discuss how to integrate the ideas of Eisenstein's book,
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition
Put on by the Mile High Business Alliance and the Queen Ann Bed & Breakfast Inn, the evening will revolve around bringing local business back to the basics, asking entrepreneurs and owners to look at why they run or desire to run a business in the first place. According to Mickki Langston, Mile High Business Alliance executive director, the ninety-minute session with Eisenstein will be more of a discussion than a lecture, using his book as a touchstone and resource.
"Our intention with this particular conversation is for small businesses who are doing work in the community to get reconnected to the underlying passions that their businesses are actually an expression of," says Langston. "That is usually not a conversation that small business owners get to have -- because we are doing all of the work it takes to run a small business."
With Denver's ever-growing, local business-based economy, the city is in the right place at the right time for this conversation. "You can be a businessperson who is making plenty of money selling widgets or providing a service, and you're still someone who is completely connected to what it means to be a person living in Denver at this time," Langston adds. "If you're providing professional services, where you're spending your money as a businessperson is helping to invest in the kind of community where we live.
"As people recognize that economic power, my hope is that it can bring us closer together as people who recognize, we care about living in a city that looks like 'X' and how do we build that city? How do we do it together? The point is, we're disconnected from the impact of the way we run our business. The way I'm operating my business and where I'm coming from is an important expression in the kind of community I want to live in."
"The Deeper Purpose of your Business," an evening with Charles Eisenstein, begins at 7 p.m. tonight at Green Spaces Colorado, 1368 26th Street in Denver. Registration is $15 to $25 and can be done by calling 303-872-5646 or e-mailing email@example.com. For more information on the workshop, visit the Mile High Business Alliance's website.