This is a city where creativity and community go hand in hand. In this series, I’m exploring the local businesses and spaces whose collaborative natures make them more than the sum of their parts.
So far in this series, I’ve explored spaces all over the city that emphasize collaboration and community. Most involve a variety of industries and influencers coming together under one roof, and nothing embodies this concept more than co-work spaces.
Geared towards freelancers, entrepreneurs and anyone else without a designated office space, co-work spaces have become a fixture in Edmonton since Startup Edmonton paved the way in 2009. Tenants love the flexibility, the connections with other workers and having a good reason to get out of the house. I asked the folks behind two popular co-work spaces about the unique value that they bring to the city.
Homestead – Interview with Brandon Webber
How did this space get started? Tegan and I wanted to create a space for creatives and professionals who wanted to build businesses that worked differently — in the way they worked, but also in how they saw their role in the city. We believe that the way we work is changing, and workspaces should change to reflect that. Not only did we want to share space, but we wanted to include people who want to be a part of making Edmonton a better city. We tabled different concepts and ideas, but decided we first needed to provide space for small businesses who wanted to share a home base for their work.
We started in a small space on 109 Street to host a small nucleus of folks, and now we’re expanding into a space that allows us to include more people, and offer more services.
What features does your space have? What’s included in the rent? We have different pricing for a variety of ways to be connected to Homestead. See the website for details.
What sets your space apart from others in the city? Our focus is on creativity and city-building — we want to be home to people that want to participate in shaping the future of our city. That could be someone from almost any discipline or industry. We also want to be a place that is permeable — we hope people who don’t use our space daily [still] see value in having a membership with us, so that they can use the space for the occasional meeting, or join us for workshops and events.
What do you think is the value of a co-work space? People need better places to start working on their own terms. Places that recognize the joys, pains, benefits and stresses of working for yourself. A community that provides support, relationship, advice and connections is invaluable at the start of your journey.
InterChange at the Mosaic Centre – Interview with Nicole Auser
How did this space get started? The owners of the Mosaic Centre, Dennis Cuku and Christy Benoit, are entrepreneurs. They founded Oil Country Engineering in 2007 and the Mosaic Family of Companies in 2013. They also built one of the most environmentally-conscious buildings in Canada — The Mosaic Centre — where InterChange is located. In that vein, they wanted to foster further socially conscious businesses and entrepreneurs to make similar positive and sustainable impacts on the world. They created InterChange to do that.
What features does your space have? What’s included in the rent? You can view all our amenities on this page. Plus free parking!
What sets your space apart from others in the city? What makes InterChange unique is the building — with a four-storey green wall, a bright, fresh air environment and a bike room, it was designed to help people be happy and engaged at work. Furthermore, the building design and common spaces promote community-building (both professional and personal). Most people who tour the building fall in love with it, and most building occupants couldn’t imagine working elsewhere.
What do you think is the value of a co-work space? Besides having a beautiful, professional setting with business amenities, the biggest value would probably be the community building. In InterChange, we have a creative agency, an online marketing agency, a lawyer, a real estate agent, an eco-science company, a photographer and many more! It is a chance to build relationships with other business owners (both InterChangers and other tenants in the building), learn from each other, collaborate with each other and perhaps even do business together.
To quote the website, “Co-working gives startups the opportunity for instant networking opportunities and camaraderie. It also provides the intangible benefit of what has been called ‘manufactured serendipity’ — unexpected encounters that are difficult to recreate in traditional office settings and provide immeasurable amounts of value for new businesses.”
Other co-work spaces in Edmonton:
UnitB – “Founded in 2011, Unit B is more than just a shared workspace. We don’t just come to work, we come to build a community, make friends, and pursue our passions. Our mission is to foster and grow the creative community here in Edmonton.” (description from their website)
Startup Edmonton – “Startup Edmonton is an entrepreneurial campus and community hub. We connect entrepreneurs and product builders with skills, community and space to support them as they take ideas to reality. Since 2009, we have created collisions – between developers, designers, makers, founders, investors and mentors – transforming ideas into companies.” (description from their website)