02.07.18

A better and more flexible space experience at The NIIC

KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE NIIC

WeWork (the world’s leading co-working company and the sixth-most-valuable start-up), has been a source of fascination for coworkers, blue-chips, investors and Silicon Valley. Sporting a $20 Billion+ valuation and referred to as an “arbitrage real estate play” and Silicon Valley’s “Pixie Dust,” WeWork tried to transform expensive real estate leasing into space as an experience. While they readily admit that over 25% of their clients are “blue chip” and nearly 80% of their coworkers are solopreneurs who do not create any jobs, WeWork’s mission is to democratized work and play for millennials (or more so for blue-chip companies!), to “humanize work” and make the office a more “creative place”.

I asked my colleague at the University of Florida, Mark Long, on his take on this trend, he opined, “It’s a tough, rough market for a revenue model of shared space – one or two swings in the other direction and it’s exactly what the article states, much space you’re liable for a long-term lease on and no customers.”

Starting your venture at your kitchen table or at a local coffee shop may make a little sense for businesses in their infancy, but this not a viable long-term solution for most business owners. The research is clear that places like the NIIC accelerate your growth, reduce your time to market, and help you business launch faster and stronger than you would on your own

If you have experienced growing pains and have outgrown your home (or coffee shop) setup but can’t afford to rent commercial space, it is worth looking into another transitional option. As you get launched, coworking space or The NIIC’s flexspace can be the perfect bridge between a home office and a traditional landlord/lease agreement.

When you are looking for more than coworking and want to plus up your experience and your growth options, think NIIC’s flexspace options, and here’s some reasons why:

  • Networking: You can have as much, or as little, interaction with other professionals as you want, sharing experiences, advice, and friendship. Plus, you might discover these “collisions” translate into work. Face it: you are not going to meet the right people sitting at home working on your couch or in a local coffee shop.
  • Reputation: You can maintain a more professional and businesslike impression with clients in a dedicated workspace. No barking dogs or whining kids in a coworking space!
  • Engagement: Working at home can isolate you. Having office space gets you out of the house, helps you to be more productive, and gives you a sense of a professional community. Plus, some might argue there’s more accountability because you are motivated individuals. It tends to wear off.
  • Financial: The IRS specifies that your home office must be solely used for business to take the deduction. Many small business owners do not meet those criteria because they are working in their kitchen or child’s playroom, not a dedicated space. A membership to a coworking facility may be a valid business expense!
  • Technological perks: Most collaborative workspaces offer much more tech-savvy options than your home or the corner cafe.
  • Business edge: We own our space. We don’t lease it. So, you can change your office space and grow without ever changing your corporate business address. The NIIC has business development programs and commercialization services for all stages and types of businesses. Immediate credibility and community are accessible to you, your team members and your customers with the full confidence that we have the staying power to manage economic swings.

Looking to make a move in 2018? Look no further by starting and growing in The NIIC’s Professional FlexSpace program. On a daily basis, the area is bustling with motivated entrepreneurs and innovators–eager to connect, engage and bounce ideas off of likeminded entrepreneurs. Many of our companies collaborate on projects that only happened because they colocated in the space.

We are interested in your long-term success at The NIIC. Not your long-term lease. Our amenities, including our state-of-the-art infrastructure and professional services, are available as you bring your idea to the marketplace.

To learn more about the flexible work options, give our Entrepreneur in Residence Michael Fritsch a call at
(260) 407-6442.

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