With the remote work revolution in full swing, companies around the world are debating the value of setting up their business in a coworking space. With much lower costs, a bevy of networking opportunities, and enough free coffee to make your head spin, getting situated in a coworking space seems like a no-brainer for companies looking to embrace this new work-from-home trend.
As members of WeWork Kinzie, Tech.Co wanted to learn more about startups that call the Chicago office home. We talked to three startups about what they're up to, what they're planning for the future, and how setting up in a coworking space has helped them to reach their goals.
Codeverse is a vertically integrated technology platform and coding school for kids aged 6-12. Its first studio location, an unprecedented tech-enabled, hackable classroom, will open in Lincoln Park in summer 2017. While many view coworking spaces as a place to network with potential partners, Codeverse took this practice to a whole new level by meeting more partners than you can count.
“The architect for our state-of-the-art coding studio, a designer who is making custom iPad cases for us, and another company who is designing awesome organic-shaped dropped ceilings made of felt all met us through WeWork Kinzie,” said Katy Lynch, cofounder of Codeverse. “I don't know where we would be without these amazing partners!”
Codeverse's mission is to “teach a billion kids to code,” and they plan on expanding the company on a global scale. It is imperative that children today are given the right tools and resources to be able to succeed in their ever-changing, technologically-advanced world, and Codeverse wants to be at the forefront of this achievable goal.
OneTable is a nonprofit organization that helps post-college millennials connect and reconnect with a Shabbat practice. In this fast-paced world, their online platform makes it easy for people in their 20s and 30s to intentionally slow down and reflect. Hosts across the country post unique dinners, enabling guests to find the right Friday night fit. They believe there’s nothing better than a great dinner with people you love, which is pretty hard to argue with.
While OneTable understands the value of networking opportunities, having a coworking space to host their events proved to be perhaps the most helpful aspect of their business.
“OneTable is a national organization, with hubs in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, NY, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC. We have 5 different WeWork offices, and we love each one of them,” said Al Rosenberg, the director of communications at OneTable. “Not only have we made great connections (and friends) through networking events, we have also hosted some of our larger dinners in WeWork spaces!”
As Rosenberg put it, OneTable is constantly experimenting with what works best for their guests and hosts, so as they continue to grow and help create communities, they're adapting to best fit the needs of their users. That means exciting new partnerships, more cooking/hospitality classes offered, and ever-increasing support for their users.
Chicago Super Sitters
Chicago Super Sitters is a babysitting placement service based on matching sitters to families based on more than just availability. All of their sitters are interviewed, reference checked, fully vetted, and carefully matched to the families in need. They cater to those parents that are new to the sitter game and need someone to hold their hand through the process. They also help families that need sitters in almost any situation, like last minute cancellations, visiting from out of town and need a sitter at a hotel, nanny is sick and kid needs to stay home, or regular date nights. Simply put, they're here to save the day.
Despite having moved on from coworking at WeWork, Chicago Super Sitters seriously values their time there, noting that the networking opportunities are hard to compete with.
“WeWork allowed us to be constantly networking, to connect with others having the same struggles and victories, and also to have a social atmosphere and energy to a very small staff,” said Tori Ulrich, the founder of Chicago Super Sitters.
Currently, Chicago Super Sitters is organizing to seek funding for big tech leap. They hope to build a system that allows them to automate what they can without losing their signature personal connection to the customers.
Read more about the value of coworking spaces here on Tech.Co