The Impact of Corporate Partners for Coworking Spaces

by Sam Melton

Verizon recently partnered with HarlemGarage to equip the Manhattan incubator space with Verizon FiOS Quantum Internet. HarlemGarage’s West 118th Street location will receive 6 months of Internet service pro bono from the provider to support the innovative companies that use the space.

This partnership, just one of many, illustrates the positive effect that alliances between coworking stations and large corporate enterprises can have on shared work spaces.

The concept of business incubators, developed in the late 1990s, has grown into a global network of collaborative work environments. Remote workers and start-up entrepreneurs, no longer confined to home offices and coffee shops, can now benefit from coworking sites, supported in part by big corporations. For start-ups and venture capital initiatives, the arrangement couldn’t be better. 

Members of coworking spaces have access to more opportunities and amenities than they would at other offsite locations – without individual responsibility for technical installations, updates and bills. With a single membership, a HarlemGarage participant can enjoy the benefits of an office space – like advanced technology, easy collaboration and free exchange of ideas – without the additional costs of managing services on their own.

But individual workers and small start-ups aren’t the only ones who benefit from coworking spaces and business incubators. Multinational corporations who partner with and provide service to collaborative workspaces are also seeing benefits.

Why Multinationals are Teaming Up with Coworking Sites

According to the 2013 Global Coworking Census, which surveyed 2,498 coworking spaces in 80 countries, Europe has the largest coworking presence, followed by North America and Asia. A growth segment in business leasing contracts, coworking sites have increased by 89% since 2012, a growth of more than 300% from 2010.

Multinational corporations spend a great deal of energy and capital on research and development, and entrepreneurial schemes are often the source of new innovation. Large organizations can add value to their portfolio without starting from scratch by acquiring start-ups after they go public. The truth is that major corporations are thirsty for new talent and ideas – something that start-ups and small companies often have in spades.

Business incubators are a great source of such intelligence. And supporting these ventures in a coworking space can enhance that value tenfold – shared spaces are often comprised of a number of savvy ventures waiting to be bought and capitalized on. Sponsorship of coworking enterprises allows large companies to donate finance, time and resources across sectors in a single contribution – and often get tangible returns.

Coworking spaces with corporate partners put start-ups and entrepreneurs in contact with high profile business networks that can have impact far into the future. And the resulting exchange of knowledge and ideas is a highly sought after resource for major organizations and their professionals. Smart professionals acknowledge that interacting with emerging names and startups in their fields at these sites is a substantial boon for their own careers.

Coworking spaces aren’t just good for those starting out – they’re also good for well-established, multinational corporations. Everyone wins. And it’s for this reason that the future of coworking partnerships with large organizations is bright.

Please feel free to see more of Sam’s work on his blog: http://sammeltontalks.blogspot.com/

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Five Great Home Gadgets New Yorkers Embrace for Their Homes

Provided by Soundworks, Inc.

New technology is introduced into our ever-changing world every day. Some is embraced, some not so much. When installed, programmed and used properly, some gadgets can save a tremendous amount of time, money and energy (yours and the electric company’s).

Soundworks, Inc. specializes in helping New York residents control their worlds. Following is a list of five of the hottest gadgets and systems requested by clients today. Control your entire home from far away or just control the volume on your stereo – home system management tools are flexible, affordable and simplified so anyone can use them.

1.     Tablets to control every system in their homes.

Tablets have taken home systems management to a whole new level. Savant Smart Home Technology and Control offers complete home automation from anywhere you happen to be. Apple®-based technology makes it simple to automate home systems using the iPad, other popular tablets and mobile devices. It’s being installed in a wide variety of settings including homes, offices, high rise apartments and even multi-dwelling residential units. Imagine being able to integrate all the systems in a home with and have full control literally at your fingertips. Many New Yorkers already have. In fact, they’re using Savant right now to control whole house audio; maintain climate; integrate home communications; manage intelligent lighting; keep safety and security systems in check and save energy.

2.     Flat screen televisions are keeping New Yorkers connected.

Flat screen TVs obviously aren’t new; however, they’re becoming much more accessible and incredibly intelligent. Televisions are no longer simply used for display. More and more Westchester County residents are requesting televisions that are connected to the Internet for web browsing, Netflix, Hulu etc. The television is playing a much broader role in home entertainment systems in New York. It really does seem to be a movement. Make no mistake; while much of the technology we have today can be controlled through mobile devices, many people enjoy a good old-fashioned remote for its tactile qualities and simplicity. Universal remotes that control multiple systems are also in high demand.

3.     4K technology rising over the horizon.

Speaking of home entertainment, industry leaders are eager to help its audience see more and see it better on their home screens. Although there is very little 4K content, there seems to be a growing local demand for 4K hardware (think, high-def on steroids). This latest HDTV technology is officially known as Ultra HD and the screen resolution is mind-numbing. Some manufacturers are calling it “the last resolution you’ll ever need.” Those who love to own the latest and greatest in technology will be ready to roll when the content comes through. 4K/UHD will eventually replace 1080i/p (1,920×1,080 pixels), which is currently the highest-resolution signal available. We’re talking about movies and maybe television here.

The term “4K” refers to a resolution of about 4,000 pixels wide and about 2,000 pixels high. Lay four 1080p screens across the floor. Now stack four more 1080p screens on top of those – that’s pretty close to what you can expect from Ultra HD (yes, it’s quadruple the highest standard resolution we use today). Many newer television manufacturers are preparing now for the day more 4K content finds its way into our homes. Cable companies aren’t there yet, capital expenditures are tremendous to make this kind of switch, but it’s coming.

4.     Nest Thermostats protecting nests throughout New York.

Soundworks is seeing an impressive demand for the new Nest Thermostat. New York residents can save up to 20 percent of their heating and cooling bills with the Nest Thermostat (and many already are). Have you ever heated or cooled your home to the perfect temperature and then left without turning the heat up or the air conditioning down? It takes a lot of energy to heat and cool empty spaces when no one is home to enjoy it. The Nest Learning Thermostat actually learns your schedule. It programs itself. Best of all, it can be controlled from your smartphone or another mobile device. Getting ready to head home on a cold winter’s night? Turn up the heat in your home while you’re still at the office.

5.     Automated lighting turns homeowners on.

Imagine walking into the house and having lighting rise just in time to illuminate the critical areas of your home. Consider sitting in your car and using a wireless visor-mounted lighting control center (about the size of your garage door opener) to set the lighting before you walk in. This automated system saves energy, increases safety and will even make your lightbulbs last longer. Whether you want to set a mood or just see to get the key in your door, automated lighting can be programmed to your specifications and changed when your needs change.

Soundworks Inc. is a smart home automation company based in Westchester, New York. Contact them to find out how to control your world with the latest in technology.

Coworking At Its Best: Prepping for the Westchester Digital Summit 2014

By Christina Collins, Account Manager for counterspace

How counterspace Joined the Coworking Community:

We were actively seeking a creative community to engage with last spring. We were looking for anything from a meet-up group to a networking organization- we didn’t really know exactly what, but we wanted to tap into or create ‘something’ where “creatives” could share, learn, network and grow. I had found The Digital Arts Experience online while on my quest for this so-called creative community we were looking for, but, to be completely honest, we didn’t really “get it.” Then, Brett [Yancy Collins, Owner and Creative Director of counterspace] created a meet-up for professional creatives in the Westchester/Fairfield area and Emily, on behalf of The DAE, saw the meet-up and sent Brett a note. When he told me that he got a note from a place called The Digital Arts Experience, I remembered that we had talked about it before and I was like “That’s the place I told you about in White Plains!” We decided we should meet with Emily and check the place out.

When we came in, The DAE was very quiet and there wasn’t much going on, but Brett knew right away that The DAE was a powerhouse waiting to explode and could be the place that he could tap into to host and grow a creative network. What we hadn’t thought about was working from here. After all, we had just moved into a loft space in downtown Port Chester not two months earlier! We left our meeting and Brett and I looked at each other and knew we wanted to try and figure out a way to make The DAE our home. But first, Brett wanted to meet with the founder, so I set up another meeting just to ensure personalities ‘jived.’ Brett, having been a part of creating a place similar to The DAE in Ohio called ‘The Works‘ many years ago and had much to chat about with founder Rob Kissner. We were excited to continue our ‘courtship’ with The DAE!

How counterspace Met Silverback Social:

It was that day that Rob and Emily introduced us to Silverback Social founder, Chris Dessi. Chris had tremendous energy and was gearing up for the first Westchester Digital Summit. Chris and Brett were after the same thing: creating a digital community in our backyards – Westchester, NY. Brett was doing it from a digital design perspective and Chris from a social media perspective, but they clearly were after that same sense of “Do it here. Do it now. And do it digitally.” And Chris was doing it so we were excited to see what the WDS was all about. We attended the [Westchester Digital] Summit the following week and soon after, told Rob we’d be moving in.

How counterspace Felt about Coworking:

We moved in right in the middle of producing a website for International Carseat maker, Diono. The pressure was on to produce the U.S. version of their site; we had crucial deadlines to meet. We were heads down and had no time to make friends! (Not sure what kind of first impression we made!) Meanwhile, all around us, The DAE was full of life. Since we last visited, The New York Institute for Social Media was in ‘the pink room’ (which I was relieved about because that was the absolute, one colored room I did not want!) and Harquin Creative Group was in the ‘blue room.’ There were interns all about, classes in session and freelancers coming and going. And during it all, there was Chris Dessi walking up and down the hall on the phone with clients all day long- also heads down on churring out work all day and night.

counterspace and Silverback Social’s WDS14 Work:

One day out of the blue, Brett and Chris started chatting in the hallway about this and that and Chris mentioned he had some design needs. A few days later, Brett went and sat down with Chris and they talked about creating logos for the Westchester Digital Summit and for Chris’s personal website. They talked about the future goals of each project and what kind of feeling the identity marks should evoke, what style Chris responds to, and what he doesn’t, and other bits of information.

Brett returned to his desk and within a few days time generated a series of logo marks for Chris Dessi and for The Westchester Digital Summit. Chris was very excited about the logos and was eager to continue working together. Together, they began to churn out really high quality work starting with a brochure for the Westchester Digital Summit, which included photography that Brett took specifically for it.  From there, they moved onto a large format poster to be used at Westchester Airport and they are currently finishing up the website for WDS.

In addition, we began to execute a new website for Chris’s personal blog featuring all the many things about Chris such as hiring him for speaking engagements, advertising his published book, featuring him as a founder of the digital summit, linking him as the CEO and founder of Silverback and more- he’s a busy guy! counterspace came up with a innovative design for ChristopherDessi.com that will accomplish the goals of featuring “all that is Chris” in a classy way. That site will be launching soon and we are all excited to see it go live! What’s next? Well… we’ll all have to wait and see.

We (counterspace) were very eager to start working on the Westchester Digital Summit, partially because we attended last year and were energized about the concept then, and now this is one just way we get to be a part of it for year 2. The more successful we are at branding it, the more successful it becomes and that is good not only for counterspace, but for all of corporate Westchester, specifically digital agencies.

Best Part of Coworking at The DAE:

The advantage Silverback and counterspace have in the coworking environment at The DAE is proximity. By being in adjacent offices, feedback is delivered in person and instantaneously, questions and answers can be tackled at each other’s desks, gut reactions can be gaged and responded to when sharing deliverables and, most of all, ideas get shared and goals get discussed. Becoming an extension of each other’s teams results in successful projects, positive moral and a sharing of each other’s expertise in a noncompetitive environment. Coworking is truly about working alongside each other, learning and growing by leveraging each other’s areas of expertise, experiences and sharing in each others successes.

We have been at The DAE for 3 months now and we are confident we made the right move for counterspace. We’ve met fabulous people, we like coming to work, talking about projects we are working on, hearing about other people’s projects and even sharing weekend stories. Silverback, Harquin, counterspace and The DAE are currently collaborating on how to work with interns collectively rather than having a “counterspace intern” and a “DAE intern.” We are stronger as one and although we are all still learning the ins and outs of all the agencies and people who call The DAE home, there is an energy happening that assures me we are all moving in the right direction.

The Westchester Digital Summit 2014 will be held on May 15th, 2014 at the White Plains Ritz Carlton. For more information, please contact JohnZanzarella@SilverbackSocial.com or ChrisDessi@SilverbackSocial.com.

Top 5 Ways to Digitize Your Small Business – Gibbons Digital

The DAE often consults with businesses to create customized plans for the integration of technology into their companies. So, for today’s blog post, we reached out to Gibbons Digital. Gibbons Digital is a local a full-service social media marketing agency. Leah Breyette, Social Media Manager at Gibbons Digital, shared with us the business’s tips on how you should digitize your small business!

Top 5 Ways to Digitize Your Small Business

Thanks to ever-evolving technology, we live in a world where virtually anything and everything is available to us with a couple keystrokes and the click of a button. From a wealth of information on any topic imaginable to what’s happening right now in any part of the world at any given time to a brand-new camera on your doorstep the next day, it’s no secret that technology has made our lives faster, smarter and easier. It’s also no secret that while many of us have “digitized” our personal lives, we may have neglected to do the same for our professional ones. No worries, it’s much easier than it sounds, and starting off with these small steps will get you on the path to having a tech-savvy business in no time!

 

  1. Social media. The benefits of social media for small businesses are tremendous, and of course we could talk about them all day! (But we’ll save that for another time). To keep it short and sweet, social media allows your small business to directly connect and interact with your customers, allowing you to hone in on what they want from you. And isn’t that what business is all about?

  2. Blogging. Want to be seen as a thought leader in your industry, boost traffic to your website and grow your market? Blogging is your one-stop shop. Creating unique, appealing and valuable content through a blog is one sure way to make your small business stand out from the crowd!

  3. Go mobile. Wherever you are, stop what you’re doing and take a look around. It’s highly likely you’re looking at a couple (or many) people looking at their phones. Whipping out a laptop during every spare moment we have isn’t all that practical, but doing a quick Internet search on our smartphones? Now that’s a different story. If your business doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re missing out on untapped clientele! Optimizing your website for mobile use is a short and simple process that’s well worth the effort.

  4. Analyze. Do you know what exactly is driving leads and/or sales to your website? Do you know which pages on your website are the most popular? Do you know how many people are viewing your website from a mobile device? If you answered “no” to any of these (or don’t think you need to know them), think again. You could be missing out important information that could change your business immensely, and for the better. In this case, Google Analytics is your best friend, so go ahead and get acquainted!

  5. Organize. Our smartphones and devices are stellar tools for keeping our important information organized using notes, calendars, reminders, apps and more, which means you can skip the headache of rummaging through piles of handwritten notes on your desk! We’re also huge fans of Google Docs, which allows you to create documents, presentations, surveys and more, and share it with your coworkers.


Is your small business “digitized?” How do you do it? Share your success stories with us!

About Gibbons Digital

Gibbons Digital Consultants is a full-service social media marketing agency, providing superior social media consulting and implementation services (http://gibbonsdigital.com/social-media-services/) to small and medium-sized businesses and is located in Bronxville, NY.  For more information on how Gibbons Digital can help grow your business using social media, visit www.gibbonsdigital.com.