Last week, Search Office Space jumped on a Ryanair flight to Dublin for three days of coworking insights and Guinness-fueled fun, courtesy of the European Coworking Conference 2017. Over 500 delegates attended from across Europe and beyond, making it the best attended conference to date. Speakers included professionals from a range of coworking spaces, large and small, new and established.
As the coworking scene becomes firmly embedded in the commercial property market, discussions around how spaces can provide a truly bespoke service come to the fore. We’re also seeing a shift from catch-all coworking spaces to niche spaces targeted at specific industries, (and not just tech).
Coworking trending in Ireland
Hit hard by the by financial crash around a decade ago (during which Irish people lost more of their wealth than any other eurozone country), the country found itself in need of more accessible workspaces for the entrepreneurs and startups that would help rebuild the economy. Today, Ireland is home is home to some of the world’s largest tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook) together with some 1000 coworking members, 80% of whom are freelancers.
2017 Deskmag Survey – The results
The much anticipated results of the The 2017 Global Coworking Survey were published recently and the headline results shared on day one of the conference.
Here are a few interesting tidbits from the survey:
- Most coworking spaces have less than 50 members
- The UK hosts the largest coworking spaces in Europe, followed by Italy
- Perhaps unsurprisingly. the bigger the coworking space, the less members feel supported
- The average cost of a membership in the Eurozone is €170 per month
- 10 sq ft is the average amount of space a member can expect to be allocated (this includes breakout space as well as deskspace)
Ludgate Hub champions coworking in small towns
Self-described as Ireland’s first rural 1 Gig society, Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen on the west coast of Ireland is bringing flexible working to rural entrepreneurs. Despite only opening in 2016, the space has already had a €11.3 million impact on the local economy and has helped to digitalise many small businesses in the town. The space’s long term vision is to make Skibbereen a hub for technology startups and multinationals to operate in and prosper at a global level.
We’ll be featuring Ludgate Hub on our blog soon – watch this space!
Pitching a coworking project
Emerging coworking providers pitched for €1000 worth of funding on day three of the conference, with the view of using the money to help fund a specific project within their space.
Watch the pitching contest in its entirety here:
Exploring Dublin’s coworking spaces
Across the three days, we paid a visit to a diverse range of coworking spaces in different corners of the city.
Our first stop was Dogpatch Labs in Custom House Quay located in the heart of Dublin’s Digital Docklands. Equipped for scaling tech startups, their mission is to become the home of Ireland’s tech community. Every Friday, the space runs a meetup event where startups can hotdesk for free and socialise with other residents.
Daily events and talks centered around the tech industry take place in the breakout spaces.
Meeting rooms and a members bar can be found in 200-year-old refurbished vaults.
Our second stop was Studio 9 – a very different flexible workspace offering to Dogpatch. Studio 9 is situated in a beautiful Georgian house on North Great Georges Street and contains 13 deskspaces for creative freelancers. Owners John and Joe have created a homely DIY vibe and deskpaces provide generous amounts of space for designers and artists.
Bright and spacious, this coworking space very much feels like a home away from home.
Next, we took a trip to the River Liffey (south side) to pay a visit to the much championed Tava Building, a community driven social workspace that also offers a scholarship and incubation scheme. As you can see, we had no trouble finding it!
Photo credit: Irish Times
For more info on Coworking Europe, visit coworkingeurope.com.