Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Julie Gomoll of LaunchPad CoWorking Talks about the Shared Office Space Trend and Her New Startup

Julie Gomoll of LaunchPad Coworking Talks about the Shared Office Space Trend and Her New Startup

What is LaunchPad Coworking and how is it different from conjunctured workspace?

LaunchPad is very much a for profit business while conjunctured workspace is a shared workspace that is not necessarily a business. They are trying to get enough people to pay the rent and provide space to their members. We’re doing very high end desk space for rent in an open floor plan. We have 30 individual workspaces, 6 meeting rooms, and a built-in café that’s open to the public.

How much will it cost for someone to use the facilities?

It will cost $12 to $15/hour for an individual space and $30 to$90/hour for a meeting room.

Do you have any members signed up so far?

Conjunctured workspaces sign up members while we’re offering it on an hourly basis. Having said that I do have a number of people verbally committing to use the space. We’re building a reservation system to support it.

When do you plan to open and where will it be?

We plan to open in October and it’s located at 8th and Brazos.

Why downtown?

It’s the heart of our demographic. I think Austin can support a lot of these. It’s the future of how we’re going to work. The population downtown is growing due to the high rises going up. We’re within walking distances of 13 hotels. Our primary target is the independent worker in Austin. Our secondary target is out of town companies that come here for recruiting, interviewing students, and those who come to the convention center.

What else are you offering besides space?

We’re fortunate to already have fiber in the building. We can offer a gigabyte connection to our users. Someone with incredible foresight in the 1970s put fiber all over town. It was already there.

How did you get involved with this?

In my 20s I wanted to open a bar where interesting people came and had smart conversations. I later found out that smart people do not hang out in bars all day and that interesting conversations rarely happen there at 2pm. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole career and in these last eight years I’ve been working in coffee shops and it’s so not working. They’re crowded. The idea started as a coffee shop that was conducive to working with outlets and workspaces and it grew into working space with a coffee shop inside it.

Coworking is growing trend?

You see it growing around the world. I like what they are doing with conjunctured workspace. I like the spirit of what they are doing. Our values are similar but I want a nice place to work with a professional appearance. For people traveling and coming to town, they can bring clients and get the services they need.

What about other services?

We’ll offer videoconferencing., and our café will serve healthy local food, specialty coffee drinks, and beer & wine.

Best regards,
Hall T.

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