When you think of co-working spaces, usually the first mental image you get is that of freelancers and creatives who are tired of working at coffee shops. These days, however, shared office spaces are much more than just a place where people can sit down and focus.
Mikko Barranda, co-founder of Acceler8, noticed how larger businesses were transferring entire departments to shared office spaces. This, he says, helps them to attract new and good talent from among the coworking space’s members.Â
“They’re saying in five years 70% of the workforce will be millennials, and the average age in the Philippines is 23-24. Especially for a firm that’s very traditional, you want to attract more millennials to come in since it spurs innovation,” he says. “The setting has to be in a place that speaks the same language.”
At the same time, traditional corporations look to co-working spaces to understand the latest innovations and find new-start-ups to fund. “They realized that they need to understand a new market in terms of technology, in terms of the pace, how fast things are, and this is where startups get built,” Barranda explains. “For example, financial institutions can come in and find opportunities for them to fund.”
While most co-working spaces do encourage collaboration, Acceler8 is unique in its efforts to attract start-ups and support budding entrepreneurs. “Anyone can build a nice space, cut it up, and rent it out. We want to evolve to something much more, really providing assistance to startups and encouraging more entrepreneurship in the Philippines,” says Acceler8 co-founder Mikko Barranda.
According to General Manager Cheska Bermejo, they do this by making sure their members get to know each other and fostering a sense of community. This way, members feel they have a support system and can easily bounce ideas off each other and ask for advice from people with varying expertise.
Acceler8 Co-Founder Mikko Barranda
On top of this, Acceler8 connects their clients with other businesses who provide funding, accounting services, business registration, incorporation, etc. Startups can rent dedicated desks or rooms, use the office as a place to meet clients, and register Acceler8 as their official business address. The company provides services like mail and package handling, dedicated telephone numbers with professional call answering, and personalized voicemail—basically the services a new entrepreneur would need.
“When we were building this and we had to go through the entire process the traditional way, if it took us a year then what we hope is to make it 2-3 months [for our clients] by assisting them,” Barranda says.
“If you were starting your own business today and you’re limited in terms of your capital, 80% of your capital goes to building your office. You want to conserve that so that you can use it for your business, and think about the real estate at a later date. If you were renting a traditional space, you’d have to get a bare space, but here it’s plug-and-play,” he adds.
It seems like the Acceler8 team goes above and beyond to get as many benefits for their clients as possible. Members also get access to other shared offices like Clock In and vOffice, as well as partner gyms and restaurants like Electric Studio, Nikkei, Wildflour, Single Origin, and Belle & Dragon.
Acceler8 also hosts educational events, community events, and boxing nights. Soon, they’ll be partner with Electric Studio to host rooftop rides at Clock In too. This way they not only help their members work towards their goals, but they make sure they maintain a good work-life balance as well. And isn’t that the holy grail for all us workaday joes?
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.