We're creating Oakland's first coworking space dedicated to the architecture + engineering + construction industry.
(Special thanks to Perkins + Will for letting us shoot our video in their beautiful space!)
We wanted to join a coworking space like WeWork, Nextspace, or Impact HUB Oakland -- but they just weren't optimized for the AEC industry, which has specific infrastructure requirements. So we began working with a group of investors to buy a building and create BIG Oakland (Building Industry Gathering - Oakland).
Did you know most companies in the AEC industry are small businesses? With BIG Oakland, these little companies can:
- Have a dedicated desk or drop-in space in a professional office, with a receptionist and nice meeting rooms that they'll be proud to invite clients to
- Have access to expensive industry software, oversized plotters, and a full design library staffed by a professional librarian
- Enjoy the curated ecosystem of collaborators to team up with, allowing them to quickly form sophisticated project teams
By banding together, we can get the benefits that large firms enjoy. In addition BIG Oakland will be a center for innovation and collaboration in the AEC industry--a place where conferences and big room sessions will always be buzzing.
The funds raised in this campaign will pay for legal formation fees, marketing costs, the Kickstarter campaign itself, and other incidentals associated with getting up and running. But the real point of the campaign is to make sure there is a demand for BIG Oakland. Our investors want to know it's a safe bet before they put up capital!
So if you believe in this idea and see how much it can help the construction industry thrive and stay in place as Oakland becomes more and more expensive, pledge to reserve your spot as part of BIG Oakland!
Risks and challenges
We have a number of potential investors lined up who are indicating interest, and several buildings we are looking at. The biggest risk we run is if, despite a successful Kickstarter campaign, one or more of those investors doesn't follow through. That would make it difficult to purchase one of the buildings we have in mind.
If this occurs, we have three contingency plans in place:
1. Buy a smaller building, requiring less capital.
2. Start BIG Oakland in a leased space instead of an owned space.
3. Start BIG Oakland with a lease structure that has an option to buy (if such a situation can be found) -- that will allow us some time to prove the model and identify additional investors.
- (32 days)