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Will 2017 be the year of the co-working space?

Varsha Roysam
posted on 16th January 2017
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Co-working spaces have now become the growth hub of the startup ecosystem, but the concept had its humble beginnings, a little over a decade ago. The idea then was simply to utilise basic infrastructure and resources that working from home could not provide.

But as the number of entrepreneurs grew, so did a hunger to collaborate, and to generate and exchange ideas. Soon it became clear that these spaces had tremendous potential to provide a network much needed for the growth of businesses.

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Co-workers enjoy and reap the benefits of a multifunctional space

Vishal Gaba, Founder of Movified, shared with YourStory the reason why he chose to work out of a co-working space.

It’s necessary for the team to brainstorm together as it yields better ideas. I believe that working from a co-working space is not just a fad but a necessity for startups. Firstly, a co-working space gives an office area without making a large dent in your pocket. Secondly, you are flocked by techies, startups, and entrepreneurs; and their help is readily available there. Thirdly, networking with these available talents is the most important unsaid part of the ecosystem.

Today, most co-working spaces are a cornucopia of services and benefits. Technological support, fundraising and networking opportunities, mentorship, basic amenities such a stocked pantry, cultural and de-stressing activities, a friendly non-competitive atmosphere, and a sense of community, make up some of the common benefits provided by all – this is of course, excluding the wide range of offers on renting desks. All co-working spaces, however, have one common offering – a hassle-free environment for the optimum growth of a business, which makes these spaces a hive for the busy bee entrepreneurs to co-work in.

Here are some notable co-working spaces present across the country with their unique selling points and their contributions to a flourishing startup ecosystem:

Bombay Connect

As one of the earliest players in the field, Bombay Connect has its roots set in the ecosystem. It has now diversified its member-base from primarily social enterprises to a wide range of sectors. Currently, its biggest contingent is its community of freelancers, but startups get a fair share of attention through regular networking events held across the country. They maintain collaboration with various other co-working spaces to provide their members with best possible growth resources.

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What is Bombay Connect’s USP?

Having been in the industry for a long time, we have found a way to strike a balance between service and collaboration – it’s kind of in our DNA now. What differentiates us is that we don’t focus only on early stage and tech startups.

A picture of your startup diversity

The community that we have is very diverse. For example, we house startups in fashion tech, food-tech, architecture, e-commerce, social enterprises, education etc.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We don’t screen the startups. We are open to everyone who wants to use our services. As far as incubation programmes are concerned, we used to run them, but none at the moment.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 500/-

Monthly: Starting at Rs 3000/-

BHIVE

Located in four prime areas of Bengaluru, BHIVE provides thought leadership for the startup ecosystem. With over 200 companies as part of their community, BHIVE has hosted over 500 events for entrepreneurs who have benefited from the expertise of industry moguls such as Kris Gopalkrisnan (Co-founder at Infosys) and Anshuman Bapna (CPO at MakeMyTrip), to name a few. Their co-working space is open for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike.

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What is BHIVE’S USP?

We are the only co-working space to connect our community through Workplace by Facebook. Fast and reliable workspace internet, with 99.9 percent uptime; 4 mbps speed per user. This has been achieved with over a year of research and establishing state-of-the-art processes that are unique to BHIVE Workspace. A growing green space and a notable hospitality are other assets

A picture of your startup diversity

A broad range of verticals such as consumer internet companies, B2C companies, B2B companies, high tech, big data, e-commerce, and HR.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We don’t screen the startups. We connect them with our partners who are incubators, angel investors, legal services, financial services, banks, digital marketing, advertising, and HR services.

Pricing

Daily: Starting at Rs 305/-

Monthly: Starting at Rs 5000/-

Wired Hub

Wired Hub has a niche in the co-working market of Jaipur, and is working to develop a sense of community in the Pink City’s business mind-set. Founder Himanshi Goyal believes that collaboration is still missing in Jaipur – a hole that WiredHub is filling with its facilities that’s benefiting not only entrepreneurs but lots of bloggers, artists, and other freelancers.

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What is Wired Hub’s USP?

We follow a club culture. When it comes to working, we are the ‘co-working club’.  With an informal setting that’s conducive for work, we host events, meet for coffee, and have Sunday breakfasts. We’re very informal and different that way.

A picture of your startup diversity

Mostly E-commerce, Edtech, and early stage startups.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We do acceleration programs in our partnership with many investors from Rajasthan, such as RAIN angel investors. Since we’re developing the market, we do not screen the startups that approach us but through the events we conduct, we provide them with the tools necessary for entrepreneurship.

Pricing

Monthly: Rs 3,500/-

CoWrks

Located in Bengaluru’s RMZ Ecoworld and RMZ Infinity, CoWorks brings together a large community of freelancers, independent consultants, startups, small scale enterprises, large corporations, and Fortune 500 companies in an attempt to create “cross-pollination” between this diverse member-base. With Millennials as their primary target group, CoWrks has created an atmosphere that draws influence from pop and local culture.

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What is CoWrk’s USP?

CoWrks prides itself on being India’s only large format co-working facility – with RMZ Ecoworld at 160,000 sq.ft and RMZ infinity at 30,000 sq.ft. Such a capacity takes mutually beneficial collaboration to the next level. This is what sets us apart. The CoWorks Connect mobile app facilitates better collaboration as it enables users to search across the entire CoWrks network for other members based on their skills or services.

A picture of your startup diversity

CoWrks has members across a wide range of domains such as real estate, aerospace, financial technology, AI, venture capitalists, fashion technology, e-commerce, and SaaS, among others. Creative independent consultants such as designers, photographers, and entrepreneurs find CoWrks an ideal place to work out of and form a significant portion of the community.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We accept members who we believe will add tremendous value to the community. Potential leads undergo a proprietary analysis that screens members to better understand them and their business. CoWrks also runs a thorough background check before closing any deal with a client.

Pricing

Monthly: Starting at Rs 10,499/-

InstaOffice

With seven centres spread across Delhi and Bengaluru, InstaOffice is a co-working space that welcomes not only startups but also SMEs, small MNCs, large corporations, freelancers, and professional consultants, thereby creating a diverse and strong community for collaboration. With their standard services, they proudly host a community of happy professionals who benefit from startup events, the frequencies of which are tailored according to their needs.

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What is InstaOffice’s USP?

We are trying to bring a systemic change in the way commercial real estate as an economic resource is utilised, while allowing our community members to reduce their office occupancy costs and landlord partners to earn superior rental yields. Multiple locations allow our members much-needed mobility in today’s times. It opens up a number of possibilities for them, including remote hiring, working from the closest location, having multiple small offices to address sales and customer delivery needs, among others.

A picture of your startup diversity

Recruitment firms, E-commerce, Transportation, Tech startups, AI analytics etc.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

No, we do not have any incubation programme. We have a mentor board which advises startups on growth and other challenges they might be facing. The frequency of the events we conduct are tailored to the needs of our clients and expose them to experts other than our already existing mentor board.

Pricing

Daily: Starting at Rs 350/-

Fortnightly: Starting at Rs 4,000/-

Innov8

With a mission to make India the Silicon Hub of the world, Innov8 creates a collaborative atmosphere for small and medium enterprises, startups, freelancers, remote teams, corporations with offsite teams, NGOs, and students. Located in Delhi, Chandigarh, and Bengaluru, Innov8, with its close knit ecosystem, has become a working space for disruptors – people that challenge the status quo.

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What is Innov8’s USP?

Moving a step ahead of collaboration is the incentives for women entrepreneurs. We have one of the highest female co-worker ratios in India. We believe that our #innov84women mission has significantly affected the community. By partnering with organisations like Women Who Code, Tipping Point, Sheroes, Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment(WEE) program etc., we are committed to our mission to sensitise as many women as we can across the country to help them become founders.

A picture of your startup diversity

We have startups from different sectors such as Fashion tech, Fintech, e-commerce, Tech (Big Data, AI, Robotics), Agro, Event management, Digital media agency, Video Production etc.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

While we do not conduct such programmes, we do help our businesses immensely by giving them a platform to network and grow. We organise and host diverse forms of events such as conferences, community meets, networking sessions, knowledge sessions, fireside chats with prominent industry professionals etc., which are of value to our co-workers.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 599/-

Monthly: Starting at Rs 6,999/-

Stirring Minds

As one of the pioneers in the co-working industry, Stirring Minds, now deep rooted in the startup ecosystem, bridges the Indian ecosystem with global ventures.  They’ve housed more than 200 startups, conducted more than 350 events, and have a base of more than few hundred mentors who have interacted with startups since their conception. Currently based in Delhi and Gurgaon, Stirring Minds is designed to fit in freelancers and individuals along with startups for effective collaboration.

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What is Stirring Mind’s USP?

We are not just a co-working space. We provide incubation, startup related services, capital, and also run educational courses for startups. We have been in the community for the last three-and-a-half to four years and hence are well connected with the startup ecosystem , not just in India but in developed economies, too.

A picture of your startup diversity

Anything that you can think of from Foodtech, Fintech, Hardware and IoT startups, e-commerce, marketing to core finance to NGOs, and a lot more. It’s the same for individuals – from photographers to writers to painters to interior designers to coders to marketing, finance consultants, HR consultants, lawyers, and so on.

Do you have a screening process for the startups?

For incubation, we have a team of mentors and advisors, and we ask the venture to pitch to us before we incubate a venture. But for co-working, we aren’t too stringent and there is no such standard list of criteria. We just look for a good fit for the community.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 500/-

Monthly: Rs 8000/-

Awfis

With 14 operational centres in NCR, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, Awfis houses a diverse community of members ranging from SME’s, large corporates, and solopreneurs across industries. They provide Uber-like real time bookings anywhere between one hour and 11 months prior to requirement, giving their users a flexibility of booking ‘just-in-time’ through their mobile app.

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What is Awfis’s USP?

We have tie ups in multiple cities for meeting rooms with hospitality players like Lemon Tree Hotels, Hyatt, Trident, Marine Plaza, Sarovar, Beatles, Red Fox etc. Our pilot project, called ‘Mobile Awfis’, in Gurugram, allows our members to book the van from the app and be productive even while on the road. Our eight-seater mobile van is fully equipped with work desks, meeting table, high speed Wi-Fi, teleconferencing, printing, CCTV, pantry, washroom, appropriate lighting, and ergonomic furniture for a comfortable and productive work environment.

A picture of your startup diversity

Awfis currently has members from sectors like e-commerce, Food tech, digital marketing, healthcare and wellness, Edtech, Fintech, travel, legal, and many more.

Do you have an incubation programme and screening process for the startups?

There are no set membership criteria, but we do focus on diversifying our community to provide more networking and collaboration opportunities to each of our members. We have a great mix of startups, SMEs, corporates, and freelancers from various industries working out of our centres.

Pricing

Daily: Starts at Rs 300/-

Monthly: Starts at Rs 4500/-

Collab House

As Hyderabad’s first Maker space, Collab House promotes technical, scientific, and artistic skills through collaboration and education. They bring together talent and knowledge with the primary aim to create as a community that also encourages research. They also collaborate with various local and national co-working spaces that allow their members a flexibility to access different infrastructure.

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What is Collab House’s USP?

Our focus is more than the members or startups at our space, we engage actively in the broader ecosystem in policy making, hosting conferences, bootcamps, hackathons, and more that engage the broader community across the city and country. In around two and half years Collab House has engaged more than 16,000 supporting community of hackers, makers, entrepreneurs, designers. We engage with around 30+ global and local communities like Teach For India, AIESEC, MAD, TEDx, Mozilla, XPRIZE, Art/ Creative, IIT Hyderabad, BITS Hyderabad, IBS and more.

A picture of your startup diversity

Technology startups in the IoT, AI, AR/VR space, architecture/design firms, on-demand sector, hardware, and Fintech.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We have a program for early-stage startups in IoT, AI, AR/VR and education space. The screening process includes a mix of team experience, product prototype with early users,  the problem that the product/service is solving, the market that the product or service catering to, the end customer, and market opportunity and competition.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 499/-

Monthly: Rs 5799/-

The Founders Café

Located in New Delhi, The Founder’s Café provides startups with the accessibility and flexibility needed for rapid acceleration. Members find complete business support from regular networking events and talks hosted by them. Invitees such as Nirmala Sitharaman, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, have contributed to such growth events. Their space isn’t limited to startups alone as about five to eight percent of the co-space is occupied by individuals and freelancers at any given point.

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What is TFC’s USP?

Apart from the energetic vibe, we are a big family and provide a conducive environment for our co-workers. Our team actively helps startups and companies connect to investors and mentors, with relevant events, networking and door-opening opportunities, with business support services (HR, accounting, legal etc.), and with business growth opportunities.

A picture of your startup diversity

We have startups and companies from the Fintech, Healthtech, Edtech, online marketplace, e-commerce, SaaS, Hardware and IOT, business services (marketing, HR solutions, tech development etc), Hitech, game developers etc.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We currently do not have any structured programme and screening process, but we do help certain startups with a range of services and capital on an as-is basis.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 400/-

Monthly: Starts at Rs 6,500/-

Hatch101

Hatch 101 provides an economical entrepreneurial ecosystem for their members in Delhi and Gurgaon keeping in mind the tight budget of small startups so that they can focus on their work and benefit form a diverse community. Apart from startups, they also accommodate SMEs, freelancers, architects and NGOs. With an intention to create an ideal mix of work and fun, Hatch101, along with providing support for startup growth, never forgets to celebrate birthdays in its community.

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What is Hatch101’s USP?

In order to maintain a conducive ecosystem, we have many affiliate partners and service providers on board, such as legal advisory, public relations, graphic designers, recruitment agencies, and healthcare. We organise several social activities wherein the members of Hatch101 get to interact with one another and enjoy their workspace. Both our spaces are conveniently located near metro stations; in fact, our Delhi center is right opposite the metro station.

A picture of your startup diversity

We cater to a diverse set of people who are our members. We have startups in hyperlocal, healthcare, logistics, digital marketing, education, and Fintech sectors.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We always prefer to meet the founders before signing them up at Hatch101. Our basic objective is to create a workspace with highly motivated, passionate and creative members. Teams from different backgrounds, diverse expertise, and product offerings help towards creating an ecosystem.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 500/-

Monthly: Starting from Rs 5,500/-

NUMA Bengaluru

NUMA Bengaluru is one of the many NUMA facilities around the world and its only branch in India. With digital innovation as the primary goal, NUMA Bengaluru provides startups, SMEs, and corporates with co-working and acceleration opportunities. Their first-come-first-serve co-working services are extended to individuals and freelancers as well.

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What is NUMA’s USP?

Our unique brand value is the team itself and the way we do the marketing for the space organically.

A picture of your startup diversity

Data developers, photographers, website designers, business development, marketing and travel agencies etc.

Do you have a screening process for the startups?

We do have a screening process for the acceleration programme but not for our co-working space, we are open for any kind of people to work out of our co-working space.

Pricing

Daily: Starting at Rs 300/-

Monthly: Starting at Rs 6,500/-

Jaaga

Located in central Bengaluru, Jaaga is a non-profit community builder that strives to solve real world problems. As a result, the startups utilising their space and facilities are a tightly knit community that provides urban, social, and environmental solutions. Other than Jaaga Startup, which facilitates co-working, Jaaga has two other tracks of development namely Jaaga DNA and Jaaga Study, which promote art and design, and build skills, respectively.

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What is Jaaga’s USP?

We bring artists, designers, technologists and activists together, offering free co-working in return for collaborations amongst community members (weekend offer). We continue to run all our initiatives, except Jaaga Sustain, on a not-for-profit basis. Jaaga Startup's USP is a focus on curating and building a diverse, balanced community of entrepreneurs.

A picture of your startup diversity

As a result of the curation we have tech-heavy teams working on AI-enabled fashion commerce,  HR analytics, AI-enabled personal styling, IoT-based fleet management, 3D printers, as well as music, urban gardening, farmer-consumer connect, energy policy research, and typeface design. We then have a set of skilled freelancers working on sustainable architecture, corporate law, digital marketing, product management, web and mobile app development, UX design, and so on.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

Jaaga Sustain incubates entrepreneurs that use technology to address environmental challenges. Jaaga startup, which has 60+ startups and 500+ alumni, has criteria for selection, the skills that ventures bring in and skills they look for. We interview every team and freelancer joining our community and then actively promote collaboration via skill sharing and co-creation.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 250/-

Monthly: Starting at Rs 2000/-

91springboard

With a presence in nine cities – Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Navi Mumbai – 91springboard has a vibrant community of freelancers, small firms, and early stage startups. With their community approach, they aim to transform co-working into a collaborative culture and to act as a ‘springboard’ to promising ventures.

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What is 91springboard’s USP?

Being the largest co-working space provider, we have the biggest network across the country of various stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem from mentors, investors, service providers, partners, and of course, entrepreneurs at various stages of their journey, creating the most value for anyone that joins the community.

A picture of your startup diversity

Our member startups are technology and IT, education, non-profit, e-commerce, mobile apps, travel, finance, digital marketing, web technology, HR, PR, design, sports, healthcare, hardware, AI, VR, and legal.

Do you have an incubation programme and a screening process for the startups?

We do not have a specific ‘business success based selection criteria’ put down in ink as such for our members. Having said that, we do have certain unwritten, guiding lights and lenses that we look through whenever we are interacting with potential members and select them on basis of ‘cultural fit’. While there’s no wrong answer here, it’s more about creating the right mind-set.

Pricing

Daily: Rs 499/-

Monthly: Starting at Rs 6,499/-

Base Station

Located in South Delhi, Base Station caters to independent professionals and freelancers rather than startups. They provide an informal café-style work environment with open seating, ambient music, and a stocked pantry. They have a slack team for effective communication and collaboration among their co-workers and offer their space for fun activities, free of charge on weekends.

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What is Base Station’s USP?

The space is self-run by the co-workers, giving them an ownership of the space – they’re free to play music of their choice, use the pantry to make themselves (and the other co-workers) tea, coffee, or even cook if they wish to. We highly encourage co-workers to give feedback and suggest new purchases for the office space.  Our per-seat cost includes everything from essential stationary/prints and pantry access to having a guest over for a few days.

Pricing

Weekly: Rs 3000/-

Fortnightly: Rs 5,500/-

Monthly: Rs 8,500/-

While these details do not cover all services that these co-working spaces are striving to offer, we hope that you now have the highlights you need to pitch your tent in one of them. Happy co-working!

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