For the past decade, Betaworks has been building innovative tech products that have since become instrumental in our work (Bitly, TweetDeck) and play (“Dots,” Giphy).
“This office space acted like an unofficial community space, and what we want to do now is open it up to be a much more official community space,” said James Cooper, head of creative.
The way Betaworks is going about that is Studios, a space that launches Monday in its Meatpacking District headquarters that will be a communal hub for member entrepreneurs, creatives and other “builders” to develop projects, connections and inspiration.
Betaworks Studios comes at a time when humans interact with tech more than other humans, even as they’re sitting next to one in an office, and the agile workforce is ever growing.
“It’s become really acute, the need to come together and have a place to come together as a community and as an industry,” said Studios President and COO Daphne Kwon. “It can’t be all digital all the time.”
Betaworks Studios: Connecting a community of creatives
The 10,000-square-foot Studios space is broken into three sections: The S Bar, The Forum and The Library.
The S Bar — which Cooper said stands for “service bar, Studios bar and startup bar” — is located near floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto buzzing Little West 12th Street. It will be manned by a concierge to help members navigate their Studios time, whether it’s to grab coffee, book a conference room or even introduce them to that designer or other builder they've been looking for to get a project off the ground.
The centrally located Forum will feature circular and moveable furniture to accommodate groups of any size, and “the idea is this is your club, your community space. Move the furniture,” Cooper said.
The glass-walled Library will offer a large table and a space to work, but Studios is not a coworking space, Cooper clarified.
“Some coworking spaces feel narrow, almost like cubicles, but where do you go to actually talk to people? This can be the water cooler place,” he said.
Studios also offers 10 booths tucked into curved walls with soundproofing materials that offer the privacy of a conference room without being cut off from the creative action. There are also four small phonebooth sized rooms and two private conference rooms, all named after past and current builders. A space called the White Cube features whiteboard walls for brainstorming sessions.
With their $2,400-a-year Studios membership, which can be paid monthly, builders will be able to attend workshops, talks, dinners and more.
“Of our all our goals, we’re attempting to hit member happiness, to make them feel like they’re getting something they wouldn’t get on their own,” said Ben Scheim, Studios vice president of programming. “Hopefully they come away with something meaningful for them, whether that’s practical skills or person-to-person networking connections or business opportunities.”
While the Meatpacking District location of Betaworks Studios will be the flagship, a global rollout is currently in the works.
For more info, visit betaworks.com.