Several factors have set “the office” on a new course to address the new growing demands of the current workforce, which include being untethered, the push for more work/life balance, and utilizing under-utilized real-estate.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) August 13, 2013
NextSpace, the coworking community committed to killing the cubicle class, today announced that it acquired The Coop, a Chicago-based shared workspace that caters to the eclectic, vibrant and growing group of innovative independent professionals who call Chicago home. In addition, NextSpace has raised $500K from Chicago real estate and private equity investment company Lakewest, Inc., local angel investor Jeff Carter, and other new and existing investors. This latest injection of funds brings NextSpace’s total raised to nearly $2.5M since 2008.
The Coop was founded in 2008 by Sam Rosen and Pat Griffin, motivated by the fast growing community of entrepreneurs and independent consultants in Chicago. Both were intrigued by the opportunity to build one of the city’s first coworking spaces to accommodate this booming group of contingent workers.
“Expanding our NextSpace coworking communities outside of California has been in our growth plans since the start, so when we connected with Sam, Pat and the team at The Coop, we knew that we were a fit from both a cultural and business standpoint,” said Jeremy Neuner, co-founder of NextSpace. “We see Chicago as the innovation economy of the Midwest and can’t wait for the opportunity to provide freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creative class professionals the ideal setting to work at their creative, productive, and innovative best.”
According to the Illinois Innovation Index, commissioned by several groups based in Chicago, the number of temporary workers has increased by nearly a third over the past decade. This is a trend that's being felt around the country. A study by Intuit found that an estimated 30% or roughly 42 million workers—are either self-employed or part-time. Conservatively this number is expected to grow to over 40% by the end of the decade. Several factors have set “the office” on a new course to address the new growing demands of the current workforce, which include being untethered, the push for more work/life balance, and utilizing under-utilized real-estate. Taken together, it leads to higher productivity and quality of life, lower costs and a smaller environmental footprint.
In addition, temporary workers are becoming an increasingly important resource for many employers, which NextSpace knows very well. Workers from Plantronics, Google, Yahoo and Cisco are using NextSpace locations across California. And the response from these workers and other independents has enabled the company to add two locations on average every year since the company's founding, making it the fastest growing and largest coworking company worldwide. Just last month, NextSpace expanded to the San Francisco neighborhood of Potrero Hill, and opened the city's only coworking care space that combines shared workspace and child care, appropriately called NextKids.
“NextSpace has exciting expansion plans and they fundamentally understand that community and culture come first,” said Sam Rosen, co-founder of The Coop. “Without any hesitation I can tell you that this is the best thing to ever happen to The Coop and our fantastic little community. We’re thrilled by the eagerness to commit the resources and energy to making the space, culture and community even better.”
NextSpace secured an additional $500K in funding from Chicago area investors, which will be used to increase membership capacity and amenities at The Coop and to identify other expansion opportunities in the Midwest corridor.
“NextSpace understands how to build community. They recognized that Chicago is an up and coming entrepreneurial ecosystem and NextSpace will become one of the building blocks of it,” said Jeff Carter, co-founder of Hyde Park Angels and manager at West Loop Ventures. “The marriage of NextSpace and The Coop was easy because they have the same values, and provide a support system to help members of the space integrate into the broader community. It's really exciting when an established Silicon Valley company makes Chicago their next home.”
Located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, The Coop, now NextSpace River North, is an open 5,500 square foot loft space situated under the EL near Franklin Street. It is close to major CTS stops and walking distance to several great shops, restaurants and local businesses. Professionals can find NextSpace River North at 230 W Superior, Suite 2F, Chicago, IL.
NextSpace is an innovative physical and virtual coworking infrastructure that freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creative class professionals need to succeed in the 21st century knowledge economy. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Santa Cruz, CA, the NextSpace community represents more than 1,200 active members, which consists of companies and individuals from over 30 different industries in 55,000 square feet of coworking space across nine locations: three locations in San Francisco - NextSpace SOMA, NextSpace Union Square and NextSpace/NextKids Potrero Hill, NextSpace Berkeley, NextSpace@Amplify in Venice Beach, NextSpace Santa Cruz, NextSpace Los Angeles, NextSpace San Jose, and NextSpace River North in Chicago. To date, NextSpace has served more than 2,500 members company wide. To learn more, visit http://www.nextspace.us.