They don't actually use the term coworking, and I'm glad they don't.
Others including media do call them coworking, but without an actively
engaging community, they are just a business centre.
There isn't much community there at all. There are some people that go
there with some regularity, but from what I understand one can't use the
space for more than 40hrs/mo (that's not a lot to run a business!) and with
that low frequency and high turnover it is hard to really get to know your
coworkers, much like a cafe. They aren't coworking, they are work space
with services, much like an executive suite or business centre.
I had a personal connection with one of their senior managers who was
developing the space though he didn't tell me until they were ready to
launch, and the space is an 8min walk from our door. A little too close for
comfort both personally and in terms of business. When they were about to
open they approached us under the guise of wanting to collaborate, but
offered nothing that they could do to bring traffic into our space and all
what we could do to bring traffic into their space. Our members could hold
meetings there, our members could get a discount there, our members could
host events there, etc. And I blatantly asked what they could do to bring
us traffic, and they were dumbfounded and almost insulted that I would ask
such a thing. I actually asked them not to open their space but rather
offer some loans or bursaries that the other coworking facilities can
access to develop their own spaces, call it sponsorship if they want, but
invest in us rather than take away from us, but they weren't open to that
idea t all. So much for collaboration.
Over all I've made peace with their existence here. We can change on the
fly, innovate around them, do far more for our members on a personal level,
and offer an independent space without blasting advertising in their faces
every time they enter the space, everywhere they look, and every time they
log on to the internet. If people want a coworking experience, they come
find the real coworking spaces in Toronto. If people want a fancy workspace
without commitment, they can consider going there.
I know that CSI has a relationship with them that seems to work, so maybe
Eli or someone else can chime in about that. To my knowledge they (the
bank or the business centre) don't work with any other coworking spaces
here in Toronto.
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On 26 April 2012 17:46, Aliza <aschlab...@gmail.com> wrote: