Coworking spaces are definitely having a moment. And while most new shared offices are hip and youthful (think: ping pong tables, beer on tap, and funky ergonomic furniture), they’re also a great place to make connections, build a community, and grow a business.
If you’re a freelancer, remote worker, or entrepreneur, you’re likely very familiar with coworking. DeskMag estimates that by the end of 2016, there will be 10,000 of these shared workspaces around the globe, many of which are proving to be big business. New York-based coworking behemoth WeWork has over 100 international locations and was recently valued at a whopping $16 billion, and Industrious, headquartered in Brooklyn with locations in many smaller US hubs, just raised a $37 million Series B.
Alongside private offices and drop-in desks, coworking spaces are often stacked with cool amenities like game rooms, funky furniture, bikeshares, and on-site showers. Their affordable rates and flexible month-to-month terms are tailored to smaller businesses and the self-employed. And beyond offering a cool, wallet-friendly place to set up shop, the openness (or perhaps the free beer and coffee) of coworking tends to foster collaboration, networking, and a “rising tide lifts all ships” sense of community. If you’re looking to reap any of these benefits, we suggest you check out these 11 coworking spaces around the South!
1. After opening a 5,000 square foot space in 2012, HQ Raleigh quickly expanded into 20,000 square feet in Raleigh’s Warehouse District. The B Corp-certified workspace is home to over 140 companies, including Seventh Generation Ventures, and boasts amenities like a bikeshare, weekly barista hours, and a rotating local art gallery. In the past year, HQ Raleigh’s umbrella brand, HQ Community, has also opened spaces in Greensboro and Charlotte, NC. Coworking memberships start at $125 per month.
2. Located just down the road in Durham, NC, American Underground is one of just eight Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs in the US. In the past few years, the workspace has expanded to boast three locations around downtown Durham, each tailored to companies that range in size from 2 to 30 people. Members get access to all three spaces and amenities like a rooftop event space and interactive beat making lab.
3. Harbor Entrepreneur Center is a nonprofit coworking space with four locations around the Charleston area. In addition to workspace, members gain access to regular pitch events and networking happy hours as well as the chance to apply for programming like the Harbor Accelerator (which includes a pitch spot at DIG SOUTH’s ICON!), the newly launched PriMed accelerator, and the Propel and Forum entrepreneurial mentorship groups. Memberships start at $49 per month.
4. With locations in the heart of downtown New Orleans and Charleston, Launchpad offers drop-in coworking, permanent desks, and private offices for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses. In addition to flexible workspace, swanky conference rooms, and on on-site gym, Launchpad members can tap into over 180 events each year, from weekly meetups to the internationally-recognized Collision Conference.
5. Atlanta Tech Village is an impressive six story, 103,000 square foot space that houses tech startups like Calendly, LinkedIn, and DIG 2016 presenters Yik Yak and Gimme. Along with access to workspace, ATV members can partake in amenities like an on-site gym, nap rooms, game rooms, and free lunch Fridays. Desks start at $300 per month and private offices range from $850 to $4260 per month.
6. Capital Factory first opened its doors in the heart of downtown Austin in 2009. In 2015, over 50,000 entrepreneurs, designers, developers attended events, took classes, or worked at Capital Factory. And it’s no wonder — the space features a Google-esque break room, weekly catered breakfasts, a device lab, a video recording room, and an event space that houses hundreds of events per year.
7. The LAB Miami is a 10,000 square foot shared workspace and creative campus for entrepreneurs located in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood design district. In addition to coworking and creative space, the LAB provides office hours and events to help entrepreneurs “Learn, Act, and Build.” LAB members also gain perks like a bikeshare, wellness discounts, and access to resources through the Knight Foundation, the LAB’s founding partner.
8. Gather has two locations in Richmond, Virginia, both of which offer flexible membership options ranging from $40 pay-as-you-go workspace and conference room access, to dedicated desks and private offices that start at $350 per month. Memberships include traditional office perks, plus access to an on-site gym and regular events and workshops.
9. Society of Work opened in the heart of downtown Chattanooga in 2014. Members can tap into perks like gigabit Internet, a book lending library, and on-site storage. Society of Work offers a range of flexible workspace options, including $25 day passes, a 24/7 reserved desk for $350, or private offices for 2-8 people starting at $625.
10. Ignite Birmingham is a shared workspace located inside Innovation Depot, the hub for Birmingham’s startup community. Ignite offers “hot desks” for for $150 and assigned desks for $200, as well as built-in conference room hours, free parking, and regular seminars and events. Ignite members also gain access to other resources at the Innovation Depot, such as Depot/U, Birmingham’s first developer bootcamp, the Velocity seed accelerator, and a network of resource providers who offer pro bono mentorship and business development.
11. Based in Nashville, TN, The Skillery has nearly 7,000 square feet of open workspace, as well as huddle rooms, conference space, and semi-private workstations and offices. Skillery members can also work or mingle in the outdoor lounge or the on-site coffee shop, use prototyping and design tools at the on-site stoke.d studio, attend members-only events, or chat with mentors during The Skillery’s regular office hours.
We hope this list leaves you inspired to get some work done or join one of the many growing entrepreneurial communities around the South. And with new coworking spaces seemingly opening every day, we’re sure we left a few off this list. Feel free to share them with us on Facebook!