Tag: Link Coworking

Coworking Options for Yogis, Dog-Lovers and Everybody Else

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Photo licensed from iStock

Photo licensed from iStock

Picking a co-working space is like a cross between choosing a place to work and finding your favorite hangout. What’s important to you? Ergonomic chairs? Community? The vibe? The snacks? Or, as one Yelper explained, the fact that they “play the same tunes I have on my iPod?”
And considering that the people around you might become your friends, clients, business partners and tribe what do you want them to be like? Older professionals? Hackers? Hipsters? Artists? Do you want to bring your dog? Do you want to share a coffee machine with investors? Do you want a yoga class in the same space?
Austin has a great array of coworking places that offer all of the above and more. We’ve compiled a directory of some of the area’s hottest co-working spaces for you to find your spot.

Capital Factory

In many ways, Capital Factory is the hub of all things startup. On the 16th floor of the Omni building, this is where you can rub elbows with many of the area’s most promising new companies, and the investors and successful entrepreneurs who mentor them. You get access to giant pillows and snacks like candy, chips, fruit, and the occasional pizza. Co-workers don’t get all the designer ergonomic office systems. They share long tables in a common room. But they are at hand for many cool events and meetups that happen in Capital Factory space.
Membership Fee: $150 for 15 hours a month; $350 for unlimited access
Address: 701 Brazos St., 16th Floor, Austin
Website: capitalfactory.com/work/coworking


Conjunctured is a funky work space in an old house on the East Side. Started by a couple of geeks, Conjectured prides itself on the community its co-workers have created. Members not only work at the space during the day but also have happy hours, volleyball games, board games at one another’s homes and go tubing and group skydiving. Conjunctured plays music from its members’ iPods but also has a quiet room for people who need minimal distractions. And it’s dog friendly—if you call first.
Membership fee: $25 to $275 a month
Address: 1309 E. Seventh St., Austin
Website: conjunctured.com


Center61 in East Austin, is where you might want to be if the focus of your work is social good. Like, if what gets you up in morning is the environment or global justice or racial harmony and you’re looking for likeminded people to collaborate with, this would be the place to work.
Modern, airy and quiet, Center 61 is scientists, artists, business owners, technologists and more.
Membership fee: $10 to $200 a month
Address: 2921 E. 17th St. #4, Austin
Website: center61.com

GoLab Austin

In an old building on groovy East Sixth, the GoLab is a combination art gallery and coworking space. Founder Steve Golab offers lunch and learns and encourages the software and social platform developers to birth new ideas through collaboration and community.
Membership fee: $250 to $350 a month
Address: 621 E. Sixth St., Austin
Website: golabaustin.com

Link Coworking

Link Coworking is one of the best known and longest-lasting co-working spots in Austin. With a funky, modern space with ergonomic Turnstone furniture, Link has private, dedicated spaces as well as open working spaces. If offers a place for experts to come and give free consulting to members and the community and it holds and myriad events for networking and for fun.
Membership fee: $200 to $500 a month
Address: 2700 W. Anderson Lane, #205, Austin
Website: linkcoworking.com

Opportunity Space

Started by startup veteran Erica Douglass, Opportunity Space is specially designed for startups, rather than freelancers or solopreneurs. Operating out of a charming old house on Caesar Chavez, on the East Side Opportunity Space offers each startup a dedicated desk and, if they want, a dedicated room. And it has one thing few co-working spaces offer…a shower!
Membership fee: $500 a month for a dedicated desk
Address: 2125 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin
Website: opportunityspace.com

Perch Coworking

Perch coworking in East Austin offers ergonomic chairs, mail delivery and a community of what it calls “self-contained business people.” Perch has clean, modern space and focuses hard on the business aspect of getting work done and meeting with likeminded people who might also be good business contacts.
Membership fee: $175 a month; drop-ins are $25 a day
Address: 2235 E. Sixth St., Austin
Website: perchcoworking.com

Posh Coworking

Posh is the first Austin co-working space specifically for women. Elegant, if a little girlie, Posh not only provides co-working spaces but quiet meeting areas—named Elizabeth, Audrey and Marilyn–for members to meet with clients. Members rave about the warm feel, the writing lab, and the help of the owner, Blossom.
Membership fee: $125 to $400 a month
Address: 3027 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 202, Austin
Website: poshcoworking.com

Soma Vida

So what if your requirements go way beyond ergonomic chairs and snacks? Soma Vida is a wellness community described by several Yelpers as “Nirvana.” It’s a yoga collective, a wellness center, a veritable Vallhalla of work life balance in an old house in East Austin. And best of all, it’s way less expensive than most co-working spaces. And memberships come with free yoga classes and entrance to networking events. Namaste.
Membership fee: $25 to $65 a month
Address: 1210 Rosewood Ave., Austin
Website: somavida.net

Tech Ranch Austin

Tech Ranch is another major startup hub in Austin, north of downtown. It’s an incubator that helps businesses from seed to scale. In a quiet office park off 183, Tech Ranch offers a range from general co-working in a modern setting to a dedicated desk, chair and locking cabinet space. Another great place to rub elbows with entrepreneurs and investors who are making new things happen.
Membership fee: $150 to $300 a month
Address: 9111 Old Jollyville Road, Suite 100, Austin
Website: techranchaustin.com


The owners of Vuka envisioned the space as a co-working place, event venue and all around community gathering space. A giant, open warehouse with incredible tree light fixtures and funky furniture, Vuka is the perfect place for people who want to combine art with work. The venue has almost no parking, however, and some members report that all that combining of art, work and community can be a little distracting.
Membership fee: $150 to $300 a month; drop-ins are $15 a day ($5 on Fridays)
Address: 411 W. Monroe St., Austin
Website: vukaaustin.com

San Antonio Coworking Space


Geekdom is the place for San Antonio coworking. The local startup hub, Geekdom is steps away from the Riverwalk and offers month to month membership as well as dedicated desks and office spaces. Because it’s the hub of entrepreneurship, it’s also the place to encounter the up and coming companies and the investors and mentors who are helping them. The coworking space is moving into the historic Rand building downtown in late March and will have a specially designed space featuring showers, bike racks, kitchen, postboxes, phone booths and a special events center.
Membership fee: $50 to $200
112 East Pecan, 10th & 11th Floors
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Website: http://geekdom.com/san-antonio

Coworking is changing the way people work

Chelsea McClain, all purpose superhero with Office Nomads in Seattle

The way people work has changed dramatically through coworking.
Today, younger workers don’t covet a corner office with a closed door and a view, said Tony Freeth with Medusa Business, a technology provider to coworking spaces.
“A huge demographic change is taking place,” Freeth said. “For workers under 35, they see being assigned a private office as a punishment.”
Freeth travelled from Scotland to attend Austin’s Global Coworking Unconference Conference Thursday at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. He attended a European coworking conference in Berlin last November. He said Austin and Berlin are leading the world in discussions about coworking.
About 250 people from 18 countries attended the daylong event, according to Liz Elam, its organizer, who also runs Link Coworking in Austin.

Tony Freeth with Medusa, which sells coworking technology

Coworking spaces provide workers with shared desks, conference rooms and other work areas.
The industry, which is still in its infancy, has undergone tremendous growth. The number of co-working spaces has nearly doubled each year since 2006 to 1,300 worldwide, according to Deskmag, which follows the industry. It released a report Thursday showing coworking spaces are projected to grow to 2,150 this year. In fact, two in three coworking spaces plan to expand this year.
The vast majority of coworking spaces are run as for profit businesses and cost about $58,000 in the U.S. to start up and about $60,000 in Europe. And on average, 40 percent of all coworking spaces are profitable. And 72 percent become profitable after two years.
The coworking spaces come in all kinds of varieties. Some focus on a particular industry while others appeal to a broad range of workers. And the coworking operators don’t always agree on best practices.
For example, in a panel on coworking design, Benjamin Dyett, who runs Grind in New York, said he doesn’t designate desks for its members.
“We want everyone to come in everyday and sit next to someone new,” Dyett said.

Jerome Chang, architect and founder of BlankSpaces

But Jerome Chang, who runs Blankspaces, provides a much more structured environment.
“People want dedicated spaces,” he said.
Sonya Dufner, director of workplace strategy for the New York offices of Gensler, an architecture firm, said there are people who chose a private workspace.
“It’s about providing people with choices,” she said.
But Dyett disagreed.
“That’s not the business I’m in,” he said.
They all agreed that coworking revolves around the community that the business serves.
“For me, coworking is an office space and community is one of the services I provide,” said Sidi Gomes with C3, social space designer.
The coworking concept has also spread to large corporations, said Dufner.
“People are working differently,” she said.
Corporations see the cost-savings benefits from coworking, Dufner said In a corporate environment, a worker gets about 150 square feet per person. But in a coworking environment, they get about 75 to 80 square feet, Dufner said.
To design a coworking space, Chang advised people to find a space that they love and to sit in it, observe everything and take notes.
Cubicles and panels are dead when it comes to designing coworking spaces, according to the panel. Instead, designers use selective storage units and shelving to separate workspaces.
Benching is also in, Chang said. Workbenches that allow for greater collaboration in the workplace is a huge trend, he said.
“If you know of a space that you really love go find out how they built the space,” Dufner said.
Designing a coworking space requires a mix of art and science, said Mark Gilbreath, the founder and CEO of LiquidSpace.
Some coworking spaces spend thousands of dollars on fancy high-end furniture while others outfit their spaces with thrift store finds. It’s important to listen to the community and tailor the space to their needs, according to the panel.
“I’m about really strong infrastructure,” Chang said. “And then I let the community organically develop.”
A pioneer in the coworking movement, Chang, a licensed architect, opened his first coworking space, targeted at creative professionals in Los Angeles, four years ago. He has since expanded and opened another coworking space in Santa Monica. Both have 100 members.
The coworking movement, which features collaborative workspaces with open spaces, has also caught on in the corporate world, Chang said. In particular, Zappos recently redesigned its workspace with wide open spaces in which its CEO and Founder Tony Hsieh sits in the middle of the space instead of in a corner office.
“Many workplaces are allowing their employees choice,” Chang said. “People come in to work everyday and they get to choose where they want to work.”
Steelcase’s headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan promotes coworking, Chang said. Many people work out of Steelcase’s giant café, he said.
“Only a few people have dedicated workspace,” he said.
Today, a lot of work involves social interactions and chance meetings, Chang said.
“A huge myth existed about work that people are only productive when they closed their door, put their head down and worked,” Chang said. “But business development can take place over coffee. Being social is part of your work. You exchange ideas and get feedback through those interactions.”
Craig McAnsh, who runs Mojo Coworking in Asheville, NC, has seen the shift in the way people work firsthand. He opened his coworking space 11 months ago and now plans to expand from 1,700 square feet into a 5,000 square foot space.
“In a small community, coworking has to be about serving many needs,” McAnsh said. “There’s definitely a demand for it. We’ve got entrepreneurs, writers, small agencies and people who just use it for the conference room.”
Mojo has about 30 members who work out of a mixed-use development in the historic part of town. McAnsh isn’t attending SXSW. He travelled to Austin just to attend the coworking conference.
“I’m looking to get as many of the latest ideas and trends that I can and learn how to incorporate those into my business,” McAnsh said. “I find the white space conversations are the most beneficial.”
Chelsea McClain, all purpose superhero with Office Nomads in Seattle, also travelled to Austin specifically for the coworking conference.
Office Nomads, which has 100 members, has been around for 5 years and some dub it “the granddaddy of coworking” in Seattle.
“We’re doing better than ever,” McClain said. “There’s a lot of coworking spaces in Seattle now. There’s a lot of interest in it.”
While the natural inclination might be to grow bigger and expand, Office Nomads recently decided not to expand.
“I think coworking questions the naturalness of that,” McClain said. “More money, more space. There’s a lot of people that don’t’ think coworking should be about that. The culture of our community is not about making as much money as possible.”
Office Nomads is a for profit business and it is profitable, McClain said.
“People can get space anywhere,” McClain said. “Coworking is about community. The elements of community are about physical human interaction and talking about ideas around the water cooler.”
Diversity is also a benefit, said McClain, who used to be a burlesque dancer working out of Digital Nomads before she joined their staff.
“We’re extremely diverse,” she said. “We’ve got ornithologists, deep sea explorers, writers, entrepreneurs and more. The cross pollination of ideas is really fascinating.”

The Global Coworking Unconference Conference kicks off next Thursday

More than 200 people will attend the first day-long 2012 Global Coworking Unconference Conference, dubbed “Juicy” next Thursday.
Coworking center owners and others from all over will gather at at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center to talk about innovations in the industry.
“We have people coming from Australia, France, England, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Canada,” said Liz Elam, owner of Link Coworking, and the event’s organizer.

Liz Elam, organizer of the 2012 Global Coworking Unconference Conference

“We’re seeing explosive growth of Coworking globally and I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring the community together for face to face interactions, sharing of ideas and best practices,” Elam said.
The event sprung from the half-day 2011 Coworking Unconference, produced by Loosecubes, but this year’s event is all day and includes a more structured conference track, which will run simultaneously with the collaborative, self-directed Unconference track.
More than 1,100 co-working spaces exist worldwide and that number has doubled since 2006. Coworking allows people to work remotely and independently in a shared workspace. This is a huge shift in the way people work, Elam said.
Coworking is increasing as companies look to save money by having workers telecommute, Elam said.
“Yet only a very small part of the population has the discipline to work from home,” she said.
As coworking centers evolve, some are specializing in a particular area like Center 61 in Austin, which caters to nonprofit organizations.
“Basically, there are lots of places and choices for people,” Elam said.
The average coworking center has 32 members, Elam said. Link Coworking has 45 members, spanning a variety of occupations.
“They collaborate. They build businesses. They lift each other up. This becomes your tribe,” Elam said. “This becomes where you want to be.”
Successful coworking spaces provide people with a great space, Internet access, meeting rooms, free coffee and snacks, Elam said.
Link Coworking serves an African dark roast coffee from Austin-based Texas Coffee Traders. The members actually had a coffee tasting and picked out that roast as their favorite, Elam said.
The day after the unconference, DeskMag, the magazine about coworking, has organized a coworking treasure hunt concluding with a party at Conjunctured Coworking Friday night.
Registration is still open for the conference. On-site registration is also available but it’s more expensive.
“It’s going to be a really exciting, innovative conference,” Elam said.
The coworking conference is also running a video contest for coworkers to show off their space. The deadline to enter is today. The winner receives $1,000.

Why we love coworking from Do7 Coworking on Vimeo.

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