What to Look Out For In Choosing the Best Located Coworking Space for a Tech Startup in Dublin
Looking at the corporate universe, there is one thing we all realize – their neighborhoods. While not completely isolated, the offices usually maintain a conspicuous physical and social distance from masses. If you have worked for a company where you had to take a cab or walk several minutes from the commuter train station, then you can relate. Personally, I have carried a lunch box to work because there was no eating place within the vicinity of my office and I had to spend more on a taxi to a café in the CBD than I would actually spend on the meal itself.
While it’s no brainer more space for offices is available further from the congestion of the CBD, this isolation strategy of the corporate is partly a thing of culture that does not work for the benefit of startups. Initially, Coworking appealed to most of us and especially startup entrepreneurs due to its strategy of removing barriers in the working place – both physical and social. Physical through the elimination of the concrete walls making open spaces, and social in promoting more collaboration, openness and a community approach in innovation. Today Coworking has gone further to remove socio-economic barriers in several ways.
Dublin office workers spend an average of 3-7hours per week in travelling to and from work. This is a significantly high amount of time lost in traffic given that most people work for not more than 35 hours per week therefore with travelling time accounting for almost 10-20% of the productive hours. However, coworkers don’t have to experience the same fate as 9 to 5 workers. As a community you are more in control of your choice of location as opposed to the traditional office worker whose company’s offices are only in designated commercial hubs. It all depends on which location is convenient for the members. You can open up a Coworking space around your estate or join an existing space a walking distance from your home.
Since most tech startups almost entirely rely on technology – computers, internet and mobile phones, there is no limitation to where they can be located. Elsewhere like San Francisco in the US, people are embracing another concept – co-living that doubles as Coworking in the thick of residential establishments. You wake up from your studio and walk across the floor to join your coworkers in the open office.
Mary, a single mum in her late twenties caught up with me as I was visiting one of the many spaces in the Dublin outskirts. The space was particularly simple and lively with an almost 50-50 gender mixture. As usual I was eager to know what actually inspired their choice of this place and what made everyone so upbeat about the place. “I am so happy to find a place and a community like this. Everyone is just amazing and the place is the best for my kind of work and balancing work and family obligations”, Mary said “What is so special about here is that I don’t need to hire someone to look after my kid as I sit the train for hours coming late from work, or take my kid to some expensive daycare”
Take your product to the user
As a startup owner, you should focus on your product/service end user from the word go and Coworking can be very resourceful to the techpreneurs in implementing user experience in the whole development process. Now, what is ‘User experience’? As a quick demonstration, let’s look at the gaming app industry. Game developers form a big fraction of the tech startups across the world and their work involves a lot of programming and prototyping. But the most challenging part of it is meeting gamer’s expectations and appealing to their tastes – So you need their feedback at every stage of the game development.
Working from a Coworking space located in an area with a large gaming fan base can give you an upper hand through collaboration with gamers’ studios. You can let them use your prototype in their studios and get their feedback or be a member of the gaming club across the street from your space and try to collect some consistent elements of the gamers’ preferences.
While a Coworking community brings together members to form a single identity, each individual member has a business to sell and like with any business, the most important value proposition in a working setting is the ability to sell. Therefore it is not rocket science that as a startup owner you would need to be part of a Coworking community established in a location where you are more likely to have someone walking into your office in need of your service or product.
Whether they are in gaming app development, IT support or generally any tech industry, startup entrepreneurs in Dublin can find unrivalled opportunities in Coworking spaces established at the heart of those activities.
Where are other Coworking spaces?
Starting a Coworking space is as daunting a task as the challenge of kick-starting a business and goes through careful considerations in deciding its location. Different spaces may be formed around different or similar market niches and established far apart or close to each other. So, is this a factor for a tech startup to consider? Yes, there are some things we cannot overlook – Silicon Valley did not happen by chance! We had tech companies converging there and forming a tech hub that has since given birth to others across the globe. While a Coworking community strives to promote collaboration among its members, there is another collaboration happening between Coworking spaces in the same neighborhoods, sometimes commissioned by someone and most of the times by sheer spontaneity. As a tech startup seeking to join a Coworking space, you may have higher chances of success in a Coworking space that is part of an emerging Coworking hub. In Dublin, you can find two Coworking spaces just barely separated by a river or a short walking distance. Some established spaces even act as accelerators and incubators for upcoming spaces.