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:


The World’s Top Minds Discuss Branding in a Digital World | November 20th in Westchester

Learn more about the event and purchase tickets at


Next week, The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) will hold the first of its new DAE Discussion Series, “Branding in a Digital World: How to Stay in Your Lane.” This exciting and informative panel event will feature three of Westchester’s most prevalent branding authorities and will be moderated by Sara James, Director of Membership at the Business Council of Westchester. The event will open with a keynote on the relevance of branding by John Zanzarella, Chief Marketing Officer at Silverback Social.

Social media expert Chris Dessi (CEO of Silverback Social  and a Producer of the Westchester Digital Summit) teams up with Creative Director Sherry Bruck (Harquin Creative Group) and award-winning designer Brett Yancey Collins (counterspace) in a discussion that will inspire you rethink how your brand can work for YOU in an ever-changing digital landscape.

If you own a business, are starting a business, or you make a career of marketing, this is the event for you.

What you can expect to learn:

  • What your consumers retain about your brand.
  • How your brand can work for you in the digital age.
  • How to measure your brand’s impact on your audience.
  • What the drivers of brand credibility are.
What else you can expect from this evening:
  • A relaxing night of wine and hors d’eouvres
  • Networking with other creative professionals
  • Exploring The DAE’s innovative coworking community
Networking will begin at 6:30 PM, followed by a keynote at 7:00 PM with the panel beginning promptly at 7:15 PM.

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 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 or

Share Your Creative Digital Work and Learn About Coworking in Westchester County

Tonight, we at The Digital Arts Experience will be hosting a WorkShare & Wine event in White Plains, Westchester County, NY! It’ll be a small informal get-together for creative professionals where you can share your work, old, new or incomplete. As “Digital Artists” ourselves, we know how hard it is, so we want to lift you up and give you positive feedback in the presence of our creative and supportive community. It’ll be a chance to network with other digital artists as well, so you can get feedback and meet ambitious artists just like yourself! Bring your print material, thumb drive or computer.

In addition to our Meetup event, we are also hosting a coworking mixer for all our amazing coworkers in the building. Creative companies like Harquin, Silverback Social, Counterspace and New York Institute for Social Media work out of our office space and we at The DAE are proud to say we’ve developed a creative coworking community with these wonderful people. As a fun way to bring them all together, we’re holding the coworking mixer event tonight so they can ALSO share their hard work and get to know each other even better. Not only that, but we want to show Westchester exactly what it means to cowork creatively because we can’t get enough of our coworkers!

We hope you’ll join us tonight at 6 pm and we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!

If you’re interested in attending this meetup, please check out our event site!



send us an e-mail at


Coworking in a Creative Space

by Remy Kuhn, intern

Artist, lawyer, accountant, engineer, retailer, designer, you all have a certain idea about the type of place you’re supposed to work. Many business professionals are used to a typical office building with cubicles, a conference room, private desks, stylish spaces, etc. Then, there are the entrepreneurs who work out of their own homes for a startup and are sometimes frowned upon because it is too laid back of an environment and, thus, not as legitimate. However, it’s truly the type of profession you have that determines what space may work best for that particular job. Some may feel that being in a four-wall confined workspace helps them focus and get the job done, especially in the corporate world.

We here at The Digital Arts Experience, however, recognize that the creative fields are the exception where things are done a little differently. Creative fields working differently in less confined spaces is not something that should be looked down upon or not taken seriously; it is just a completely separate field. Creativity promotes working together, where having a friendly, inviting environment and an inspiring place is a top priority.

At The DAE, we have created a coworking space for creative individuals and business to work in an environment where their ideas are encouraged and improved. Coworking for creative companies allows for a means of a support system where creative juices are always flowing. Groups of people to turn to for advice, second opinions on projects and ideas, approval of your work and assistance push you to your greatest potential through providing constructive criticism. Working in these types of places is all about interaction, bouncing ideas off each other and constant communication.

I know that when I work in the art studio at school or when I come into work at The DAE, being around people and seeing others work creatively inspires me to get started and makes it easier to stay in the creative mode. When you see other talented people work and you get their input on new ideas, it only makes you want to do just as good of a job, if not better, because a little healthy creative competition will produce the best outcome!

As an artist, I know that design has a lot to do with interaction and communication because when designing for a website, logo, company, etc, you want to make sure that users understand and enjoy it as well. Collaboration allows people to add to each other’s ideas, which produces the best possible web interfaces and media design that are user-friendly and appealing to look at the same time.

In The DAE’s space, we have Silverback Social, Harquin Creative Group, New York Institute of Social Media, Counterspace, as well as many individuals who come in on a regular basis to use our facility. Our community provides a friendly working environment so, instead of dreading work in a cubicle for 8 hours a day, our coworkers are constantly communicating and becoming friends with each other, further fostering creative growth. We are proud to offer our space to such talented people whose expert advice and input helps us all reach our highest potential each day! Connecting with and surrounding yourself with fellow creative people in the workplace is key to a successful creative business!

A New Way to Work in the 21st Century

A career is a very different thing today in comparison to a career 10 years ago. In the past, you could get a job for a big company, work your way into a more senior position, and spend the rest of your working life with the company until you retire. These days, there are very few industries that can promise a disruptive free career. Companies are constantly making cutbacks, closing departments and laying off workers. It is for this reason we are seeing more and more individuals starting their own business. Paul B. Brown writes in his Blog, Action Trumps Everything: Succeeding in the New Workplace (and life):

…You’d better be prepared to create something on the side, no matter what you are currently doing for a living. This is true if you’re 18 or 58.  Even if you currently work for the world’s best company, someone could acquire the firm tomorrow, or a new invention could render your entire industry obsolete (rent many movies from a freestanding store lately; buy any maps, or a new set of encyclopedias?) Your work life is not completely within your control.

Brown’s point is that both recent college graduates and seasoned business professionals alike are turning to entrepreneurship as a way to regain some semblance of control over their professional lives.

In today’s digital age, it is simple to create, grow, and maintain a company on a shoestring budget. Between simple web design tools, web payment services, and virtual meeting software, one can start a business out of his or her home office or bedroom, and many entrepreneurs are doing just that. There are however some issues inherent with working out of the home. Home = distractions. Between your TV, pets, kids, etc., working out of the home can be an extraordinarily unproductive experience. If you are in a business where you are regularly meeting with clients, using your home office or a Starbucks as a meeting place is less than professional. In addition, the solitude of working at home is counterintuitive with entrepreneurship. Creating a business requires a lot of discussion and sharing of ideas between creative people. Ideas flourish when 3rd parties can offer their feedback on ideas, marketing strategies etc. The entrepreneur is faced with a dilemma in 21st century: Where do you go to work that’s outside of your home but doesn’t require the overhead costs of a rented office? Coworking was created to resolve this issue.

Founded on the values of collaboration, openness, community, accessibility, and sustainability, coworking provides the ideal place for entrepreneurs and creative people to work and interact with other professionals. The idea behind a coworking space is simple. Individuals come to a creative and productive workspace to work on their projects side by side with other people working on their own projects. In other words, people come to a coworking space to work around other people working. Memberships costs are low, keeping overhead down, and entrepreneurs and freelancers can work along sirde other entrepreneurs & freelancers, creating a collective work environment where coworkers organically network and share ideas.

Jeremy Goldman, Entreprenuer & Author of “Going Social,” wrote in his article “Why (most) Social Media is Here to Stay,”

I happened to write Going Social in various Starbucks all over Manhattan. Could I have written it primarily at home? Absolutely. But just because I needed to be alone, doesn’t mean I wanted to be alone. I remember once sitting in a Starbucks on 75th Street and 1st Avenue on a Sunday night, and I counted 18 people inside. Each and every one of them was sitting alone, largely working on laptops or reading newspapers. But they weren’t at home. Most had coffee next to them, and most weren’t really drinking it. The coffee serves as an admissions pass that entitles them to a small degree of human companionship.

A coworking space would have provided exactly what Jeremy was looking for in a place to work. He would have been able to work on his book around other people working on their own projects, providing his desired social environment without the need to buy coffee to keep the Starbucks staff at bay.

Home Base is focused on providing an ultra-low cost workspace solution for creative professionals. Our list of amenities include the usual print/scan/fax, complimentary coffee, and access to conference rooms, but we also offer amenities unique to Home Base. Our facility boasts a professional recording studio, photo/video studio, computer labs equipped with state of the art iMacs loaded with Adobe CS6 and other pro software. Members have priority access to the studios at a discounted rate, and free access to the computer labs. Also, members will receive discounts on in-house creative services including graphic & web design, video production, and more, and have free access to meet ups and workshops at The Digital Arts Experience, which range in topic from using social media for business to 3D animation & web design.

Whether you are starting your own company, developing a product, or you are a freelance video editor or graphic designer, Home Base aims to provide the ideal workspace for creative professionals in Westchester. Between our low cost membership plans, flexible and creative facility, and unique amenities, Home Base offers and ideal workplace solution in the 21st century.