Kick-off meeting, Paris, 28th & 29th of November 2013
The whole consortium gathered in Paris the 28th of November at the Maison des associations of the 11th district of Paris. Will Evans (Amery Brothers) introduced the meeting and the project.
Then, as we are many participants, each attendee introduced himself and his/her organization.
Before the meeting, it has been asked to each organization to provide some research about co-working in their countries. The day started then by a presentation from each partner of its researches. Good practices will be summarized in another document.
Then, we asked Basil Samson from studio Singuliers (co-working space in Paris: http://www.studios-singuliers.fr/) to come and join us to present the activity of his organization: One year ago, 5 co-working spaces in Paris but all specialized. Studio Singuliers has chosen to be generalist and without specialization. The space can welcome from 30 till 40 workers. Normally no more than 60 desks in Paris due to the rents.
Discussion with Basil Samson and all partners about exchanging good practices.
Informal discussions during lunch time.
During the afternoon, we discussed the following subjects (all decisions made are in the document “Paris decisions”):
- Vision for the Outcome : we asked each participant to tell to the whole consortium about his/her vision of the outcome of the project. Lots of ideas have been raised. We decided to create an e-book and a website (blog).
- Mobilities and topics : the list of future mobilities is available on “Paris decision” document.
The day 1 finished with a diner.
We met at e-Junior work place for half a day of a meeting. Will Evans (Amery Brothers) proposed us to work in small groups of 4/5 people (from different countries to create a representative sample of co-working communities across Europe) in order to think about co-working in support of a start-up community. To achieve that goal, he asked us 3 questions. Each group had to try to answer it and create a discussion about these issues.
Then all responses were gathered and we all have a discussion about this topic.
Results of the workshop:
1: Community Variation – what are the most important characteristics of a community for decision making about Co-working provision
· Is there an existing demand for coworking space? Understand the kind of the demand.
· Size, economic structure, government support, space, age demographic, identify the needs
2: What examples of best practice have we learnt about regarding Co-working?
· Space pulled not pushed to the market => answer to a demand
· Sustainability, links to other offers, location, identity…
· Don’t be afraid to say no to people
3: Create five ideas for practical advice that could be included in our model which would help communities start or improve co-working provision
· Unique selling point: common goal/common community OR provide superior facilities (parking, gym, networking…)
· Understanding the target market in details (prices, facilities required…)
· Be flexible
· Financial control
· Curate the members, make sure they fit
· Combining the co-working offer with something more (add services)
· Marketing campaign: PR, stories of successful entrepreneurs
· Start small then try to reach a critical mass: identify the first target, contact them before starting
· Common identity
· Scalable offers
· Find out existing courses, trainings for entrepreneurs/possibilities for funding (national & international)
· Use European structural funds (extra strength)
· Decide how to manage your group: be aware about how to manage conflicts: ability to remove members in a relatively short notice (UK: 1 month)
· Intercultural communication
· Dissemination plan needed: who to contact, where, how…
· Sustainability: how sustainable your products are => general evaluation of your activities is needed
· Research the community
· Business model: maybe not sustainable at the beginning but absolutely needed
· Physical space
· Value add
Next meeting: London, 6th & 7th of February 2014