Why a coliving/coworking space from London is setting up camp in Philly - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 16, 2016 12:37 pm

Why a coliving/coworking space from London is setting up camp in Philly

Philadelphia is Startup Home's first U.S. expansion market. Here's why.

The company is gunning to launch its Philly space by March 2017.

(Photo courtesy of Startuphome)

Ask any entrepreneur in the earliest of stages, and they’ll likely say rent and coworking fees comprise the bulk of their burn rate.

Startup Home, a London-based company founded in 2014, decided to fuse the two together into a concept that mixes your average coworking space with an apartment building. It sweetens the deal further by throwing in a hint of accelerator in there, offering access to mentors, VCs, hosting pitch competitions and all that fun stuff.

The company, which currently has three locations in uber-expensive London, has set its sights on North America — perhaps oddly choosing the relatively affordable Philadelphia as its first U.S. expansion city. (Coliving has taken off in Brooklyn this year, with one outfit commanding bedroom rental rates of $1,800 to $2,700 a month. No word yet on what Startuphome plans to charge in Philly.)

With an estimated launch date of March 2017, in a space that will accommodate around 20 entrepreneurs, the company is currently shopping around Philly neighborhoods and establishing relationships within the Philly tech ecosystem. Startuphome has even turned to StartUp PHL — and the city’s startup czar, Archna Sahay — for guidance.

So why did the company pick Philly first? 

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The company’s U.S. executive director, Simone Tarantino, said Startup Home looked at several key startup towns in the country — along with key variables like average rent price, number of companies and workforce — and came up with a clear winner: Philly was the better climate in which to set up shop.

“We picked Philly for its proximity to New York, and its affordability certainly helps as well,” said Tarantino. “We want to get talent to stay here in Philly and create jobs here. Around Startuphome, other business can thrive.”

Once the model has proved itself of worth for the city, Tarantino said the company would like to expand further here, replicating the current Startup Home setup in London — which has reportedly garnered interest in other European cities like Berlin and Poland.

Here’s a quick look at how the company sees the model working out:

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