Tag Archives: co-working

Sandbox Berkeley Grand Opening May 13

Sandbox Suites, gracious hosts of some of FC’s events, is opening a co-working space in Berkeley. Freelance Cafe is invited to the grand opening party! Details below. -mia

May 13 6-9pm 1900 Addison St. Suite 200 Berkeley, CA 94704


Can’t see this email? View it in a browser http://sandboxsuites.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=514360ca01f55ec69b2ad48cb&id=b12b780e4f&e=046f162c01 You are invited to attend … Sandbox Berkeley Grand Opening

*Introducing Sandbox Suites now in the East Bay!*

We’ve excited to tell you that Sandbox Suitesis opening its second major location in downtown Berkeley next month! Located just two blocks away from BART in the historic Framas Lodge previously occupied by Nvidia, the new Sandbox Berkeley will provide the same amenities and services to the East Bay entrepreneur community. Best of all, Sandbox members will now have access to both spaces for the same price.

We invite you to:

Check out photos of the new space

Tour Sandbox Berkeley starting April 19

Sign up for a membership starting May 3

*Attend our Grand Opening party May 13!*

Drinky drinks – Hors d’ouvres – Fun music – Awesome people


Learn more on *www.sandboxsuites.com* or follow us on *Twitter* *Date* Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM *Location* Sandbox Berkeley 1900 Addison St. Suite 200 Berkeley, CA 94704


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it has a name…

So apparently my idea is called “co-working” and it’s not a unique idea by far.

Dave Gilson sent me this BusinessWeek.com article about “co-working facilities” popping up all over the place. I’ve logged some of them in previous posts, but there are a number of new ones that opened in 2006.

There’s even a coworking wiki to help coordinate people and coworking facilities across the country and abroad. But there’s still not one in Oakland.

Also check out this slide show of alternative work spaces connected with the article.

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NYC Writer’s Room

Rob Gunnison put me in touch with Doug Merlino – a fellow j-school grad who is now working as a writer in NYC. He works out of a place called the Writer’s Room. It’s been around since 1978 and was founded to create an affordable workspace for writers of all kinds.

Here’s what Doug says about it.

“I love the place I work… Basically, you apply for membership and, assuming you are accepted (you send them a resume and some references), it costs $100 a month to work there. It’s basically a big room with cubicles and a separate kitchen and phone area. You keep your stuff in a locker and, when you come in, grab a place that’s free to work.”

He also told me about another similar place called The Paragraph. This place was founded by two women who wanted to create a work environment similar to what they had in grad school. YES! Their space is gorgeous – I need to find out how they funded it. They also do special events, round tables, etc.

And here’s yet ANOTHER one in Tribeca – The Village Quill. Apparently the waiting lists for these places get so long they have to keep opening new ones.

Finally – Doug pointed me to this NYT article that basically proves the value of these kinds of work spaces. So very encouraging.

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same idea, different clientele

TWO ROOMS – A work space for freelance moms. Or at least it used to be. Their website is still working but it looks like their physical space is closed for the time being. I wonder what happened?

The main idea (from their website): “Parents work and children play at a facility designed to meet the needs of the growing population of freelance workers who are parents – a group that requires flexibility, professional resources and childcare. Our mission is to provide a comfortable and complete work environment for parents, with quality childcare on site, to give parents and children the room they need to be creative and productive.”

Childcare + Office Space – their tagline “You work, they play.”

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how could I forget

The Grotto – home of Po Bronson and other freelance superstars. It’s an amazing organization with one major problem – it’s exclusive to folks who are already relatively established in the freelance world.

Here’s an article by Po Bronson about writer communities.

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possible locations

My favorite space is at 23 Grand at Broadway. It’s next to Front Gallery, down the street from Luka’s TapRoom, and right across from a soon-to-be completed apartment/retail space currently called Broadway Grand. It’s 2000 square feet and costs $3500/month. I have no idea how reasonable that is for the size. Need to do more research here.

There’s another space on the corner of Broadway and Grand that’s 5000 square feet and $9000/month, but I think that’s a little too big/expensive. 🙂

The leasee for both of these spaces is Shahla Davoudi, owner of Elite Reprographics which is on the same block. We exchanged messages a few times and I’m sure I could set up a meeting with her if it came to that. (p. 415.957.1234)

There’s also a space available at 3237 Grand, right near the Grand Lake Theater. It’s $1200/month and it’s quite small (don’t know the square feet) – right next to a discount mattress place. I went to talk to someone there and they were pretty sketchy. But I won’t rule it out – especially for that price. (p. 510-432-0500)

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has it been done before and what makes this idea unique

mediabistro.com is probably the closest to what I would like to create. (Any name similarity is purely coincidental. If it’s too embarrassingly similar I will make a change – though I rather like “Freelance Cafe” (Dave’s idea)). It combines resources for independents with networking opportunities and special events/classes, and it emphasizes making connections between people who would otherwise be alone in their independent freelancers’ world.

Two thoughts on how my idea is different:

1) The physical space – while mediabistro.com creates opportunities for independents to meet, it is primarily an online space.

2) I’m not sure about the focus on media. While that is what I know the most about, there are plenty of freelancers/contractors who don’t work in media – for example – contract engineers. These folks have different needs and, potentially, a lot more money.

One thought on how my idea is the same:

1) Maybe I could work with mediabistro.com to create my cafe with their backing?

TechShop is a new space in the South Bay that seems really, really cool. It’s kind of like the Crucible (one of my favorite places in Oakland) but it’s for profit. These spots are obviously much more industrial than what I have in mind, but they do share the sense of communal resources and networking for people with like interests.

Here’s a recent news story about TechShop.

Creative Growth in Oakland is a well-established program to support creative expression, but it was created for adults with disabilities. Might be a good model for developing an Oakland non-profit. It’s been around since the mid 70’s.

– not really similar to what I want to do, but a very cool Oakland-based organization that is doing great things. Might be a good partnership opportunity.

Insomnia Cafe in Los Angeles is simply a cafe, but it encourages screenwriters and other independent LA types to sit and stay all day. I love the idea of creating a space like this. Lyssa (amazingly) remembered an article that was written about it the New York Times in 2004.

AudioLuxe is noteworthy in that it’s a local independent startup non-profit podcasting/training organization run by some folks I know-ish (Stacy Bond and Michael Johnson of KQED). They could potentially be a good partner/resource.

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