A coworking space is a place where workers from a variety of different companies share office space. This allows for extensive cost savings and better opportunities for networking. Many different types of businesses and workers are known to use coworking space.These facilities have proven to be ideal choices for freelancers and startups that may not have the funds needed to rent or buy office space on their own.
Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular in technology sectors, which is why more and more companies are beginning to host these spaces. While the underlying nature of each coworking space is the same, the feature-set differs depending on the coworking space that you choose for your business. The following article offers a comprehensive view of how coworking spaces are helping the startup culture thrive, which should allow you to determine if this option is right for your startup.
Coworking Space Basics
A coworking space is an open office space that’s designed to foster a sense of community. This is done when workers from many businesses are able to complete their work under one roof. Since these spaces are shared, costs are kept very low for any business that decides to become a part of the coworking space. While coworking space differs significantly from standard office space, they share some of the same features along with a bevy of additional ones that might be appealing to your startup. Even though coworking spaces are similar to standard office spaces, they are notable for being more vibrant and energetic, which is why these spaces are considered to be highly beneficial for small teams, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups. The main elements of a coworking space include:
- Spacious and open working area
- Comfortable and functional furniture
- Premium technology
- Conference and call rooms
- Separate kitchen area
There are many reasons why a coworking space can be great for small businesses and startups, the primary of which include everything from being able to keep costs down to the sense of community that’s provided to members.
A top reason why coworking spaces are ideal for startups and entrepreneurs is because they provide all of the amenities you would expect from an office without requiring the startup or entrepreneur to rent or buy office space. The main amenities that are available in most coworking spaces include private conference rooms, desk space, coffee area, kitchens, high-speed internet, shared printer/copier, and shelf space.
Another reason that coworking spaces are ideal for startups and entrepreneurs is that they offer a more professional environment compared to what’s available in a home or a coffee shop. For entrepreneurs who don’t have the money to rent office space, coworking spaces also offer an energetic and electric atmosphere that oftentimes makes it easier to work and reach business goals. While private desks are a staple of coworking spaces, spacious shared tables are also common and provide individuals with the ability to network and strike up conversations with those of other occupations.
The lower costs associated with coworking spaces provide startups with a great place to develop their idea into a service or product that can be taken to the market. Whether you’re in the midst of conducting market research or need to test your theories, the lower costs of coworking spaces allow you to obtain high-end equipment and premium amenities without needing to break the bank.
How Do You Know If a Coworking Space Is Right for You?
Coworking spaces have some very notable benefits that should help you ascertain if applying for one of these spaces is right for you and your business. Likely the most popular benefit of coworking spaces is that they offer flexibility and affordability. Most coworking spaces offer several different pricing options to accommodate what you or your business can afford. For instance, wet lab incubators will typically offer desk space, shared lab space, and private lab space for startups that require this space.
If your medtech business is currently conducting basic research, you might not need any actual lab space, which would allow you to rent desk space with the option to eventually rent some lab space. Most coworking spaces will include the option to rent the space by the day, week, or month, which allows for additional pricing flexibility.
A coworking space also provides entrepreneurs and startups with a professional space that includes conference rooms and most amenities that an office environment usually has. Since the majority of entrepreneurs and startups will begin in a home setting, the office environment available at a coworking space can be very beneficial. Coworking spaces are also fantastic for networking. Since you’ll be in an environment with many other professionals, you should be able to network with some other like-minded individuals.
The social interaction afforded by coworking spaces counteracts the loneliness that comes with working in a home environment. If you believe that your startup will soon be able to grow and expand, coworking spaces should provide you with the perfect setting for meeting entrepreneurs who might fit within your company. With all of these benefits in mind, a coworking space may be exactly what your business needs at the moment.
While the needs of startups differ somewhat from the needs of entrepreneurs, coworking spaces are able to accommodate both. For instance, startups with multiple employees will likely need ample office space, high-end technology, and access to office amenities, all of which are available at a coworking space.
When looking specifically at entrepreneurs who may not be ready to develop a startup, their primary needs usually include being able to enjoy working and having a strong network of peers who can provide support, both of which are provided with coworking spaces. Entrepreneurs can build networks at coworking spaces that will be highly beneficial when they eventually decide to create a startup. No matter what stage you’re at with your business idea, you should be able to benefit from using a coworking space.
Coworking Spaces for Specific Industries
Even though coworking spaces are used across a wide range of different industries, an increasing number of coworking spaces are specialized for use in one or two industries. For instance, coworking spaces like MakeOffices specifically target companies within the health-tech industry, which means that the equipment and amenities on hand are more centralized and targeted.
There are also coworking spaces that focus specifically on the food industry and provide members with access to experts and business leaders in distribution, supply chain, marketing, sales, and eCommerce. If you’re creating a tech startup, the type of space that you need would likely include ample space to create prototypes as well as the inclusion of high-end equipment like lasers and 3D printers. Tech startups would also want to choose a coworking space that provides access to workshops and events within the tech industry.
If you have a life science startup, you might want to consider joining a wet lab incubator such as the one available through University Lab Partners. These incubators are ideal for companies and startups that are working with chemicals, drugs, biological matter, and hazardous substances. When joining this lab, you will gain access to all of the equipment that’s needed when working with chemicals and drugs.
There are also several types of startups that might require a dry lab to work in, which is a type of laboratory that accommodates applied mathematical and computational analyses, which can be very beneficial when you’re in the research phase of product development. Any industry that’s involved with biology, mathematics, informational engineering, and computer science could benefit from joining a coworker space or incubator that provides dry lab space.
No matter what industry your startup is in, regular office space will likely be necessary during some aspect of your development. Regular office spaces are commonly offered through most coworking spaces providers. Even wet lab incubators provide a certain amount of standard office space. Any startups within the tech, real estate, hospitality, and consumer retail industries could benefit from this kind of coworking space, which is particularly important when you’re creating future marketing strategies and campaigns.
Getting Started With Finding a Coworking Space
If you’re searching for a coworking space in Orange County, there are many fantastic options that you can select from. If you have created a life sciences startup, you could think about applying to the University Lab Partners wet lab incubator, which is located at the UCI Research Park in Irvine. If all you’re looking for is office space with a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, Industrious Irvine may be the best coworking space for your startup. As is the case with ULP, this coworking space is situated in Irvine.
If you want to work in Costa Mesa, your startup could join the CrashLabs shared office, which offers 2,500 square feet of office space alongside an expansive courtyard. Some additional coworking spaces in Orange County that you might want to check out include:
Joining one of these incubators is usually as simple as applying on the website after you find the package that best meets the needs and requirements of your startup.
Contact University Lab Partners
Here at University Lab Partners, our wet lab incubator provides life science startups with everything that they need to succeed and grow their business. The coworking spaces available at this wet lab incubator comprise around 17,000 square feet of the 2.2 million square feet of office space that can be found at the UCI Research Park. When you join ULP you will have access to conference rooms, break rooms, technical facilities, and recreational areas. Additionally, you will also be provided with access to state-of-the-art wet lab equipment, which extends to fume hoods, a tissue culture lab, and a freezer farm.
There are four separate coworking spaces that you and your team can apply for depending on your needs. For instance, a six-foot bench is suitable for up to two people and gives you access to all of the amenities at ULP. If you require more space, you could rent a private lab suite, which can be anywhere from 150-250 square feet and can accommodate as many as six individuals. Regular office space is also available if needed via a small cubicle or a private office, the latter of which includes 100-300 square feet of space. If you’re interested in exploring coworking space options, contact ULP today at (949) 216-8669 to learn more.