June 5, 2013
“Throughout all of my startup work, I kept seeing the same, stupid pain point,” explains David Mandell, CEO of PivotDesk. “Individuals spent about 25 to 30 percent of their time trying to figure out where to set up their business instead of focusing on their actual business.”
Mandell, in an effort to give back to the startup community that has given him so much, has crafted an intensely innovative solution to said problem. PivotDesk, his newest startup, removes the pain of finding available office space.
You only need to go to the main site, type in how many people work with you, and what you are looking for. PivotDesk then enables a conversation between two parties that might be a good fit together in the same space.
The goal is to match businesses that operate in similar fields for collaborative purposes and to avoid friction between the two parties. The online dashboard makes handling legal documents and payments between these companies fluid and easy.
“We talk to a lot of startups that are looking for a temporary space on a flexible basis,” says Mandell. “But they come through with demands like exposed brick walls and private offices. I always tell them: No, what you need right now is a space with a like-minded company.”
Not only is it difficult to find an office, but it can be very damaging for fledgling businesses, too. Early-stage businesses that sign a lease are typically on the hook for three to five years.
While this grants them space, they have to personally guarantee the money. And it goes without saying that small businesses fail sometimes. If you are on a three-year lease and the ship sinks after three months – well, you do the math on that one.
The market for sharing office space is a two-sided coin, and thanks to the innovative PivotDesk users, Mandell’s service is going far beyond simply connecting local businesses. For example, businesses in New York that want to host their salespeople in San Francisco can now find a flexible arrangement for an office. European companies that are looking for a footprint in major American cities can use Pivot Desk to find a space for their employees in days as opposed to months. At its core, PivotDesk seeks to fit dynamic growth businesses into static structures.
“My view of the United States is that people bank too much on big or small business,” says Mandell. “However, I think it’s going to be dynamic growth business that will save our economy: They drive employment. The trick is to get the government to recognize that.”
PivotDesk was featured at Tech Cocktail’s San Francisco Mixer & Startup Showcase on May 22nd.
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