AccelerateDC Assists Local Entrepreneurs in Transition from Co-Working to New Office Spaces
August 7th, 2014 — Last month, AccelerateDC VMS partnered with JLL, HiRise, The JBG Companies, and Digital DC to host an evening event focused on graduating startups from co-working space to their own office spaces.
The event, People, Place, and Space: Intersection of Location, Workspace & Design for Startups, featured a panel of experts on finding and designing the perfect office space. The 48 attendees were treated to drinks, networking and discussion topics including selecting the right neighborhood, lease terms, and future-proofing a workspace.
The panelists included Andy O’Brien, National Director of Jones Lang LaSalle and Co-Founder of HiRise, Evan Regan-Levine, Research Associate for The JBG Companies, Janey Saunders, Director of Workplace Strategy for Knoll, and Gavin Hughes Daniels, Co-Founder and Principal of Wingate Hughes Architects. O’Brien shared his experiences working with technology companies with Jones Lang LaSalle’s Washington, DC office. He pointed out that, in looking for spaces, technology companies are looking to be close to other technology companies.
O’Brien referenced Twitter, a company that had 46 options when looking at opening a DC office, but ended up in the same building as the technology incubator 1776. Daniels, an expert in “relationship-driven design,” provided insight into designing functional and creative office spaces. He stressed to attendees the importance of establishing goals. The overall feeling, mood, and relationship is important in designing the perfect space.
Regan-Levine, a research specialist for The JBG Companies, spoke about neighborhoods and demographics. According to Regan-Levine, it is important to spend some time in a neighborhood before settling on a space. There are options outside of traditional office spaces that can be a new alternative in livable neighborhoods. Finally, Saunders from Knoll provided tips on furniture and design choices for companies to consider as they build out their new offices. Saunders spoke about the existence of four different categories of companies by size, with the smallest category often overlooking details, such as furniture, early on. This lack of consideration and flexibility can lead to growing pains later.
The event was the first of a series planned by AccelerateDC Venture Mentoring Service to provide further networking, education, and support to the technology-based startups in the DC area.