BootUP Ventures Coworking

The Most Common Mistakes Coworking Spaces Make and How to Avoid Them

Coworking spaces are becoming very popular now and the industry is growing exponentially every year. There are many different ways to draw in members, but there are also some common mistakes that coworking spaces make that can lower their rating or worse, cause them to fail. Below are the most frequent coworking space mistakes made and how you can avoid them.

1. Not having a plan for growth.

It’s normal that a coworking space creates bonds between their members because a lot of it is about building a community and having deep relationships and engagement from your members. The problem here is that coworking owners can become attached to members and fail to look ahead to the next sale and finding more members to fill the space. This business is natural to have a high turnover as members grow their own business and move on so it’s important for managers to focus on getting new leads.

2. Not understanding the turnover.

This point is similar to the last, in that coworking spaces need to realize that coworking is often an industry with high turnovers. As David Poole, a project manager at Academized and Boom Essays explains, “these shared spaces are ideal for members starting new companies and are growing and so after a few months or years they move out of the flexible shared space into more permanent offices. If the coworking manager doesn’t understand the high turnover and doesn’t have a strategy in place for handling it, they’re setting themselves up for failure.”

3. Not listening to feedback.

One major mistake made by coworking spaces is ignoring client feedback or simply not seeking it out. The members want to stay with the company and grow their businesses but they need certain basic needs, including fast and reliable internet, privacy areas that are soundproof for phone or video calls, private office space, and attentive staff. If you’re not engaged in listening to your clients’ needs and you’re not seen to be spending money on what matters to them, they will quickly notice and look elsewhere. If you hear from your members that the kitchen spaces are dirty or the bathrooms are lacking, look into hiring a cleaning team. If your internet is constantly spotty, look into different providers or replacing the hardware.

4. Focusing on trendiness instead of productivity.

It’s easy to let yourself be carried away by trends in the industry and seeing what other spaces are doing. The problem is that coworking spaces might try to be trendy to attract their members but this will usually lead to a lack of productivity. For example, buying fancy furniture that isn’t actually comfortable to sit on, or investing in cool gadgets like popcorn machines. It’s important to remember that your members aren’t you, and they won’t necessarily like what you life. If the purchases aren’t increasing the productivity or providing added value to your members, they probably are unnecessary and may be hurting your business. Instead, consider investing in practical things like a wellness centre, a 3D printer, or a child play area.

5. Improperly allocating resources.

Similarly to the previous point, it’s important to properly allocate your resources, both financially and in time and energy spent. Patricia McLellan, a business writer at UK Writings and Essayroo, says that “almost half of your resources should go toward making sure your space is productive and comfortable, because that is the number one thing all your members will look for and won’t compromise on. After that you can focus on professional and social networks, inspiring your members, and flexibility.”

6. Not providing access control.

It’s important to invest in an access control system to give your members keyless access to the space. This saves you from having to hire someone to be at the front desk 24/7 but still allowing full time access to the space for your members. It’s important to focus on this because every part of your space is at a premium and you need to make sure there are no free loaders taking advantage of lax security.

With coworking spaces becoming more and more popular, there are so many opportunities out there and as a coworking owner or manager, you need to be listening to the needs to the community to make sure your business is successful.



Ellie Coverdale, a technical and marketing writer for State of Writing and Paper Fellows, is involved in important tech research projects. She also researches and writes about advanced in remote work and flexible work arrangements. She teaches writing classes on the side at Australian Help.

Hong Kong Startups Get Challenged at BootUP

A few months ago, we wrote about Mukul’s visit to Hong Kong, on the invitation of HKTDC. Now, we are pleased to talk about Hong Kong visiting BootUP! A group of 12 startups from the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park came to San Francisco for TechCrunch Disrupt SF. In order to be best prepared for maximum results at the event, BootUP held a mini Bootcamp pitch training session for the visiting startups. Practicing the difficult art of the 30 second pitch challenged the entrepreneurs to really craft their message. Mukul walked each of them through their key points, helping each of them get their story delivered as best as possible. This practice served the startups well in their demo session after lunch with a panel of investors and mentors from BootUP’s dynamic community. Thank you HKTDC and HKSTP for bringing your startups to BootUP!  Thank you also to the startups for sharing your story with us: Alps Robot; Appcider; Automation for Humanity; Cathay Photonics; Clinkgo; Doki Technologies; Greensafety Technology; NoPhish Technology; Optitable Technology; Racefit International; Squared-S Artificial Intelligence; TOZI Technology.

 

 

Shortly after the startups’ visit, we had the honor of welcoming HKTDC Director of Research, Nicolas Kwan, and Assistant Principal Economist (Global Research) Research Department Louis Chan, together with our good partner the HKTDC Los Angeles office, Chris Lo. We enjoyed an engaging dialogue about the differences between Silicon Valley and Hong Kong startups culture.

BootUP Hosts Young Nigerian Winners of International Competition

A team of five Nigerian teenagers won first place at the Technovation World Pitch Summit in the Silicon Valley for their app, FD-Detector, that helps detect counterfeit drugs. Nigeria has been fighting this problem of fake drugs for decades and these young girls have provided a potential solution to save thousands of lives with their app. Team Save-a-Soul plans to partner with the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to create a database of certified pharmaceutical products so that anyone with a smartphone can use the app to determine whether a drug is real or not.

 

At BootUP, we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship will help make the world a better place, but to make this to happen, we must empower more people to become entrepreneurs and leaders. Last Friday, we had the privilege of hosting these five girls at BootUP in order to do just that. This is what BootUP Africa is all about – nurturing and supporting the incredible entrepreneurial talent in Africa.  We applaud these young girls and the village it took to bring them to where they are today – their parents, teachers, mentors, and more. We expect to see great things from these poised and talented young women of the future.

 

Keep in mind that just five months ago, these girls had no access to the internet and barely any knowledge of how to use a computer.  Today they have proven to the world, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” We can all learn from them. Let’s keep innovating!

Argentina – One Sunny Friday!

What a great group from Argentina visited us last Friday, courtesy of our good partner Miguel Casillas from SV Links!  Representatives from corporates, startups, and academia spent a half day at BootUP, enjoying presentations from some of the entrepreneurial and innovative members of our community: Dave Binetti; Rafael de la Vega, Head of Digital Strategic Partnerships at Banco Santander; and Gustavo Lemos, Co-Founder & CEO of Mediar (previously IDXP).  We even had the Beam in action, showcasing this iconic technology developed at Willow Garage, where BootUP is located today. When asked why they were visiting Silicon Valley, the group said they were here to learn all about innovation. Wrapping up the day, Mukul Agarwal, Founder & CEO of BootUP Ventures, challenged the group to think about what innovation really is – innovation takes you from where you are to where you need to be in an environment in which you are allowed to make mistakes.  

There is no “failure” in innovation!

It was a true pleasure meeting the representatives from:  BLD; Apnea and Jalep; Budget; Distribuidora Di Cuneo; Hey Latam; IAE Business School; Ingenieria Boggio; Isiar Group; Jose Ignacio Parola; La Reina; La Sibila; Lean Analytics Association; and Universidad Austral.  We look forward to seeing you again and helping you on your innovation journey.

Ukrainian Elite Meets @ BootUP

 

Over the past months, we have been privileged to have many top Ukrainian events at BootUP, including the first Silicon Valley pitch night for Ukrainian startups with participation by the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) and a visit by the National University of Kyiv-Moyhla Academy.  Last week, Silicon Valley’s Ukrainian elite met at BootUP, organized by Marianna Bonechi. This influential group of Ukrainians in Silicon Valley, leaders in their fields, will meet regularly to engage on topics relevant to their community at home and abroad. Participants included: the Consul of Ukraine Oleksandr Krotenko, responsible for Trade & Economic Affairs; the 2017/2018 Cohort of the Stanford Ukrainian Emerging Leaders – Oleksandra Matviichuk, Center for Civil Liberties and Euromaidan SOS; Dmytro Romanovych, Delivery Office of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine; and Olexandr Starodubtsev, Prozorro;  as well as entrepreneurs – Vlad Voskressensky, Founder & CEO Invisible.io; Sasha Reminnyi, Founder of StepShot; Dimitri Lisitski, Co-Founder of Influ2; and many highly skilled tech professionals working in senior positions in the area. It was a night filled with brainstorming and vibrant dialogue about how the Ukrainian Silicon Valley community can better support each other by creating an intellectual and business exchange hub, building a stronger bridge to Ukraine by supporting Ukraine’s startup founders. BootUP is ready to help by providing a place for this group to meet, as well as a platform to assist Ukrainian startups to achieve success in Silicon Valley.   

BootUP-Ukraine is on its way!