[Published on Coworker Mag, Nov. 25, 2019
While some startups originate in a founder’s living room or even in their garage, others prefer getting their start in an environment that can accelerate their growth straightaway with the right resources, tools, and community backing. Enter the startup coworking space: a perfect workspace for fledgling companies hoping to get off the ground—and fast.
Some of the biggest companies today first began as a coworking startup—like Uber, for example, which operated out of RocketSpace in San Francisco when the company was co-founded in 2011 with a team of eight entrepreneurs. (Fun fact: Spotify was also born out of the same RocketSpace!)
Not only do startups find coworking space to be a more affordable option than a traditional office lease, but many founders find it valuable to have a dedicated business startup office space to meet and network with other companies, talented freelancers, and clients.
Plus, a growing number of startup coworking spaces are actually geared toward budding startup teams, offering incubator services and funding opportunities, as well as legal and professional guidance.
So, what’s the best startup coworking space for your early-stage team? Here are Coworker’s top 10 coworking spaces for startups.
1) 1871 Chicago
First on the list is 1871 Chicago, a startup coworking space named for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Like the fire, 1871 serves as a catalytic and transformative part of our city’s history with a mission of enabling startups to access the space, resources, and education needed to grow.
Occupying 120,000 square feet of space in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, 1871 is a popular coworking space as well as a startup incubator that’s home to 400 startups. Whether just starting out or expanding rapidly, startups can readily find a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and tech companies at 1871 who are similarly looking to build extraordinary businesses.
Moreover, this coworking space hosts events geared specifically for digital entrepreneurs. Most recently, 1871 launched a new initiative called PYROS, which provides members with multi-stage, tailored resources, tools, mentors, workshops, curriculum, and peer groups based on their startups’ business development needs. If your startup is in need of some serious incubation, 1871 is the place to hatch.
2) Avila Spaces, Lisbon
It’s no secret that Lisbon has become a hub for budding startups, with a significant number of major companies relocating to the Portuguese capital and one of the world’s largest tech conferences — Web Summit — taking place in Lisbon each year.
By offering affordable, cheap office space for startups, Lisbon is home to some true disruptors, many of which call Avila Spaces home. Located in the heart of Lisbon, Avila Spaces is a prime location for emerging startups, offering a unique partnership service for members that includes support in the following areas: accounting services, company registration, patent and trademarking, billing services, and information technology.
No matter their current stage of growth, startups can rest assured that Avila Spaces will offer the support they need to reach that next level and find success. Voted as the best coworking space in Lisbon in Coworker’s 2019 Members’ Choice Awards, Avila Spaces is the go-to startup coworking space for teams looking to create powerful, lasting synergies.
3) Plexal, London
Located in what was formerly the media center for the 2012 London Olympics, Plexal is the beating heart of inventive enterprises and innovation. This east London workspace was designed to resemble a mini-city, including its very own indoor park, private phone booths, “high street,” town hall, and workshop space for rapid prototyping (which is fully stocked with 3D printers and scanners).
With such a wide range of entrepreneurial amenities and resources, Plexal is the the perfect shared office space for startups. Occupying a whopping 1.2 million square feet, this coworking space is really a full-fledged campus, giving startups plenty of room to (literally) grow in addition to offering a full range of services, such as accelerator programs, basic entrepreneurship courses, financing options, and a state-of-the-art technology lab. Plus, Plexal offers startups flexible memberships that include access to a private office, plus all of the support they need to scale. (What more could a startup need!?)