Last month we wrote a post about a number of forward-thinking companies and co-working spaces in the US. Following a conversation I had with some of the folks at Seedcamp (a fantastic programme founded to help the European entrepreneurial community) I learnt that there are a great number of people with pioneering approaches to co-working in Europe too. This month I decided to focus on Germany and a selection of companies, collectives and websites which should be of interest.
Starting in Berlin, but now with plans for spaces established in Zurich and Lisbon, Betahaus offer an alternative to so-called ‘classic offices’. Instead, they understand the added value for professionals who work at different times, in a variety of locations, in fast-evolving teams and under temporary contracts. A Betahaus space intends to be a coffee house, library, home office and campus all at once where entrepreneurs, start-ups and freelancers are propelled to communicate, innovate and produce great work. They also offer weekly tours of the offices on Tuesdays and Thursdays to introduce prospective co-workers to the facilities.
Coworking Cologne is a club which is working to establish a network of collaborative work spaces across the city and beyond. Their first co-working space is located within a converted gas engine factory in the Mülheim district of the city and operates via a unique system which sees clients purchase either daily, weekly or monthly tickets to allow them use of the facilities. As well as facilities such as refreshments and wireless broadband, the building also houses a number of meeting rooms open to a changing schedule of meet-ups, presentations and seminars geared towards inspiration and learning
Hallenprojekt (which translates as The Hall Project) is a site, network and directory which has been established with the aim to connect co-working spaces and prospective co-workers across Germany. Users who log on to the Hallenprojekt website can not only keep up with new and changing co-working spaces and offices available, but can also sign into a virtual part of the site community (much like a miniature Twitter stream) where they can chat, ask questions and network.
The Werkheim project prides itself on being the first co-working workspace in Hamburg and has been open for just a few months. Despite its relative newness, the office boasts a comprehensive and ever-growing list of facilities and equipment including small and large projection rooms, lounge areas and printing equipment – as well as a lounge and cafe. The space also operates on a ticketing basis, and welcomes input and ideas direct and via its integral social media presence to ensure the office is as comfortable and useful as it can be for future users.