This article is sponsored by MakeOffices and was reviewed before publication.
More than 30 coworking operators have made their homes in Philly, offering collaboration and (usually) free coffee to small startup owners, freelancers and artists alike. MakeOffices now has two locations to boast of and just launched its second, and Philadelphia’s largest coworking space, at 17th and Market.
It’s not the only change the coworking company has seen during the past year: Zach Wade came on board as CEO in April. Since then, occupancy has increased by 10 percent and revenue by 25 percent across all locations.
“The aspect of this business I love the most is having so much contact with companies and decision makers from different industries,” Wade said. “All the different innovation and ideas that are starting in coworking is pretty incredible.”
Companies seeking to nest in MakeOffices can expect superior customer service, flexibility and a central location with access to transportation, Wade says, as well as to a large pool of the city’s workforce.
The new location has four floors of space so members can either take pre-planned offices or build for their own needs, specifically on the 13th floor, which is “set up really well for significant events” and larger companies looking to take advantage of MakeOffices’ custom, build-to-suit workspaces, Wade said.
Right now, the coworking space is offering 50 percent off workspace at its new location.
The event space can hold 100-person events and is booked every week through November, where members can trade ideas and business cards over beers.
There is also, of course, the coworking — based on a company-wide survey, more than 35 percent of MakeOffice members do business with other members, resulting in work such as:
- Philly SaaS Meetup: Co-organizers Dan Gold and Chris Field met at a networking event at MakeOffices.
- CaseEscape.com: The cellphone case company’s new website was done by fellow member company Brainyloft.
Wade said a few of MakeOffice’s primary tenants in the city include health and education technology companies, consulting firms and independent contractors.
Member turnover varies depending on location, but on average tenants stick around for about a year and a half to two years. This may be because companies tend to have a shorter-term view on their space needs, Wade said.
“It’s fine as long as we’re doing our job, keeping our space engaged and interactive and building out our community,” he added.
Healthjump, a cloud-based gateway to hospital and clinic health records, has been a MakeOffices member since January.
Originally working out of Phoenixville, CTO Cliff Cavanaugh said the company chose to migrate to a second homebase because of MakeOffices’ convenient location, spacious facility and flexibility. (The weekly social events hosted at the space didn’t hurt, either.)
“We outgrew our first office in a few weeks and seamlessly transitioned to a larger space right down the hall,” Cavanaugh said. “We have significantly matured our product, grown our customer base and market presence this year. Hosting clients and board meetings are much easier now that we are part of the MakeOffices community.”
Community and partnership are ultimately the bread and butter of coworking spaces like MakeOffices. Trading ideas and working on projects is what brings — and keeps — companies engaged.
“You can’t get that if you’re working by yourself in a coffee shop,” Wade said. “Collaboration is what drives the spaces, drives the retention [of MakeOffices] and drives people’s individual businesses.”
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