Need a desk in Bangalore one week and Davis Square the next?
TechHub, which operates a network of co-working spaces in India, Romania, Latvia, and the United Kingdom, plans to open in Somerville this month. And much like a card that will give you access to frequent flier lounges, a TechHub membership will let you work in any of the locations as you jet around the globe. TechHub was founded in London in 2010.
“We feel there’s an opportunity to connect Europe and India with Boston,” says TechHub co-founder and CEO Elizabeth Varley. “We hope we can be a catalyst for even more activity in the Boston area.” Varley says that “we really focus on the community side of things,” putting on events that introduce investors and established companies to entrepreneurs, for instance. Locally, the group has put on five demo nights, most recently last week, to promote TechHub to Bostonians.
TechHub’s Boston operations team of Simon Towers and Stewart Noakes were among the bidders hoping to operate the Roxbury Innovation Center for the City of Boston. (The Venture Café Foundation, a non-profit arm of the Cambridge Innovation Center, was eventually chosen.) They also considered locations in the Seaport District before focusing on 7,500-square feet in a Citizens Bank building in Davis Square. They’re subletting space from Powderhouse Productions, a television production company.
They plan to open the Somerville TechHub next Monday, and to offer free usage for the rest of March. While the space hasn’t yet been fully built-out, Noakes describes it as a “minimum viable product” that they’ll continue adding to based on member input.
An entry level membership to TechHub is $450 (or $250 for current students.) It offers 20 hours per month of access to any of the locations in the network. Noakes says, “If you can afford a cellphone, you can afford to be a member of TechHub.” The next level up, a dedicated desk in the Somerville TechHub location, costs $600 per month. Companies can also rent their own private offices within TechHub.
In July, Noakes says there are plans to shuffle a handful of startups between Boston, London, and Bangalore for a week or so at a time, “cross-pollinating” among the three business scenes.
Scott Kirsner writes the Innovation Economy column every Sunday in the Boston Globe, in which he tracks entrepreneurship, investment, and big company activities around New England.
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