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Coworking In Vancouver

Page history last edited by Noah Bloom 11 years, 4 months ago

One result from the co-working session at BarCampVancouver2009 is this list of Vancouver's various spaces, including capacity and cost for each. A transcript of the session notes follows below.

Listing of Co Working / Shared Workspaces / Incubation Spaces 

W2 Creative Arts - http://creativetechnology.org

Mission: incubation for social enterprise focused businesses

Desk / Office Capacity:

Group Capacity: 450+ in theater (cost TBD)

Planned opening is January 2010.


The Network Hub - http://thenetworkhub.ca

Mission: provides dedicated workstations in shared space area and use of meeting room.

Desk / Office Capacity:

Group Capacity: ~40 people (seated), ~100 people (standing room)

Costs:  $30/hotdesking (9am to 5pm); Dedicated workstation with 24/7 access starts at $250. Non-tenants can also rent meeting room at $20/hr. 


Vancouver Hack Space - http://hackspace.ca

Mission: non-profit, non-corporate, membership based lab for open source hardware & software hacking.

Desk / Office Capacity: ~15

Group Capacity: burstable to ~100

Costs: $25/month for membership. Weekly open nights by donation.


45 West - http://45west.ca

Mission: to create a vibrant multi-use cultural and community space that accommodates multiple simultaneous uses.

Desk / Office Capacity: 0 desks

Group Capacity: ~100

Costs: $120/month for membership.


Recollective ? - http://recollective.ca

Mission: apparently looking to form co working / shared office space for green / cleantech companies, consultants, etc.

Desk / Office Capacity:

Group Capacity:



Slant Studios

Arts, music, marketing shared workspace & studio

215-1610 Pandora Street Vancouver, BC V5L 1L6 - (604) 251-2422


Building Opportunities with Business (BOB)


163 East Pender



BarCamp Session Transcript and Notes 

Thanks to Raul for taking such a wonderful transcript during the BarCamp session (copied below). Nick started to mark it up with links and tried to fill in some blanks in the transcript. Please help out and do the same. Also, here is Nick's blog post about coworking in Vancouver from that morning.


2:14 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:14 PM

Coworking, HackSpaces, Shared Spaces. 

Chaired by Boris Mann

BarCamp Vancouver 2009

2:20pm - 3:00pm

2:23 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:23 PM

Galiano Island now has a coworking space.

2:23 Comment From @petequily

October 3, 2009 3:23 PM

Anyone know if  there any coworking places like the network hub on the west side?

2:24 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:24 PM

Christian Naly - mentioned this. 

Boris Mann - my mind is heavy from doing this community session. So I thought I'd put this on the calendar.

    * Share what people want?

    * What are they willing to pay for?

    * Share any initiatives for community gathering space?

We need and mean different things.   Nicholas Molnar made a list of points .

2:24 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:24 PM

Nick has some ideas of where he wants to go.

2:25 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:25 PM

Raul - Is a discussion about the business model of the space?

Boris - I think it's up to whoever ends up

Mala - Talking about the value of who your neighbours are. The aesthetics of your coworking space.

2:26 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:26 PM

Barnard - is there potential for city/provincial funding for 'green' BCTIA?

Boris - that's the job of whatever entity wants to do something, to figure out.

2:27 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:27 PM

Let's share who has plans around this space and THEN we will get to that stuff.

Boris starts by saying - the information that he knows and the Bootup Entreprenurial Society have (nothing set in stone).

Nick will cover HIS ideas.

2:28 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:28 PM

When Bill McEwen was selling he told Boris - and Boris et al weren't set up yet. WorkSpace ran breakeven and it ran and covered expenses but it didn't make any expenses. These models tend to run kind of breakeven. 

2:29 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:29 PM

The Bootup Entrepreneurial Society (BES) - it's a society that Boris and a few other people ended up creating. Maura Rodgers is the Executive Director. 

2:29 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:29 PM

Specifically focusing on digital media startups.

2:30 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:30 PM

Big goals - let's Vancouver be recognized one of the top 5 worldwide tech entrepreneurial regions   worldwide. 

There's no space without money. BES has very little of it. We've been thinking big. What if we went to Western Economic Diversification Fund to get some big space. Vancouver Economic Development Commission.

Costs involved in running it out, etc.

2:30 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:30 PM

How much coworking should we build in?

We don't have any money right now?

Let's see what people feel about.

2:31 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:31 PM

The convergence point is downtown.

2:32 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:32 PM

Nothing else is yet done. That's where it's at. 


Dustin - it's a non-profit?

This place - Discovery Parks - a bit of a commercialization center - fairly cheap rent. This kind of space, we've spoken with them (Boris) - the vibe is very different.

2:33 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:33 PM

This place doesn't really have any neighbours. They're not going to be the people who would need a person to run it.

2:36 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:36 PM

I (Raul) make a point about learning from the closed coworking spaces.

Boris - agree and disagree - decide if we're going to solve "collectively" - also market conditions. Solving pains and needs that we have here.

Or -

Create something new by offering something.


2:37 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:37 PM

Nicholas does data analytics for the Vancouver software company Thirdi. His family business is real estate. His Dad wanted to start an incubator. 

Nick's answer - he wasn't sure if it was a great real estate investment. The thing is cutting down by sharing things.

2:38 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:38 PM

You can share mentorship, kitchens, boardrooms. Shared receptionists, etc. 

You're only cutting down on some of the transaction costs. The capital costs incurred are the same. 

HackerSpaces - Hacker Dojo    VHS - renting space together and buying some equipment, etc. All the things you need to make cool stuff but you wouldn't have a place to put it or so on.


The model only works if moving to the space can be a cost-saver for small companies. A premium product leads to adverse selection (big spending startups don't do very well in the long-run).

The idea would be to have his Dad  buy a building and find a serious electronics/hardware/lab team to run the hackspace.

2:39 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:39 PM

Looking at TechShop

2:40 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:40 PM

This helps and makes people do really cool things.

2:42 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:42 PM

There are hackspaces where people are very passionate about working on stuff, build the community, educate.

There are those that are supposed to launch companies.


This is some of the problem we would run into - language.

2:45 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:45 PM


We lost this with WorkSpace maybe compensated with W2? Some kind of space for large gatherings where we don't intrude.

It'd be amazing to have a space dedicated for gatherings.


Sharing about W2 - we are a public space.

2:47 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:47 PM

We don't have enough space to incubate 30-40 startups. We are focusing on social entrepreneurship, social innovation, social inclusion. 

Very robust services. Partnering with BOB and SFU.

2:48 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:48 PM

WaveFront are incubating 8 companies. Non-profits. West Hastings and Burrard. They do training, seminars, etc.

2:49 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:49 PM

Geoff Ledingham - WaveFront - details on pricing, etc. 

2:52 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:52 PM

Raul - I just spoke a bit about The Network Hub

There are coworking networks in many cities.

2:54 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:54 PM

BORIS - makes a point about incubators.

The question that comes up is DO WE EVEN need a coworking space?

2:57 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:57 PM


Having a physical space. Meeting space as well. 

Designating a living room for a place of business. 

Legally -  For some insurance you need. 


2:57 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:57 PM

    * Green institutional walls.

    * The Time Center

    * It needs to be somehow out there. 


2:59 Raul

October 3, 2009 3:59 PM

On a community level - anybody who needs meeting space - James Wallace from Kontent Creative Group - volunteer our space 20/30 people - won't charge any money (but I get to attend)

3:01 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:01 PM


This space needs to create its own word for itself and retreat from hackspace. If you really want to start something different and make some impact on the city and the rest of the world, then it needs to be something that hasn't even been thought of. It needs to have a very different name.

3:03 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:03 PM

VIRTUAL SPACE (Barnard and Boris have talked about this before)

Someone else is going to have to step up and create one more social network.

3:04 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:04 PM


Another space that is available Darma Labs? (she'll have to throw it on the wiki)

3:06 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:06 PM


Working with OTHER people - no need to incubate my company - it'd be great to work next to other people working.

3:06 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:06 PM


His office is a design firm - we often have friends in the industry spend the day with us.

3:07 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:07 PM

You can put 35-40 people comfortably. 

3:08 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:08 PM

BORIS' need - software - that's where his energies go. 

No one to fork. Figure where the shared needs. Where are the must haves and need haves.

3:09 Raul

October 3, 2009 4:09 PM

Cambie and Hastings - really good - web, green, social enterprise Flack Block place? (Irwin talked about this)


October 3, 2009 4:12 PM