Birmingham startups find support at Sparkbox Coworking

December 1, 2010

Birmingham-based Sparkbox Coworking opened last spring as a haven for area startups and young entrepreneurs seeking workspace and support.

Located at 2309 Second Ave., it serves as a shared work environment for its founders – Todd Hornsby of Filament Artists, Andrea Walker of W. Social Media Marketing, Brian Cauble of Appsolute Genius, Jason Gilbert of Android App and Spencer Wyatt of E-Mealz.

They run their own businesses out of the space but are able to share resources in the 4,000 square foot building. The space is also available to freelancers and others seeking to collaborate or share a work environment. Team member engagement is a concept co-workers are quite familiar with at Sparkbox. It’s part of the very core of co-working. And by joining forces, the entrepreneurs can also cut costs.

Their story was detailed recently in The Birmingham News.

It is also a new nontraditional concept, so selling the virtues of Sparkbox Coworking has been a challenge. So far, Sparkbox Coworking consists of the four full-time founders and two entrepreneurs who lease space part-time.

Cauble said they have plenty of room to grow, with enough space to accommodate up to 10 more businesses.

To cut costs, Sparkbox Coworking members use their own cell phones. They also set up a Google voice phone number, a free service in which calls can be forwarded to members.

Cauble said he thinks Sparkbox will succeed because it has lower operating costs than Shift Workspace, which was located in the 2300 block of Second Avenue North and lasted 11 months. “They had large overhead and needed a lot more members than we do to stay open,” Cauble said.

The options at Sparkbox include working on a part or full-time basis and access to supplies, desks as well as the option to host events. Memberships range from $50-$250 per month.

Have you ever visited a co-work space? Is it the sort of environment that might work for you?

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Birmingham, Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegieala.

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