While you may be aware of the benefits of flexible shared work environments, you may not realize the caliber of many businesses that started in a coworking space. In fact, you probably use a few of these products, services, and solutions regularly, if not daily – and if not multiple times a day.
Let’s take a look at some companies that turned the fertile ground of coworking spaces into a veritable harvest of results.
7 Businesses That Started In a Coworking Space
We love Instagram as an avenue to connect with friends, family, thought leaders, influencers, athletes, and celebrities. This platform has propelled many already-known names into the stratosphere and has created a platform for “average” people who have a knack for posting funny, thought-provoking, controversial, entertaining, and compelling content. Instagram was developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (both in their mid-20s at the time) at a coworking space.
They leveraged the flexibility and affordability of this solution to develop their app over 8 intense weeks. An hour after launching, traffic crashed their server. By 2:00 am the next day, Instagram already had 25,000 users. This has grown to an astonishing 1.45 billion today.
Spotify is one of the world’s largest music streaming platforms with 433 million users, including 188 million who pay for subscriptions. It has become a ubiquitous part of everyday life for many of us. But it began life, like all great innovations, as an idea. This was brought to life in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzo in a coworking space. This cost-effective solution turned out to have a HUGE ROI as the company is now worth about $20 billion.
One of the most famous businesses that started in a coworking space? Uber. This rideshare service has become the go-to for tourists and travelers, businesspeople, non-drivers, those who don’t own vehicles, those who have imbibed a bit too much… and anyone else who needs a reliable ride now and again.
Cofounders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp started at a coworking space in San Francisco and quickly accelerated into the fast lane. Uber is worldwide and valued at about $75 billion. You know you’ve made it when your brand name becomes a verb.
This not-for-profit organization is driven by an incredibly ambitious mission: to end the global water crisis. But, they believe, if we work together, it is possible to ensure access to safe water for people around the world. Since its launch in 2006, charity: water has funded 111,709 water projects to serve 15,477,279 people in 29 countries. Private donors pay the charity’s operating cost, so 100% – every last penny – of the public’s donations go towards water projects.
Founder Scott Harrison turned from nightclub promoter to innovator with help from coworking space, leveraging the many benefits to get his organization off the ground – and into underserved communities throughout the world.
ZipRecruiter is a bustling employment marketplace that makes it easier to find the right jobs or find the right people for those jobs. It makes the process faster, more efficient, and more effective. In 2014, this startup was ahead of its time, anticipating that a better way to connect people and companies was key to the supply chain. ZipRecruiter zipped to $63 million in funds raised quickly, certainly seeing quite the return on their coworking investment.
Imagine being able to search and share travel destinations and ideas with a broader community, receiving relevant suggestions based on your budget and interests. TripAdvisor, for example, is a major player in this space. Wanderfly was an earlier innovation in the online travel world. Christy Liu wanted to inspire travelers, and with her small team based in a New Jersey coworking space, she did just that. After one year, Wanderfly was purchased by TripAdvisor, netting Liu and her co-founders a fantastic sum to pursue new ideas.
Ryan Holmes was sick of having to log into each of his business’s social media accounts separately – who can remember all those passwords? He developed Hootsuite, a free tool that allows users to manage all of their accounts from one central dashboard. More than 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies use the solution, as well as 15 million others. Streamlining connections: just what coworking spaces specialize in.
What Helped Startups That Came From a Coworking Space?
Businesses that started in coworking spaces took advantage of the same features that are available to every startup, small business, solopreneur, team, independent contractor, or hybrid worker. These include:
- Budget-friendly space. Coworking spaces are significantly less costly than owning or leasing office space. This is of particular concern to startups and other small companies and individuals who are operating on a tighter budget. Burdensome lease: gone. Overhead: gone. Endless nickel and dime expenses: gone.
- Flexibility. These innovative spaces give people the ability to scale up, scale down, and move at the speed of their business. The variety of spaces available, from hot desks to private offices, allows for maximum agility.
- Connections. Surround yourself with motivated and diverse peers. As part of a professional community, you have the opportunity to connect with those with whom you can form mutually beneficial relations. And don’t forget the importance of social connections as well!
- All-Inclusive. Coworking spaces have everything you need to get right to work – down to freshly brewed coffee and tea. Printers, copiers, WIFI, phones… it’s all there.
We’ve discussed innovative businesses that started in a coworking space…. Are you ready to add yours to the list? Check out our shared office spaces in Tampa Bay.