Mission: To strategically combine a private sector, local investment, “grassroots” operation of a novel and attractive coworking space with its community members.
Name: The Creative Space (TM) @[insert city name here]) in association or direct partnership with;
- Government/municipal investment
- Enterprise Centres/Chamber/BIA
- Accelerator/incubator programs
- Academic institutions
- Local startup community enablers
- Social Agencies (Social Enterprise focus)
The community/city wins as it now has a community owned, sustainable local business space attracting and retaining entrepreneurs in its downtown core.
The Creative Space (TM) brings economic and cultural stimulus to the downtown or area sector.
The service based members win by having low cost rent and high value networking relationships… A place to work, meet and learn.
The startups have the same space, but with the added benefit of being connected to the service organizations and companies for support, and to the mentors in the community, those present as part of the accelerator programs as well as other key startup community enablers.
The accelerator centre programs (incubator/innovation programs – typically government funded) win as they now can focus on their core skills and know that the community care is covered locally. Their cost is a membership as opposed to taking on and maintaining their own space.
The Enterprise centre wins as they now are directly in contact with real companies working at every stage of growth. Instead of handing someone a pamphlet, business card or url, they can point them to a real person for direction or mentorship. They can have access to the local community mentors and when they are ready to make the leap to a business they can get a member[ship] month to month. They have access to meeting and workshop space.
All members can plug into the events, workshops and the non-member business in the area win as they receive spin off work and services requests and can utilize the space for meetings and workshops if available. (rooms rented by the hour)
What The Creative Space (TM) brings to the table are the core values, mentorship, programs, space documents, branding, marketing and ongoing support to operate a locally-driven Creative Space. Some of the things that make TCS unique is our love for the arts and re-claimed spaces and our environmental and social responsibility while supporting existing and emerging community resources, as well as organizations that create long-term community resources.
We’re putting together a launch kit, a Blueprint and the potential key local stakeholders (Municipal, Provincial and private) provide investment back to us for bringing TCS to their city/town, and/or a monthly licensing/mentorship fee. Each space needs to take on a look and feel of it’s own. But the power of the TCS brand will bring in even more partners/sponsors along the way and, with each new relationship established, the benefit is passed on to each local Creative Space.
The ultimate goal is to cultivate a true entrepreneur/startup culture and see it grow and be sustained through the support of the key stakeholders.
We solveProblems, we create opportunities for our customers & partners.
Becoming involved in a coworking community reaps the benefits of a collaborative working atmosphere. Coworking augments one’s determination to work, opens up more opportunities for socializing and networking and enables you to solicit valuable insights and suggestions. Working in this atmosphere has proven to yield significant advantages. (Read this from Europe -http://www.entrepriseglobale.biz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/EBN-Coworking-White-Paper.pdf)
Socializing is one basic component of a healthy life. With freelancing, some people are reduced to working hermits, isolated and devoid of a social life. Meeting new acquaintances, making connections and creating value are hallmarks of effective work in the Information Age. Work can be fun and meaningful. In the context of coworking, one has the opportunity to seek more potential clients and perhaps join forces with another entrepreneur within the coworking community. Working alone sucks!
The TCS model is based on community and quality of place. It’s also a membership model which, although doesn’t guarantee the perfect mix, it’s proven to work thus far. We try and eliminate the multiple barriers to entry for most entrepreneurs and startups by offering low-cost month to month plans, keeping the costs all-in (no hidden fees, or extra cost for extra use) and getting them connected to a mentor network which is built into the ethos of our members as they work here ongoing. We value our families/work/life balance, our health, our community and our environment. So every decision we make is made through those lenses. Although we are for profit, we live by a triple P model. People, planet, profit.
Why would someone pay you money for your services.
Bottom line: the experience you have in our spaces, if leveraged correctly, will grow your company and you will actually enjoy coming to work. And because your office is NOT in your home, you can go home after. In the long run, it’s actually cheaper to have a membership than operate your own office and therefore it’s financially smart. Yes, you could “save” money and stay at home, but everyone in our spaces states their productivity increases dramatically when at The Creative Space. So every hour you don’t spend here is actually losing you money, not to mention the loss of your social, environmental and community impact.
The Planting of Spaces around the Province
Mentorship, consultation for starting a space
Find a person/company or group ready to start the process to building a coworking community to run a space and willing to buy, lease, rent a space (suggested size TBD, but I’d start with 4000 s/f at least) and work with the planting parters (see below) to access space needs.
We would train the managers in the ethos of TCS, featuring elements like local community focus, re-claimed spaces, shared resources, holistic care and social and environmental responsibility. The space and support we provide is the environment for revenue growth. All along striving for professional looking/ inspirational space.
TCS BLUEPRINT (The Manual)
- needs to be compiled
- brand, website, social media setup, intake process, admin docs, videos, space management tools and tips, etc…
Ongoing mentorship (monthly checkins, virtual or in person if possible)
The Space (Building)
Preferably,after a base community is established and commitments are made to cover lease/rent/purchase – find a home. Preferably in the downtown core. (re-claimed older space) We are a collaborative workspace and a community center. Our open workspaces are free of physical or cultural barriers to promote sharing ideas, questions, and passions. We strive to be innovative in our creative reuse of older buildings in redevelopment areas. Our facilities are designed to be flexible. The same facility can be rearranged for a variety of events to accommodate the community. The Creative Space facilities initiative members assist with security, wifi, scheduling, and maintenance.
- through leveraging our collective we’d aim for partnership/sponsorship for space design, furniture, and technical needs
1. Local Owners and Members of the space
- startups and serviced based members
2. Accelerator/Incubation Centre/Mars/etc.
- consulting,mentorship, incubation,innovation hub programs
-locally or virtually offered
3. Local Academic Institutions (Jr/Sr High Schools, College and Universities)
- to start a digital media zone type centre along side/within the Space
- Young Entrepreneur programs
4. Local Mentor Network/Chamber/Local Enterprise Services Centre
- mentorship/resources for local businesses. (service based/startups)
- locally operated
5. Local startup community enablers
- lawyers, accountants, VCs, AIs, etc
- Ignite: mini-ted talk type events (biannually)
- SPARK: alternative ed program for jr/sr high
- Open Coffee Club: entrepreneurs club every other Tuesday
- SMoffice (TM) competition (draw startups from around the globe to work/live in the town/city
- Art Gallery – local artists install 3-4 times a year keeping the space fresh
- Living Walls
- Health Zones (exercise, resting areas)
- Breakfast/lunch clubs to encourage healthy eating
- Startup Genome
- Hacker Hotel/Hacker space – live/work space for coders engineers/designer to code and conceptualize/prototype
- Coworking Credit Union
- Cafe/Coffee shop
Since opening it’s doors in late 2009
The Creative Space has grown 300%
WE MAKE MORE MONEY
All Members have said the have increased revenues by at least 20%. Two Companies have experience 60%-100% increased revenues with another two companies showing a 200% increase!
WE GET MORE WORK DONE
100% of members claim an increase in productivity being at TCS.
WE SUPPORT DOWNTOWN
- 1/3 spend $20-30/wk in coffee and food.
- 1/3 spend $60-$80/wk in coffee and food.
- 1/3 spend over $100/wk in coffee and food.
WE ARE GROWING
30% of those polled said they would be hiring 1-2 staff in the following year.
I think being personally invited to IGNITE BARRIE, soothed my curiosity and fuelled my fascination of people who think outside the box, march to their own beat and are not afraid to be forward thinkers. Be it creative in the arts, business or personal, this was a night to embrace great opportunity for enlightenment. I was to hear 8 passionate speakers talk in 5-minute intervals on subjects that do not define them in career or everyday routine. Each individual, each diverse in their own way, with slideshows! Walking through the doors at The Creative Space was not only warm and welcoming; the wave of many familiar faces also put me at ease. Scrap the first time jitters!
Introductions were left to Chad Ballantyne of Rhubarb Media who took to the stage with gracious command, bringing the audience to a delightful fervor that set the tone for the evening. Learning the view of others on global change, nature, faith, government, currency, storytelling, life lessons and medical triumph has truly left me inspired. Yes, knowledge is a powerful tool so I’m very pleased the event also included highlights from Laurentian University and its hopeful campaign to have a campus here in our downtown core. So, in the end with my having a multi-faceted vocation that holds many a wonderful challenge, this overall experience on idea sharing under such a roof has definitely got my attention.
Being introduced to those affiliated with The Creative Space revealed a unique approach to “spending time at the office” with its coworking environment. Bringing small businesses and entrepreneurs into such an alternative productive community can only press that to nurture positive creative synergy is well worth exploring.
For information on those who took the time to share the stage, I recommend you visit: Ignite Barrie
See full Picture Gallery on Facebook.
View Calendar Add Add
12 Dunlop St East
Barrie ON L4M 1A3
Hours: 9am – 6 pm, M-F