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Pauline Roussel

This was Hack Coworking London

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How we organized our first hackathon in less than 3 months.

Last week we made our first coworking event: Hack Coworking. The first ever coworking hackathon happened in London as part of London Tech Week. Hosted by HubHub, a new coworking space in central London. As I was able to finally catch up on sleep after the hackathon, here are few lines I scrambled together to recap what happened at the coworking hackathon.

Hack Coworking happened for many reasons, all of them topics for more in-depth articles. For now let's say that after traveling to more than 49 cities around the globe and visiting more than 390 coworking spaces we saw a lot of problems, opportunities and questions hanging around coworking. Instead of putting them in an article we decided to be active and push forward the agenda of “member driven innovation” with an event. hackathon on the topic of coworking.

The idea of an event came quite fast but the remaining question was, what kind of event? Visiting many great coworking conferences, such as: Coworking Spain, Coworking_NOW in Poland, Coworkbuzz and Coworking London Conference, we knew this would not be the right format for an event with the “member driven agenda at hand”. Same as when we started Coworkies, we wanted to create something new, that adds value to the world of coworking instead of repeating something that has already been done. As we’ve been involved with few and participated at others, a hackathon event format felt closer to our hearts and allowed us to bring people and spaces to come and innovate together.

478 emails later...

It took three intense months of hard work to put the event together. To summarize it with a number, it took 478 emails and numerous phone calls to make Hack Coworking happen. We were very fortunate to find a co-organizing team from HubHub who worked incredibly hard with Coworkies in creating an amazing Hack Coworking London experience.

Coworking is more than a space, we see it as the central point in a city connecting everything. For that Hack Coworking had three main topics: Cities - looking at the next steps to improve mobility and connectivity in our working life Spaces - focusing on interior design, space management, data in the workplace People - involving the community, well-being and connectivity between people.

Those topics resonated with our main hackathon challenges sponsors HB Reavis, Salto Systems and Cobot. Thanks to their trust in our vision for the event we were able to offer awesome prizes to the participating teams.

So what happened exactly during the event? Hack Coworking had 18 participating teams, solving challenges of very different sorts, from personal assistant bots to meeting room ghosting to better utilization of the space. Above all, it was nice to see that one of the main topics for the teams was meeting others, collaborating and creating offline networking. This was done with data but also trough simple everyday activities like having a coffee or food.

Who “won”?

In my eyes, everyone won the hackathon. We all got the chance to do something new, learn from each other, brainstorm and build ideas in a very short span of time (less than 48h00). Seeing people working all night long to deliver their best ideas was quite exciting. So much passion, dedication and care was put into each and every idea, that I have to raise my hat to all the attendees for that.

Curious to know who the jury selected? Let’s meet them:

SALTO Systems selected ADAPTED a non-tech product using mobile walls to make the workplace customisable, modular, and efficient, supporting coworking spaces in making the best use out of their spaces.

HB Reavis chose Tinder for Coworkers a tool adding value to coworking spaces by enabling the establishment of useful business relationships, through a "Tinder" style matching mechanism based on the data provided by the building.

Cobot selected MyCoworker a chatbot managing your overall coworking experience.

Coworkies and HubHub selected 2 winning teams!

Co-Lockers, a tool providing coworking users with access to on-demand lockers that can be used to secure personal belongings or as a delivery point for laundry, dry cleaning or online shopping.

Snap Desk, an application that rewards users who participate in building the community (organise events, meet and help other members of the co-working space) by allowing them to book their favorite desks and meeting rooms using the coworking's own points system.

Coworking London Conference, the event happening from June 27th to June 29th could not select just 3 winners and decided for 4!

  • Tinder for Coworkers
  • Co-Lockers
  • Cobot Bonsi, a tool Utilising Co-working spaces efficiently, harnessing hidden energy sources and bring through the new ear of web and smartphone tech.
  • Lunch and Learn, a lunch networking app where co-workers can be matched, based on their favorite foods, and or specific business needs.

Those 4 teams will present this Thursday their projects at the London Coworking Conference and will compete for the Proptech Challenge!

Congratulations to all the winners and hope to see those projects come to fruition soon!

3 months of hard work were worth everything that happened during that weekend.

The overall energy was always so high, I barely slept for 3 days as I did not want to miss anything. I also want to take the opportunity to thank Dimitar, Devon and Mariya, the Coworkies Crew who did such an amazing job throughout the weekend! I also want to thank James, Matilde, Elena and Aneta from HubHub for their AMAZING energy and tremendous help in making sure everything was always perfect.

To finish I want to elaborate on a question we get asked a lot: How to craft an experience for your coworkers?.

To showcase a bit of what it can mean together with Elixir Cafe, City Pantry, Yogi2Me, Deliveroo for Business and Tiny Vessels Brewing, we’ve crafted a unique experience throughout the event for our participants.

That involved high-quality food & drinks as well as some time to exercise and relax with a yoga class. So yes, food and exercise are very important when it comes down to workplaces. Coworking is not only about work, it's about life too so crafting quality experiences around the daily activities of your members is essential for the well being of the community.

With the above said, I would like to say a BIG thank you to all of our event partners and extended community supporters (with a special thank you to siteground and nook pod)

It was a pleasure to work together on the first coworking hackathon. Thank you for trusting us and the work we do to push coworking forward. It is now time to work on the next edition of the event and find another city where to make it happen. Berlin, Warsaw, Lisbon, Paris, New York, Tokyo - where should it go next?

Drop your suggestions in the comments section below.

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