The office, evolved: 12 inspired spots for coworking in Denver

By Micah Williams / Categories: / February 21, 2013

The Garage

In July 1995, Jeff Bezos sold a few books from a site called Amazon.com out of his garage in Washington. A few years before, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak constructed the Apple I out of the carport at young Steve’s house. Garages, and their stories, have business clout. Disney, Google, Harley Davidson, HP, Lotus, and Mattel had humble roots, and a host of other tech startups have, at one point or another, called the garage their home.

The garage has always been a place of tinkering, of thinking, building, creating, and discovering. Last year, at TEDxMileHigh, the ‘entrepreneurs garage‘ in the Exhibit’s Lounge symbolized and showcased creative businesses and the people that began their tinkering in the comfort of their sheet-metal walls. It’s creative. It’s a low-risk escape. The garage costs only electricity and what you pay for mortgage or rent, and nothing more.  

The Transformation

In the last few years, many early-stage startups have taken to coworking spaces that can fill a similar niche as garages—low overhead, flexibility, creativity—but they also serve to provide entrepreneurs with something else: a community. The community fills a psychological need that a garage alone cannot; that is, other people in states of eustress starting companies in a business environment that is at once scary and exciting. In a coworking space, an individual (or small group of individuals) instantly has access not just to copiers and fast internet, but to meaningful relationships with people going through much the same process as themselves. The community can provide necessary commiseration, useful contacts, new skills and insights, and lasting friendship. The benefits, both tangible and intangible, are helping to create a network of coworking spaces and communities across the country (and globe) that are re-inventing the traditional office cubicle.  

This is not brand new. There have been many articles published on the subject in the last couple of years, but coworking doesn’t appear to be a fad, although some spaces have ultimately failed.  Global growth has been 100% per year for five years. There’s even an event happening shortly in Austin called the CGUC (Global Coworking Unconference Conference) that seeks to identify the big ideas, and challenges, coming out of the coworking spaces of the world.

In Denver

Startup-haven Boulder aside (and its fantastic network of spaces), Denver has become a hotspot of its own for coworking. If the coworking environment works for you or your business, you’re in the market for a new space, or are interested in learning more, here’s what’s happening in the metro Denver area:

 

Creative Density

Locale: Uptown

Members include: IdeavistWith Good CauseVector Defector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shift Workspace

Locale: Alamo Placita (just west of Cherry Creek)

Members include: Waffle BrothersOne ReachBanyan Real EstatePomfreet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Desk

Locale: Capitol Hill

Members include: Unlisted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Spaces

Locale: River Art North District (RiNo-near 5 points)

Members include: Edge of 7OneSeed ExpeditionsDenver Voice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thrive

Locale: Lower Downtown (LoDo)

Members include: Stack ExchangeThe Social Route

 

 

 

 

 

Galvanize

Locale: Golden Triangle

Members include: Slice of LimeActive JunkyForklyUberDabbleMed Passage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Battery 621

Locale: Lincoln Park

Members include: Something IndependentSpyderPublic Works, IcelanticDrumbeatBWBacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncubed

Locale: Lower Downtown (LoDo)

Members include: Unlisted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hive Cooperative

Locale: Lower Highlands (LoHi)

Members include: Unlisted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Creative Farm

 Locale: 6 Locations including Capital Hill, LoHi, and LoDo.

Members include: Unlisted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 D90 Network (in progress)

 Locale: Five points

Members set to include: 27 international development organizations including iDE, 1010 Project, Engineers without Borders, Nokero, Mountain 2 Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Innovative Alliance

Locale: Lincoln Park

Members include: Americorps, TSC GlobalNuba Water Project

 

Did we miss any?

Do you work at a coworking space? If so, what are your thoughts?  If not, why?