Collaborate and Work, Coworking in Downtown Raleigh

I recently attended the last Triangle Tweetup, pictured above, that was held right here in downtown Raleigh at Edge Office. This “tweetup” is a gathering of local individuals that interact on the internet through the service called Twitter. Twitter + meetup = tweetup, get it? Anyway, there were over 100 people at Edge, all with a common interest in socializing and putting faces to the internet avatars that each person has on Twitter. I have been using Twitter for almost a year now and I can say the local community is growing very fast. With this service, I have been able to meet and contact people for information or possibly collaborate on new projects. I also use it just for socializing; my twitter name is DTRaleigh. I recommend anyone that is interested to jump on the service and start interacting with local people (or “tweeple” as some like to say).

I open up this discussion with Twitter because I feel it is the most powerful tool to organize, market, and network with others that have similar interests as you. While Twitter lives and breathes on the internet, all the local users are still working, living, and playing individually around Raleigh. But what if there was a place for this community to collaborate, meetup, and work? What if there was a dedicated space for ANYONE that was interested in working with other people, sharing their ideas, and meeting others that can help them create those ideas? This is a slight introduction to the concept of coworking and a space for this is in talks for downtown Raleigh.

A good friend of mine, Jason DiMambro, has been leading the way on organizing the Raleigh community and is working with Empire Properties to set up a coworking space. At the recent tweetup on January 29th, Ben Steel from Empire gave a short speech about coworking and how Empire is very interested in providing a space for people to work in. Ben was pretty vague but looking at Empire’s track record, you can bet this will be a great looking, renovated space with a lot of character. If you pair this up with some great office furniture then this will be one of the best workspaces in the city.

The use of the space will range from the casual visitor to the dedicated worker. If your work requires you to be at the office then you will probably only visit a few times; to check e-mail after hours or to focus on a project when working from home is to distracting. Also anyone that works for themselves, out of coffee shops, their houses, on the phone or on their laptops, can use the space. Desks and tables will be set up for anyone to use at any time of the day, and night. For me, I can’t use the space for doing work because of my job but I would love to get out of the apartment and focus on the blog as well as the other projects I have in mind. The uses are very fluid and vary between everyone’s situation.

Coworking is a community driven concept where people that work for themselves, whether it is for money or yourself, can interact with others and share ideas. The coworking space will be the focal point of this community and while working on your own project, you can tap your creative side and give feedback to others on their ideas. I’m excited about this concept coming to Raleigh and the creative community will really embrace it.

If you are already on Twitter and would like to follow the progress of this space, follow CoworkRaleigh.

[Update: CoworkRaleigh twitter account has been disabled.]

Citizen Space, a coworking space, in San Francisco. Picture via Flickr: jaygoldman

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  1. For the record we do have co-working space already active in Apex and Carrboro. This type of thing I think will be something that doesn’t really have to worry about competitive edges as one the highlights of co-working is networking and meeting other business people. For that reason alone I’d prolly make the rounds as opposed to having a dedicated space. Hopefully the co-working spaces we have now and those upcoming will follow that philosophy and encourage people to go to all the co-working spaces for the betterment of their businesses. Looking forward to checking out the new digs!

  2. That’s a pretty brilliant idea. Given the general type of employee in this area, I’d guess it would get a decent crowd. I have to be in my office for work, but it’d be great to get away from home for personal projects.

  3. We are in the process of assessing interest in a co-working space in Downtown Raleigh since there doesn’t seem to be an active one as of right now. If you know of anyone who is interested in a space, please feel free to direct them to or to this Google information form: Thank you so much!

  4. Co-working? What’s the point? What does “coworking” provide that my house/apartment doesn’t? Why would I want to pay to work in a room with other strangers?

    You may want to look at current co-working spaces. One just closed in San Francisco, Durham’s was put on hold indefinitely, and Carrboro’s isn’t doing well. It may work initially due to trendiness, but eventually most people realize that the idea is pretty pointless, and choose to spend their money elsewhere.

  5. Some see value in co-working, mostly for networking but I think this depends on the type of work that you do. A designer or web developer may meet people, collaborate on projects and in turn land more clients because he/she spends time amongst other people who are interested in collaborating. Co-working spaces put these people together.

    Coffee shops are unofficial co-working spaces really but some would pay for that dedicated work space that they can access 24/7 and without the coffee smell.

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