- Posted by Paul Towers
- On August 5, 2015
- 0 Comments
- coworking spaces, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs
If you want to be successful you have to surround yourself with people who will build you up, challenge you and create a competitive environment that continues to fuel the fire in your belly. As a result when I began my research into the best coworking spaces in Sydney, Australia I started with the premise of finding the one space where the smartest, hardest working and most driven early stage Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders hang.
Since starting Project Startup I have spoken to a number of amazing people and entrepreneurs who have shaped my thinking, helped me out with the formulation and validation of my own ideas and been an awesome source of inspiration. As a result when I began planning the next phase of this journey I wanted to make sure that I had access to more of that “mindset and inspiration” each and every day. And what better place to feel that energy, than in a coworking space filled with other young and energetic entrepreneurs and startups.
I was of course already familiar with a number of the coworking spaces in and around Sydney from my continuous pursuit of information and insight on all things startup, but I still wanted to go back to square one and take a look at things from the ground up. Typically when investigating a potential “purchase” people look at cost as a strong factor in their decision making. In this case I put that aside. I also put aside the need for ping pong tables, cool chairs and awesome beer. I simply wanted to find the BEST place to be as an entrepreneur in Sydney.
As one does I started my research online and quickly narrowed it down to Fisherburners and Tank Stream Labs. Both have an amazing community of startups and entrepreneurs. They are also really focused on fostering a community of startups and are not there to cater to the consultants and people looking for an ad-hoc meeting room to use in the CBD.
While I was confident that either of these coworking spaces would be a great choice I wanted to get the inside word. As a result I reached out to the Sydney Startup Group on Facebook. It was immediately clear that Tank Stream Labs and Fishburners were the standout favourites. Reaching out to this group did however provide some additional insight that I wouldn’t have received from my Google search.
The feedback on Fishburners highlighted a slant towards earlier stage startups and Entrepreneurs who are starting out and would value the networking opportunities available from the large number of events held there throughout the year. Tank Stream Labs on the other hand had more companies that were a little bit further along with their financing and project/venture. That’s not to say there isn’t a cross over between the two, there is, that was just the general tone of the messages and feedback I received. In fact Murray Hurps, General Manager at Fishburners, chimed in himself to point out that “Fishburners does focus on earlier stage startups” before going on to say “but we have had several startups who have outgrown our space and moved to TSL”.
Tank Stream Labs also had some great advocates with one of the other group’s members saying “Tank Stream Labs hands down. It’s where startups with revenue go (i.e. the best of the best).” As a result it appears as though you can’t really go wrong no matter what space you choose.
While price isn’t something I considered in my approach above for the purpose of the article and insight I am trying to provide to you, the reader, I thought it is worth including. The prices and information below is correct as at the 5th of August 2015. If you are reading this post at a later date you should of course check each of the respective websites as prices, inclusions, etc can obviously change.
It’s also worth pointing out that Fishburners is a non-profit that has sponsorship from a number of leading national and international companies and organisations including Google for Entrepreneurs, Newscorp Australia, Optus Innov8, PWC, BigAir, Dropbox for Business, AWS Activate and Xero. As a result they do have an application process to go through, so you can’t just turn up to their door and expect a seat without them vetting you and your startup.
Fishburners offer two main memberships Part Time for $300 per month, and Full Time for $400 per month. The difference between the two is that Full Time provides you with a dedicated desk and chair, the ability to keep your monitor on your desk, a lockable under-desk cabinet and a discount if you get multiple desks. On the part time plan you have access to a shared desk/the community bench.
Tank Stream Labs by comparison have part time memberships on level one starting from $400 per month, $650 for full time (again on Level One) and up to $800 per month (on Level Ten).
So there you have it, two awesome coworking spaces with a large and vocal crowd of advocates. Based on the research I have done, I would be happy with either and am working to progress my own ideas and build a team to launch my startup in the coming months. Once I have a few more pieces in place it will be my own turn to reach out and organise a desk at either of these great locations. If you are already a member feel free to comment below or reach out via Twitter or Facebook as I am always keen to connect with other likeminded Entrepreneurs in Sydney and Australia.
One final note on this article – All the spaces I considered where general in nature. I.e. I wasn’t considering fintech focused coworking spaces as that is not the direction I am pursuing. As a result I am sure there are many other great coworking spaces that cater to specific niches or groups that didn’t get a mention here.
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