How coworking makes cities into startup magnets

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Coworking isn't just about renting affordable office space by the month. The flexibility, community, and resources provided by coworking spaces have become indispensable fuel for the startup engine that drives innovation in cities across the globe. But how do these modern office oases equip entrepreneurs, lure outside talent, and cultivate homegrown skills?  

Coworking offers a low-risk, high-opportunity testing ground

The steep costs of traditional office spaces put them out of reach for most fresh startups bootstrapped by personal savings or friends-and-family investments. Coworking spaces slash overhead by offering short-term flexibility and amenity sharing among multiple companies...

Create a community designed for serendipity  

Beyond just affordable real estate, some of the biggest assets of coworking spaces are the in-person connections they facilitate. Happy hours, networking events, mentor meetups, and spontaneous workplace interactions create a kind of community.

Open a gateway for outside talent

Major cities have always attracted talent with their urban amenities, culture, and economic opportunities. But for years, those arrivals largely pursued jobs at big corporations, agencies, or institutions headquartered in town...

Become a petri dish where local talent can bloom

While attracting hot shots from elsewhere is great, every city wants to cultivate homegrown talent and keep high-potential locals from moving away after high school, college, or their first few career years...  

Be part of the network effect for cities  

As coworking spaces and their startup tenants increasingly reshape city corridors, those physical clusters gain critical mass and start reinforcing each other through the network effect...

While some coworking spaces are founded by independent operators, others can be backed and launched by groups committed to fostering entrepreneurship and economic development within their cities.

The Station Terre Haute hero (1)

The Station is the Terre Haute Chamber's coworking chameleon

The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce has always been a bastion of support for local businesses. So when the opportunity arose to transform a coworking space into a thriving community hub, the Chamber didn't just consider it — they ran with it.



From a Chamber to an EDO

Chambers of Commerce dedicated to supporting local business can create coworking spaces as affordable launchpads for their communities' emerging startups and entrepreneurs. Having the Chamber's institutional support provides credibility plus connections to mentors, training resources, and potential customers among other members.

Similarly, cities' Economic Development Offices (EDOs) can spearhead opening coworking spaces as a way to directly facilitate startup activity, attract talent, and catalyze growth from within. An EDO-operated coworking venue becomes a centralized hub for nurturing and promoting the next wave of innovation-based businesses and job creators on a local level.

Whether run by a Chamber, an EDO, or independent operators, new coworking spaces can assess demand by partnering with these types of organizations early on. Crafting an advisory board with members tied to the city's economic influencers and startup circles is a savvy move for gaining wisdom, buy-in, and sustainable support.

From there, the coworking space itself becomes a powerful physical nexus for drawing together all the surrounding entrepreneurial elements that feed a thriving startup ecosystem - from funding and talent to training and simply celebrating a community's entrepreneurial identity.

The cycle keeps perpetuating as coworking beehives produce more high-growth startups and skilled workers to spark the next generation of startup ideas and launch more coworking venues. It's an upward spiral that translates coworking's affordable spaces and electrifying energy into a sustainable force for economic vitality and urbanism.

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