Coworking / Incubator spaces are a big hit at the moment. It seems that freelancers and small businesses were all waiting for the big migration from the kitchen desk and the Starbucks coffee counter to these new shared spaces.
The issue does not seem then to attract them, but to widen the scope of openness and sharing and enhance the connectivity of those spaces with the community. Such a connectivity would promote the diffusion of entrepreneurial spirit and competences, to discuss innovative idea with a diverse sample of people and then seed social innovation, promote out-of-the-box thinking, inspire new ideas and eventually sustain economic vitality.
So, how do you do that? How do you bring not only the freelancer but also the employee and the blue-collar worker, the immigrant, the student and the housewife (if any left) into these coworking&incubation&community hub?
Such was the challenge of Arto Sivonen, Otso Lapila and Olli Sirén.
Borrowing the name from this new space recently established in Kansas City, I would provisionally call the idea “Innovation café”.
The newest coworking space in Kansas City is Innovation Café, which launched at the beginning of this month. As a workplace for today’s entrepreneurs, freelancers, and virtual agencies, Innovation Café welcomes all industries: from software companies to designers, from freelancers to engineers. Although Innovation Café only opened a few weeks ago, the coworking space already houses five growing companies from a variety of different industries. Additionally, Innovation Café offers an event space that is expected to be quite popular for launch parties, private parties and networking get-togethers (source).