Space to grow and thrive
Inner-city investors are offering young innovators with big ideas low-cost office spaces to launch their businesses while stimulating the local economy.
A growing number of co-working spaces are popping up across the city, putting entrepreneurs, students, mining companies and not-for-profit groups side-by-side in a bid to keep overheads down while revving their businesses up.
The latest company set to launch a shared-offices concept is Atomic Sky.
Marketing manager Arna Jade said the idea was to help stimulate the local economy while helping start-up companies really get off the ground.
“A lot of businesses find it difficult to be able to afford office space, because often they only need between 40 and 80sqm in the beginning, which is very difficult to find,” Ms Jade said.
“The idea behind the tech hub is that it’s a temporary space where new companies can share resources and even staff until they can start to generate some profits.
“We have six businesses confirmed already and we’re hoping it will attract a variety of industries. Everyone has that one business idea that they know will work but they don’t always know how to execute that idea, or they don’t have the resources to build the business up.
“Our role is to help them build a great business and offer some advice along the way. We’re looking at eventually running some courses geared towards showing people how to secure the extra investments they need to really start being profitable.”
Atomic Sky is offering start-ups office space at its Northbridge headquarters, with 230sqm available in total.
“Some of our clients have worked in a particular industry for 20 years, and they have some good ideas,” Ms Jade said.
“They may have been made redundant but still have so much to offer. In a co-working space they can build networks and share resources.”
Spacecubed managing director Brodie McCulloch said his company’s co-working concept had taken off since it was launched in March 2012.
“We opened up our second space in September last year and we have close to 500 members,” Mr McCulloch said. “We are reducing the barriers and heavy overheads for people with a good idea.
"The spaces allow people to market their idea and establish networks and we provide them with mentors, desks and meeting rooms, so they can turn their idea into a solid business.”
Mr McCulloch said some members worked full-time but used the co-working space after-hours in trying to launch their own business concept.
He said Australia was leading the way with the co-working business model.
“With different industries working side by side, it becomes a very creative environment,” he said.
“Each start-up is given access to a lot of talented people, which creates new opportunities and generates employment down the track as businesses grow.”
Small business commissioner David Eaton said while office or working spaces had been available for lease in Perth for a long time, the new style of organised co-working spaces offering a community/ networking environment were relatively new, with only a few operating in the CBD.
“Small businesses make a significant contribution to our economy and our community so any initiative that assists small businesses to grow and prosper is a good thing,” he said.
© The West Australian
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