November 2015 will see the world’s largest co-working space for startups open in London.
The workplace is being opened by WeWork, the co-working platform for entrepreneurs and will be opened in Fore Street, Moorgate. The 166,038 sq.ft site will provide an area for 3,100 members, and will span eight floors.
WeWork was founded in New York by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010 and is now purported to be worth $10 billion. The company has 700 employees across the globe and has been opening new sites, such as the planned Moorgate one, on almost a monthly basis. The company’s latest site in the capital will provide WeWork with a well-placed hub to continue their global expansion.
The idea behind WeWork is relatively simple. With each new site the company builds up a membership base (or community) of entrepreneurs, using a number of country-specific membership benefits to encourage people to ‘sign up’. Other benefits include the ability to use any of the workspaces around the globe, access to a huge internal network, access to bespoke events (and apparently unlimited free beer!)
WeWork’s overall idea is to get their members to collaborate on various projects and businesses and build partnerships without certain barriers, such as a lack of meeting space, lack of contacts or the fact a company is across the other side of the world, getting in the way.
WeWork already has a number of big hitters as members, including Amazon, Farfetch, KPMG, SkyScanner and SoundCloud and it seems that more are signing up with every passing week. It has been reported that over 30% of members have already done business together and this is probably helped by the number of international locations that WeWork has across the globe.
There are two kinds of WeWork membership:
– Commons Membership
This membership starts at £30 and you get access to a workspace’s facilities.
– Full-Time Membership
You can choose between desks membership, which starts at £325 a month or large private offices membership, which starts at £650 a month.
Full time membership provides everything your business might need (and expect from full-time membership), such as furniture, access to the internet, a cleaning service, as well as other administrative functions including payment processing and payroll, IT maintenance, legal support, web hosting and access to cloud storage.
Members can also benefit from access to events like ‘lunch and learns’, which occur on a daily basis. Members have access to one-on-one business mentoring, and health classes such as yoga and meditation in addition to professional development opportunities, i.e. technology talks and life coaching sessions. Of course, there’s the social side too, with members getting to enjoy wine tastings and movie, salsa, and quiz nights.
The Moorgate WeWork co-working space for startups has been designed by Matt Wood. The space is designed as you might expect it to be in order to attract the target audience of startups, as well as more experienced companies who might be looking for some inspiration and perhaps a few collaborative working opportunities.
There are a number of breakout areas where people can recline on bean bags and hammocks and mix with other members; the conference rooms have been designed as luxurious lounge areas and there’s also a wealth of amenities on hand.
All in all, the opening of this workspace seems to be very positive step for London-based startups.