The era of start-ups has just began. It is not an exaggerated statement, taking the scale of new businesses as well as growing interest in the start-up environment into account. This phenomenon cannot be surprising, especially that the existence of such entities is crucial from the point of view of the economy. There are more and more start-up areas on the domestic market each year. Young people who model themselves on international successes of many Polish companies open their own enterprises. The beginnings are not easy, especially on this quite competitive and demanding market. They often need both financial support (available i.a. within various programs) and space adjusted to their needs. Most frequently they do not have a necessary capital at the beginning of their activity to rent attractive area for their office – they prefer to invest their means in development of a product or service. Therefore, it is crucial that developers could meet the expectations of entrepreneurs and offer them a made-to-measure product – Krzysztof Paul, Chairman of the Board of UNIMOR Development SA, says. Undoubtedly, such product may be start-up space or business accelerator created in office structure. Although this trend is relatively young, it will certainly gain importance within years. We believe that this phenomenon will be more and more popular in the future. It is necessary in the light of new business trends, New Economy, new needs for both big and small businesses – Marta Moksa, Managing Director of the innovative O4 zone in Olivia Business Center, says.
Profits for three parties
Creation of space by investors in office projects for young companies has a lot of advantages. The first one is the opportunity of gaining enterprises which have a chance for development, that is potential and big tenants. As Olivia Business Center we support small companies and start-ups because we believe that someday they will need thousands sq. m of office space instead of several sq. m – Marta Moksa says. Another profit resulting from creating start-up space or business accelerators in office investments is interest of young people in the offer of a single office or the whole complex. Thanks to staying in modern space and meeting experienced entrepreneurs young people may learn a lot and receive concrete comments concerning their ideas, which are at early development stage – Managing Director of the O4 zone says. Science is not a one-sided process. Small companies grow next to big ones, learning the process of running a business from them, whereas big companies may benefit from e.g. creativity of those smaller enterprises – Moksa adds.
Division of space for start-ups in office structures is also a certain way for distinguishing yourself against competitiveness on demanding market as well as partial solution for the problem of uninhabited flats. Areas of a certain structure are then used under short-term lease contracts with a prospect of extending the scope of cooperation with development of business of a certain company – Krzysztof Paul explains. Moreover, there is a noticeable trend on the market concerning searching for creative space. While dividing space for start-ups, developers create such space, thus enriching their projects – Paul adds.
Creation of space is not enough to encourage potential start-ups to benefit from offers of concrete office investments. The question is: how to do that?
First and foremost, it is necessary to analyze needs and expectations of young businesses. Firstly, the offered space should be adjusted to the potential of start-ups. While realizing the first stage of the Pomerania Office Park complex – Zefir office, we divided the area for such organizations. These are small areas intended for short-term lease adjusted to both potential and expectations of fledging entrepreneurs – Krzysztof Paul says.
A crucial element is also a convenient location of an office project. For instance, Zefir is situated in the Stare Przedmieście district in Gdańsk, where there are headquarters of many institutions of public utility. These are natural partners for start-ups in activities taken up by them every day. The proximity to such entities guarantees saving of time and money to young entrepreneurs, which may be then invested in development of their business – Chairman of the Board of UNIMOR Development SA adds.
It is also worth mentioning the possibility of using a wide range of facilitations by start-ups, which are offered by a certain office to all tenants, just like in the case of Zefir.
Another factor is a creative idea for running a start-up area or business accelerator. The example is Olivia Business Center, where authorial space of development of innovations was created. We opened the O4 zone last year and our residents benefit from it all the time. Our objective was to create a platform for cooperation between big international corporations and small entrepreneurs – Marta Moksa says. Our team travels around the world in order to present the possessions of companies from O4 and connect them with new business partners at the international level – Moksa adds.
It is worth mentioning about offered support for young companies, which begin their first journey on the market. In the O4 zone, next to office space, there is also support for entrepreneurs in four aspects: financing, internationalization, "Smart Space" offer and creative education. The first area envisages assistance in gaining means for running and development of a business activity. For instance, there are several investment funds in O4 that actively support young entrepreneurs and start-ups – Marta Moksa says. The second is to enable establishment of contacts with foreign companies. Once a quarter we organize conferences and meetings with big foreign investors in order the members of O4 could present themselves – Managing Director of O4 adds. The third aspect, that is "Smart Space", means flexibility in organization of work space and ease in office expansion. It is possible to work at a desk in the so called open space as well as on a hammock or comfortable armchair in O4. Creative education, in turn, is a new approach to the subject of science. Everyone may deepen their knowledge in O4 – both entrepreneurs and children. For instance, there is the infoShare Academy educating computer programmers in the O4 zone. Different training courses, language courses and technical workshops are organized there every day – Moksa adds.
Creation of start-up areas or business accelerators in office investments is certainly a positive tendency, which has a chance for gaining a wide popularity among representatives of the industry. Maybe someday young enterprises will be one of the main target groups of offers in the area of renting office space.