Coworking in Boston & Cambridge
Coworking Spaces in Boston
Bill Jacobson and David Ulrich started Workbar when a tenant they were subleasing space from suddenly folded overnight and left them with 5,000 square feet and little time to make their next move! Bill explains how he got started:
"Having the flexibility to work from anywhere, myself and a few other dot-com era entrepreneurs started subleasing space downtown in 2007. In that time, I had the good fortune of working with the founders of Betahouse, an early tech focused coworking space in Cambridge, and loved their set-up. Inwardly I wondered if we could create a cohesive workspace community that attracted a more diverse set of professionals.
In 2009 the main tenant of our space folded, leaving us with the option to either vacate or get creative with 5000 square feet. We quickly developed our plans for a coworking space and pitched the landlords on our concept. Luckily they were intrigued and gave us a chance to experiment with the idea.
Three and a half years later we've moved, expanded, and are now opening our second location in Cambridge. Over 400 members have worked through our doors since we’ve opened, some have started new businesses, some have evolved into marriages and world travels, and others that I’m sure I’ll never know."
Workbar is located across the street from South Station, the main bus and train terminal and easily accessible for both locals and out of town travelers. Their second location is due to open in Cambridge this March.
In the fall of 2012, Workbar launched a program called OuterSpaces, to reach an even larger set of demands for which Workbar was not ideal. OuterSpaces takes the concept of coworking and applies it to existing, traditional office spaces around the city. It works with businesses that have extra workspace or offices and uses a monthly membership model to fill their empty seats with small teams and independent workers looking for dedicated workspace.
“The majority of our host locations are independent businesses who have never had the opportunity to network from within their own office space before. Since we know firsthand how powerful a collaborative community can be, it’s important for us to make synergistic matches between businesses that catalyze this type of collaboration. Powered by coworking, we’re taking what we know works and building a dynamic network of spaces across the city,” describes Anne O'Loughlin, the Director of Operations and Strategy at Workbar and who is spearheading the OuterSpaces program.
With collaboration as their main mission, OuterSpaces has also teamed up with other coworking spaces to help them grow. Milk & Broad and Encandle opened their doors in 2012 and are both participating as OuterSpaces hosts. Since the program began, it has helped both businesses grow their memberships. Like Workbar, Milk & Broad too was born out of necessity.The founding team, who are also alumni Workbar members, had a similar set of needs. They share their story: “As entrepreneurs running a small but growing startup organization, we were searching for a space in downtown Boston that allowed us privacy and collaboration space, but that was also affordable and kept us hooked into the startup ecosystem we’d come to know and love.”
In the high-end shopping district of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood you'll find Oficio. Charlie Weisman and Nima Yadollahpour, opened the doors to Oficio in 2011 and have recently celebrated their first anniversary. As entrepreneurs themselves, Charlie and Nima, “missed just two things about corporate life: access to office amenities, and the camaraderie of working in a shared space. They dreamed of a comfortable, modern, and continually evolving workspace in which ideas and creativity could flourish.”
They’re confident however, that “there's no longer a reason to go it alone.” To help inspire and facilitate business relationships, Oficio offers members who have held a membership for 6 months or more the opportunity to have their businesses analyzed by a team of in house consultants ranging from accounting services, copywriting, graphic design, corporate law, public relations and marketing.