All good things must come to an end, although certain good things just move somewhere else: that’s us! But why, you say? Why leave such an idyllic location?
Truth is we’re trying to reason with it ourselves, so we thought talking to the people directly involved in the process would help us shed some light on the question.
Today, we’re quizzing our community manager Federico Piccinini to find out what he thinks about this.
So, elephant in the room, why are we moving?
Surprisingly, it’s not about money! We’ve been established in Old Street for more than 3 years, had 57 different interns, worked with 532 startups, hosted 120 events and changed about 2000 loo rolls. Still, we’re looking to grow and be able to help more people develop their startup ambitions. The truth is at the moment our space is simply not big enough to cater for all the individuals we’ve had come through our doors. Plus, we’ll be able to host higher quality events in a better space, and we like having people over to ours.
The new space is very much an upgrade: it’s about a 7-minute walk from King’s Cross station, in Cubitt street (N* 32 to be precise), and what’s more, it used to be a Baptist church which means we’ve gone from having a handful of windows to more than we need!!
The people of Only Connect are also anticipating our arrival: their aim is to get ex-offenders into the workplace by working with them to improve their business skills and attributes, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity for a collaboration between us; we can only be more excited about meeting our new “housemates”!! To top it all off, it’s much closer to my house than Old street….ok, it’s actually further away but that’s how selfless I am.
We’ll have one serious meeting room (en-suite included, so you can negotiate till you drop) with a boardroom to book, a proper chill-out area with all the trimmings and a professional espresso machine to rival any overpriced East London coffee!! Even though it might not sound like it, we’re aiming to make the space more functional while not losing sight of our original spirit: that of a place where you can work as if you were at home, without the procrastinating and unproductiveness, while you share your experiences/successes/failures with a community of like-minded people in similar predicaments.
I guess that’s satisfying. What’s the most exciting part of all this?
Knowing exactly the direction we’re taking: more space, more people and more potential impact for our work! Additionally, we’ll FINALLY have real chill-out area, where members (and staff!!) can unwind without disturbing others’ working peace. To be very blunt, we’ll just have more of everything, be it desks, bean bags, lights or hand towels to replace.
Ok, slightly harder question: what will you miss the most?
To be honest, it’s not really what I’ll miss but who. First of all, all the members who will not be following us, be it because of distance or personal reasons. Over the years we developed much more than a simple service-provider/customer relation, we’ve spent years working alongside them (some have even slept here at times, me included!) and drinking together, at the desk or in the pub down the road: I’ll miss all the memories, successes and failures we made together.
The girls from LNDR, all the others from Coconut Republic and our good friends in Nepa will also be sorely missed. The former for putting up with us over the years (and for their adorable, cute fluffy dogs^^), the latter for getting us through all those chilly, dreary London mornings.
And the least?
Having to refuse applications because our space was already at max capacity. We’ve had a ton of people come to us looking for space in our time here and having to turn them away, regardless of how brilliant/disruptive/different was, has always been my least favourite task. Especially when your primary mission it to help everyone develop their ideas.
A special mention also goes to our current artisan meeting room which, regardless of how many memories it’s steeped in, was effectively no more than a glorified fence.
Touching back on a previously mentioned argument, are there any dogs in the new site? If not, what do you plan on doing to address this issue?
I must admit that as of yet, none of our members have a dog. However, we are actively searching for someone to fill this vacancy. If you know any dog whose owner already works in or is looking to launch their own startup, please refer them to us. We promise to provide him/her with breakout spaces, a wide selection of doggy treats and frequent belly rubs. We’ll also make sure their owner is ok.
Good, it’s reassuring to know you’re taking this seriously. Anything else you want to get off your chest?
Time for thank yous/shoutouts!
I want to thank ALL the people who worked with or just next to us throughout the years, because it was them which made us into what we are today: Launch22 is, quite literally, about the community so it goes without saying that no community = no Launch22, and we’re still hell-bent on being that way!!
Theirs is no doubt I’ll miss these walls and all they contain but we’re ready for a new chapter in Launch22’s “life”. And, however much we might still love the place, I urge you to come and see the new site for yourself, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s to the future.