Railside coworking space relaunches independently
JENNIFER REYNOLDS | CONTRIBUTOR
CoWork is severing its multiyear partnership with The Iron Yard and once again resuming operations as a sole enterprise.
CoWork, which offers members a workspace on a monthly rental basis at its Railside location on Washington Street in Greenville, was founded in 2007 as a way for six freelancers to share office space. The concept of coworking was relatively unknown at that time and the friends did not create a formal company.
In the following years, coworking became a growing trend nationally. People began to approach CoWork about joining. What began as friends looking to work from somewhere other than home became a legitimate business.
In late fall 2012, CoWork was absorbed by startup incubator The Iron Yard. The Iron Yard’s recent success and rapid growth has limited its ability to effectively run CoWork, according to CoWork cofounder Matthew Smith. Smith has joined long-term CoWorkers Matt Cook, David Haskins, Marco Suarez and Chris Merritt in relaunching the business.
They envision the future of CoWork to be more than just a workspace, but as a community of people who are innovators in their respective fields – where members network to create opportunities and share ideas to drive everyone who participates in CoWork to become better at their chosen path, they say.
“We always had an ethic to find people who added to the quality of our work environment,” Smith said. “Our central theme is to help people improve their work life. We don’t rent a desk. The desk is an attribute, an accessory. What people pay for is the opportunity to grow their work life, become more skilled in their field, hone critical thinking skills to give and get feedback and be more connected.”
By cultivating a team of passionate members, CoWork hopes to become a place that does great things for Greenville. Members of the CoWork team recently launched lifeingreenville.com, a website dedicated to the promotion of Greenville as a great place to live and work.
“We want to be well known nationally for being a hub place where the highest quality creatives and entrepreneurs develop world-class products, and for attracting industry to Greenville through events,” Smith said.
CoWork’s future includes plans to continue providing workspace, to grow to a new location and to begin hosting events aimed at drawing in leaders of industry from around the globe to problem-solve and network together to find creative solutions to problems and challenges in member’s respective fields.