How Would the Ideal Startup Village Building Work?

Recently I’ve been exploring different buildings and areas for an Atlanta Startup Village (see Physical Atlanta Startup Village Idea and Physical Atlanta Startup Village Components). This is a nice-to-have type project that would be great to do but would have to be a no-brainer financially (e.g. a really good deal). So, assuming the area and building have the desired components, how would the actual structure work? Here are a few ideas:

  • Large co-working space with one interior conference room and one phone booth room for every 15 desks
  • Full event room that supports 100 attendees
  • Complete training lab with laptops and large screen TVs
  • Individual office pods with between 1,000 and 4,000 square feet per area including:
    – LED screen outside the pod entrance with company name and logo
    – Mini kitchen
    – Interior phone booths with glass walls (1 per 1,000 ft)
    – Interior conference room with glass wall and large LED screen (1 per 2,000 ft)
    – 5 desks on exterior windows
  • Moveable, large sliding glass doors between pods with locks on each side that can be opened to combine pods as startups grow (see moveable glass walls)

Overall, the goal is to be a central village for the startup community as well as provide flexible space for startups to grow from one founder to dozens of employees, all with minimal effort and minimal customization. Too much money is wasted by startups on ill-fitting long term leases and heavy customization (most offices have traditional layouts that are inefficient and not startup friendly). The startup village building would have to be designed unlike any building currently available.

What else? What are some other considerations for a building to be startup friendly and efficient?

4 thoughts on “How Would the Ideal Startup Village Building Work?

  1. These all sound awesome. As as workplace resource you might want to check out the work of Angela Cain (CEO) at CoreNet Global. They have a really cool office in the Georgia Pacific Center. CoreNet has done a lot of research on optimal workplace environments and the human aspect.

  2. I think ultimately, we want to capitalize on the creative energy that is supplied through having so many entrepreneurs in one space (even if they are segmented into their own rooms or floors). The idea of having a communal area that entices members and entire teams to collaborate would be a great incentive.

    Maintaining a positive culture, which I know David has a lot of experience with, is essential. Making the space affordable for startups to not only work out of, but also utilize for events, speaking engagements, workshops, etc. that introduces others to the building would be great.

    Shifting away, entirely, from corporate components – carpet, cubes, white walls, etc. would also be nice.

  3. It’s probably better to have more space than to have quickly reconfigurable space. A balance of sizes will eventually stabilize, and you’ll have more growth potential. If you have not already, you should take a tour of the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA. http://cic.us/ It’s pretty much exactly what you describe, and has been successfully operating for quite a while.

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