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Give Your Startup Space to Thrive: The Technology Advantage

October 03, 2014

Whether you choose a coworking space, accelerator or incubator for your startup’s new home, keep in mind that the technology driving the space is as important as its physical location. Here are the basics to look for.

This is part two of a three-part series on startup workspaces. Read part one: 3 Degrees of Startup Workspaces

Critical to any space you choose is business-class Internet, phones and support that will help put your startup on a level playing field with bigger and more established competitors. That was behind Dennis Egen’s decision to set up his Philadelphia consulting company, Engine Room Technology Company, at the coworking space, Benjamin’s Desk, which has a reputation for its top-notch, fast Internet. “We’re a bandwidth-intensive business,” he explains, “and the data pipe here is incredible. That alone might keep us here for a while.”

Whether you choose a coworking space, accelerator or incubator for your startup’s new home, keep in mind that the technology driving the space is as important as its physical location. Here are the basics to look for:

Internet – Business class Internet should be at the top of the list for any startup’s requirements in a space, not cool furniture and interiors. “It doesn’t matter if you have a cool space if you can’t access the Internet,” warns Donna Harris of the incubator 1776 in Washington, DC.

WiFi – “No one plugs in anymore,” says Michael Maher, CEO of Benjamin’s Desk, “so you need WiFi.” You also need bandwidth to enable all the companies in residence to access what they need online at any time, from any place, and without any hiccups.

Phone – While cell phones are convenient for many entrepreneurs, providing a phone system with a high-quality voice connection that residents can plug into or use for conference calls adds credibility with vendors and customers. Hosted VoIP solutions can do the job and scale as you add employees and extensions.

Part three: Find the Perfect Fit for Your Business

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