Why TechHub as a co-working space for startups and freelancers will make more sense
On Friday, 26th June, Plan9 TechHub a co-working space for freelancers was rebranded to TechHub connect in a small event. According to Haseeb Virk, Program Manager of TechHub, the place has been successfully managing freelancers at the co-working space. However, it seems now is the right time to take TechHub Connect to next level through increased focus on networking while keeping the space open for freelancers. It means that different networking activities will happen in order to bridge the gap between IT industry and students, aspiring entrepreneurs and young professionals. These events will help TechHub Connect to promote the Pakistani success stories and celebrate the hard working individuals of the country.
Here I believe the decision to keep the co-working space open only for freelancers is not wise. In order to support this argument, let’s look at different entrepreneurship initiatives in Lahore and the expected churn out number.
According to the above estimate, almost 80+ startups are expected to be in the market on their own at the end of this year. Majority of the startups after graduating from the above programs are not in a position to either buy an office space or get a rented one. The startup founders become frustrated on realization that an office space can’t be afforded in near future. These startups in order to stay focused on core business and customers, and not on office space and infrastructure problems, apply again for other incubation/acceleration programs. The primary purpose behind being enrolled at such programs is one and only one – getting a free office space for another period of 4 to 6 months. As a matter of fact, I have come across many startup founders who openly admitted to doing that.
Getting incubated at one place, then another and then another – just for the sake of office space is utterly wrong on so many levels. By doing so, these startups are destroying the opportunity that could have benefited the fresh startups. And, they are not thinking about spending money on office and infrastructure which can’t be ignored indefinitely.
Here TechHub has a chance to play its role, by changing the interior a bit and opening the space for startups and charging them subsidized rates per month; TechHub can solve the problem which is hogging entrance of new startups in market. It will, not only, help the startups in getting settled right away with the understanding of intricacies involved in setting up an office but will also help them learn from the community of freelancers working there. On the other hand, more deserving fresh startups will get the opportunity to enroll in incubation/acceleration programs.
The picture looks more complete and the cycle below makes more sense when TechHub is a co-working space for freelancers and startups. How? Startups from Plan9 can accelerate at PlanX and then move out to settle at TechHub. Likewise, some new startups from TechHub can get incubated at Plan9 and then accelerated at PlanX.
Let’s see who acknowledges the problem and takes the responsibility for coming up with the solution.