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NextSpace is the workplace for the new economy. NextSpace provides innovative physical and virtual infrastructure that freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creative class professionals need to succeed in the 21st century knowledge economy. In an increasingly disconnected world, NextSpace creates a collaborative community that is revolutionizing the nature of work.
Our business model is simple: NextSpace sells membership into that collaborative community. Our members come from a wide variety of industries: software, design, marketing, legal services, architecture, and engineering, just to name a few. Some are lifelong freelancers, while some have been downsized from bigger companies and are just beginning to venture out on their own. Some telecommute to bigger companies on the other side of the country or the other side of the world. Some are starting growth-minded companies with dreams of a big exit, while some are using their skills simply to earn a living.
NextSpace solves two fundamental problems for our members. First, we provide access to professional infrastructure: cool workspace, Internet and utilities, conference rooms, and business services. Working from home or in a coffee shop is fine, but those options lack a sense of professionalism. Put another way, NextSpace gives our members a reason to get out of their jammies in the morning and gives them a professional place to conduct business. Second, freelancing can be lonely. Without other people to work with and bounce ideas off of, creative professionals can be unproductive or downright unhealthy. NextSpace provides the creative community that so many freelancers and independents are looking for.
The real magic happens when our members (over 400 strong at last count) collaborate in big and small ways. They share expertise. They refer business to each other. They combine talents to tackle larger projects. They even found companies together. We call it The NextSpace Effect and it’s the single biggest value that NextSpace provides.
Over 15 million Americans are freelancers, independent consultants, or contractors. And most of these potential NextSpacers work in the growing knowledge economy. A report by the Pew Research Center in September 2009 found that “self-employed adults are significantly more satisfied with their jobs than other workers.” But self-employed adults also feel significantly more anxiety about their work. Why? Because freelancers lack that social and economic support structure that our society has created around traditional employment. NextSpace to the rescue!
Here’s some history: Jeremy Neuner, Ryan Coonerty, and Caleb Baskin founded NextSpace in June 2008 and officially opened the doors of our flagship location in downtown Santa Cruz, CA, in October 2008. Before founding NextSpace, Jeremy was serving as the economic development manager for the City of Santa Cruz and Ryan was Santa Cruz’s mayor, the youngest in a generation. Ryan and Caleb (a local attorney and business leader) had also started a non-profit whose mission was to get younger Santa Cruzans more involved in civic life. Together, they wanted to find a way to jump-start the local economy. NextSpace, a privately held for-profit company, was their way to bring together the talent, ideas, and capital in Santa Cruz. Along the way, they realized that NextSpace was on to something much bigger: a revolution in the nature of work.