Connect113, Alexandria’s original co-working space, is celebrating a busy fall full of new tenants, awards, and successful networking events.
Many ask, what is coworking and who uses these spaces? Coworking spaces, like Connect113, are popular with freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs and startups alike. Co-working, a trend now on the rise, has already proven majorly successful with the number of general co-working spaces jumping 83% since 2013. With freelancers and independent contractors expected to make up 40% of the workforce by 2020, the need for co-working spaces has grown. (CBS News)
The allure of working in a shared space is the ability to make connections and bounce ideas off of other entrepreneurs and small businesses. Being at Connect113, Beth Lawton of Canoe Media, is able to hold free monthly office hours to discuss the ins-and-outs of digital media and marketing. This also serves as an opportunity for Beth to grow her network and potentially help many other start-ups like her own. “Connect113 has been great about opening their doors and letting me run my free office hours…It is very helpful to be able to connect with public and local small business,” added Lawton.
“It speaks volumes about who the young professionals are these days…the embodiment of the younger business perspective is entrepreneurship and creating rather than just managing,” explains Arthur Tamayo. Tamayo and his team are current members of Connect113 who’s start-up business, Guest House Events LLC, was just nominated for Best New Business by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.
“Connect113 is great for young businesses since they are always changing. You have the foundation of an office space but also the versatility to adjust to the ever changing business world.”
Multiple members explain how they have been able to truly bounce ideas off other members and get great feedback, which is very important in an entrepreneurial business, ‘since [entrepreneurs] live off ideas and need to bounce them off key leaders.’ Connect113 radiates a sense of community, bringing in both business leaders and start-up gurus. The space gives members not only a home, but also a family.
Originally launched in 2010, Connect113 now offers: 24-hour access, conference rooms, guest hours, kitchen, shower (yes, even a shower), a dedicated address/mailbox as well as building directory listing(s) and discounted rates for every additional team member of your growing business. Members receive all the essential amenities (wifi, supplies and coffee, of course) you would expect to find in a corporate setting along with the creative energy and camaraderie of a startup.
Furthermore, Connect113 offers monthly events geared toward networking with notable leaders such as professors, business experts, authors and successful entrepreneurs aimed at inspiring and educating its tenants and community as a whole.
Some of the most successful companies began with one desk, one chair and one idea. Utilize Connect113 to jump start your business, along-side some of the D.C. area’s brightest entrepreneurs.
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