Startup culture is moving beyond the cities, and the workplaces that support it are following.
The number of coworking spaces is growing, and they are flooding the cities of New York, Paris, Berlin, and even Bali. But the appeal of these work centers is reaching beyond big cities to smaller communities. (We are based in Rye, New York!)
The Log Cabin recently assessed plans to build a coworking space in the downtown area of Conway, Arkansas, a small city that is just a half-hour drive from Little Rock and is known more for its colleges (it has 3) and student population than for a cutting-edge work culture. Yet there are many locals and businesspeople that feel there is a need for such a space in order to build a strong startup ecosystem.
Why does a startup culture matter?
To a work force that is still pinching pennies, startups represent new ideas and therefore new opportunities. Startups also tend to attract ambitious people who are willing to work long hours—particularly young people. And that is something Conway has a lot of.
According to Luke Irvin, a local iOS App developer who was interviewed by Log Cabin, there are high school- and college-aged students experimenting with technology after school and have limited space to collaborate. They need a place that encourages challenges and learning beyond the classroom and the local Starbucks.
The hunger for learning applies to companies too. Most people—at least the kind you want working for you—want to grow in their jobs and careers. By trading in a solo office for a coworking space, companies could invest more in their players. They could spend more resources on research or further education to get employees excited and engaged.