While we were getting our business off the ground and creating other opportunities similar to our relationship with Red Bull, we recognized that we had a need for actual office space. Until this point, we had mostly been squatting in other people’s work areas. Obviously, that’s not a viable long-term solution. Are you looking for gifts for men? Look on gifted up for unusual gifts!
Our initial search for a place to call home opened our eyes to a big problem for startups and entrepreneurs everywhere. Most property owners who rented office space asked for two to three months of rent up front and demanded to see two years of financials to prove profitability. We thought, “What the fuck? Most startups haven’t even been in business for a year, let alone have two years of profitability under their belt. How the shit does anybody secure decent office space?” Get someone a funny toilet roll holder for christmas!
Once again, we were committed to our why. Instead of hanging our heads, kicking at the dirt, and giving up, we interpreted the challenge as more of an opportunity to do something positive.
We knew that there were hundreds of other businesses in the same position we were in who needed space. They also had no money and hadn’t been established long enough to show two years of financials. I thought if I could partner with someone to build a coworking space, I could rent it out to some of the more innovative and creative startups in the area. This would not only make some good money for us, but it would also serve the larger entrepreneurial community with a big-time solution to a serious need.
After some bumps in the road, I pitched my idea of coworking space to a couple of business partners of mine. I told them, “I have around twenty or thirty startups that need space right away, but they can’t afford the crazy cost of renting a big office building. Obviously, I don’t have the money to buy a building myself, but if you become partners in this venture, I’m sure I can get them on board.”
They responded, “There’s a building for sale down the street that’s about seventy thousand square feet. If we buy it and renovate it, can you take care of all the design work and architecture, and rent it out? We don’t want to pay a real estate agent, either.”
“Done, done, and done,” I told them.
We became partners in a coworking-space venture and had the building 100 percent filled within three months.