Coworking Columbia

This article will take approx 2 minutes to read.

Sometime last year, I discovered Independent’s Hall in Philadelphia. Indy Hall is a coworking organization that was started by the entrepreneurial community, and largely spearheaded by Alex Hillman who saw the community developing and the need for folks to get together and work.

In such environments, the ability to share ideas and collaborate, is of such value that the first steps had to be taken to organize. It’s all about providing a venue and the tools for collaboration and then getting out of the way to allow the entrepreneurial and creative juices to flow. This is the success of Indy Hall and since I’ve discovered them, I’ve kept a close eye on what is going on there.

I’ve seen Alex a handful of times since, most recently at SXSW, where I whined more about the fact that the Baltimore/Washington area needs coworking but that space was so expensive, the community might not latch on, that I was too busy to make things happen. Blah blah blah.

And that’s about what Alex said. Blah blah blah. In fact, he hears these sorts of broken record excuses regularly as he outlines in an amazing post titled, Your Problems Aren’t What Make You Special, Your Solutions Are.

Here in the Baltimore/Washington area, we have a small group that has been working out of Starbucks for well over a year. It’s loose. It’s unorganized. But it’s grown and on any given day, there are three to nine of us working and taking up the space. Starbucks love us because we keep buying coffee. We love each other because we can share our ideas and bounce thoughts around, share a YouTube video, talk about something that some blogger wrote, etc.

One of our number is the CEO of an Air Taxi company. Another is a financial investor. Another is a freelance photographer. And the list goes on. We’re tied together by a common bond of wanting to share our ideas because iron sharpens iron. We want to see the local entrepreneurial movement grow because we all also agree that working in an office sucks.

Last week, we decided to formalize some things. Little steps at first, but we want to lay the groundwork and see how the community reacts. Every Friday, we’re meeting here (for now) at the Starbucks at 6490 Dobbin Center Way, Columbia MD 21046. For the sake of structure, we’re saying 9am-5pm however people are free to come and go as they wish.

If you’re keeping track at home, we are meeting tomorrow, so join us. Join us once or join us weekly. We are community and we welcome you.

And if you want to get on the mailing list (it’s low traffic), join us at columbia-coworking@googlegroups.com. Hope to see you here!

Comments

  1. says

    Just go to googlegroups.com and sign in with your google account. It should be open registration, if not send me an email. Looking forward to seeing you, Dave.

  2. says

    This rocks! I’m looking forward to seeing you this weekend Aaron.

    Be sure to take pictures of your coworking events and post them to flickr, I want to see things as they progress!

  3. says

    It was nice meeting all of you today, and great to get out of the house for a change. I’ll definitely be back. My apologies for not being more interactive with all; I get so many interruptions at home sometimes I was reveling in the ability to hunker down and get something done in one take.

    P.S. I am very much in sync with the idea that building a coworking community is a prerequisite for building a coworking space, and not the reverse. Thanks for opening up the group, I’ll be interested to see how this all evolves.

  4. says

    that’s so cool. i actually toyed with the idea of doing that on a long-term basis, and did actually just a handful of times meet up with other people to work together at a coffee shop. I’ve also had quite a bit of experience flying solo, and I definitely think its an awesome idea to get into a workspace with others!