By Anna Seacat
There are hundreds of event spaces in Indianapolis and hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space in this great city, but currently only one site for creative exchange. Studio B, one of a handful of coworking spaces in the Indianapolis metro area, just opened its new digs with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Indy Chamber on March 21, 2014. Barbara Leath, of the Indy Chamber, explained that Studio B’s creative work and meeting space is a great launch pad for the creative movement in Indianapolis. Leath said, “It fills a demand among entrepreneurs, artists, start-ups, visionaries, and entrepreneurial corporations to temporarily co-work and exchange ideas.” However, since the demand for coworking options is largely misunderstood, this article will address three of the most commonly held myths about spaces for creative exchange.
MYTH #1: The Coworking Concept is a Trend
Although there are only a few shared working/event spaces in and around Indianapolis, the coworking concept is thriving in other metropolitan areas. In fact, according to Forbes, coworking spaces have increased by 400 percent in the last two years. In a new February 2014 article, a Forbes contributor announced that coworking spaces are “much more than resources and a place to do business. It’s a community — and it’s the future of how business is going to be done. People don’t want to work in tiny cubicles anymore…they want to be surrounded by a ton of passionate people going for a dream.” So, unlike the traditional office spaces and event venues available in Indianapolis, coworking spaces are targeting a new market of workers who are after community and collaboration…what Studio B describes as, “creative exchange.”
MYTH #2: Coworking is Only for Freelancers
As observed by Forbes, coworking and creative exchange is not a new fad; rather, it’s the future of business operations. Likewise, the creativity movement in Indianapolis is not only being driven by freelancers and entrepreneurs. Corporations are beginning to realize that, in order to maintain their existing market share, they will have to start behaving and operating in more entrepreneurial ways. Consequently, these sluggish giants are sending engineers, marketers, recruiters, and administrators to temporary creative spaces for some much needed cubicle detox. NaShara Mitchell, founder of Studio B and Assistant Dean at Indiana University, explained that big businesses in Indianapolis are reaching out to her about their needs for creative space. She explained that progressive corporations are realizing the value of coworking through the exchange of skills, insights, and ideas. For instance, it is easy to see the valuable creative exchange that would occur by sitting a corporate packaging engineer next to a local artist.
MYTH #3: Coworking is Only for Young Professionals
While there may be a sector of seasoned executives who wouldn’t be excited about leaving their corner office to cowork beside an engineer, it is a mistake to believe that the creative movement, which is driving the demand for coworking spaces in Indianapolis, is being solely led by young Millennials. According to an article in the most recent issue of Money magazine, entrepreneurship among “older executives” is a rule rather than an exception.
In fact, people 45 and older started 48% of new firms in 2012 (Rosato, 2014). Moreover, on the same day that Studio B opened its new doors, Upstart Business Journal coincidentally announced that coworking spaces on the east coast are now targeting “established entrepreneurs.” Upstart reported that mature professionals are managing multiple, independent firms within one shared space, which promotes a free exchange of ideas and inspiration among their teams. For instance, one can easily see the mutually beneficial collaboration that could occur between a manager of R&D engineers and an Ex-Exec leading a new digital marketing agency.
Jump on Board: Be a Founding Member of the Creative Movement in Indianapolis
Studio B gave the creative movement in Indianapolis a big boost. It is designed to reflect the coworking and creative exchange concepts that are causing innovation and entrepreneurial networking to thrive in other cities. As such, Studio B is not only a desk to work at; it is the space to create, collaborate, and grow. So, whether you work in an HR department, are a program manager, or an engineer and in need of some fresh thinking and a boost in creative thought, a temporary coworking space should be a solution that your company investigates. Memberships can be purchased by the hour, day, week, or month. For more information about the creative exchange occurring in the Mass Ave district at Studio B, check out http://studiobmassave.tumblr.com/, call 317-602-7200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosato, D. (2014). Entrepreneurship Sprouts Among Older Ex-Execs. Money, 43(3), 18.