For any small startup, finding an office location can be a challenge. Balancing space size, functionality, location and cost can all make finding a great location difficult. However, having an office space is essential for any companies' success and collaboration. Although we are a micro startup, finding a space we could call "home" was important to us. Because we are so small we did not need an entire office space of our own. We currently have a home based manufacturing process and all of our products are handmade. With that, we wanted somewhere that would get us out of the house and encourage collaboration and creativity.
After considering many options we decided a coworking space would be ideal. Luckily, Boulder is buzzing with coworking options. We decided to try several in the area in order to find the space that suited us best. Going into each space we focused on a few main criteria including location, price, conference room access, diversity of other members and the space itself.
The first location we tried was Galvanize (1023 Walnut Street Boulder, CO 80302).
While Galvanize was a bit on the pricier end at $375 per month, it offered a large space with plenty of options to choose from for coworking. They also offer a mentor program and since they also have a web development and data science school, they have coding classes that are available to members. They have various food options with a cafe on their bottom level with food and drinks available for purchase and a large rooftop deck with access to food from Corrida. We enjoyed the space overall however, we found the space to be a little dark and have extra additions we did not need.
Next up was Office Evolution (4845 Pearl East Circle Suite 101).
Office Evolution had much more of a "traditional office" feel. They offered less coworking spaces and had a more closedoff layout. Unlike most of the other spaces we visited they were also not on and around Pearl Street. While this meant they offered ample (and free) parking, the location was not as ideal. That being said, they were on the more affordable side at only $99 per month, per person.
Industrious (1919 14th St, Suite 700) was the next space we tried out.
The one thing was can say for certain about Industrious is, "oh my views!" Lined with floor to ceiling glass windows, and being in the heart of Boulder, Industrious offers a view of the Flatirons like no other. Yet, that view comes with a price. At $500 per month, this location is the most expensive of all the coworking spaces we tried. We also found this location catered more to renting out office spaces than coworking. There were limited places to cowork and the internet connection and access to outlets were scarce.
Continuing on our journey to find our perfect office space, we went to Niche (944 Pearl Street).
Niche certainly had the most unique space. We appreciated its open and distinct space and it surely didn't hurt that they had kombucha on tap! But yet again, we found that the space to actually sit down and work was on the limited side. It was also on the upper side of the price point at $300 per month. They do offer full access to their conference rooms which was a major bonus. However, the entrance into Niche is through a backside alley. We felt this would not be the best first impression when trying to meet with visitors.
Studio 35 was split into two levels with the coworking being in the basement and the offices, conferences rooms, and ever important libations being upstairs. It offered plenty of space but the split levels made it lack a cohesive and team oriented feel. The coworking area also did not contain any windows.
As for Fuse, we greatly enjoyed our day there. Doubling as an event center, they have access to the Boulder creek and members have the option of working alongside the serene creek. The owner is also not one to miss and gave us a personal tour. While we loved the space, we wanted a location that focused mostly on coworking.
Lastly, and *spoiler alert* our current office, was Impact Hub (1877 Broadway Suite 100).
While we had a great experience at all the coworking spaces we visited, Impact Hub was the perfect fit for us. In terms of the space we loved the location, size and light it offered. Impact Hub has numerous coworking desks available and even offers "quiet" and "noisy" areas. They also offer full access to their conference rooms and phone booths at no extra charge. Impact Hub maintains a great diversity of members in terms of gender, and business industry. That was an important criteria when making our choice and we have not been disappointed. Impact Hub also offers several opportunities for its members to network and grow. This includes monthly presentations on different topics, networking happy hours and bi monthly potlucks to encourage interaction between members.
We have now been at Impact Hub for several months and are loving it. Having a professional place to collaborate, bring visitors and be inspired by others has been invaluable. The high tech espresso machine also doesn't hurt... For any small startup considering a coworking space we can say with full confidence that we would definitely recommend doing so. Having found the work home we desired we are excited to continue to grow and develop as a company!