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“Our tenants have the unique opportunity to establish their own retail space in our space, from which they can showcase their products”- Vanessa Butz, Interchange, London

by | Feb 1, 2016 | Business, Design | 0 comments

We caught up with Vanessa Butz, Managing Director at Interchange, a new full-service coworking and events space based in the heart of Camden, London, which provides companies and entrepreneurs with the ideal framework for creativity and growth. Before working with Interchange, Vanessa helped build up the community at Factory, one of Berlin’s largest tech spaces to date.

London is a major business center and also home to numerous large corporations. Would you say that your space is marketed to this crowd? If so, why?

Interchange is mainly aimed at creative, fast-growth companies, who are looking for an inspiring working environment that will support them from startup through to scale-up. However, we have also had interest from companies of all sizes, including major corporations, a number of which have moved specific innovation teams into our space.

Would Interchange be defined as a facility, service, or a hospitality provider? If so, why is that?

It’s is a mix of all three really. Interchange is a coworking office, as well as an events and networking space. We also provide our tenants and visitors with a range of other facilities, as well as access to advice and support.

Furthermore, the main Interchange sites are located at the heart of Camden, which has over 28 million visitors a year, and is London’s third largest business district, after the City and Westminster. The location helps our tenants to stay connected via the central location and great transport links.

What types of members do you have so far, and are any of them new to the open workspace model? If so, how are they adapting to the concept?

We have a wide range of members, spanning industries such as design and marketing, healthcare and fintech, including accelerators and VC companies. Some are new to the open workspace model and some have moved from other coworking spaces, but all are adapting well. Ultimately it’s about finding the right fit.

Some of our current members include a healthcare startup, Doctify, who help to connect patients to healthcare professionals. We are also home to Osper, a mobile banking platform for young people, and IncuBus, which is a pre-accelerator for startups.

Has it been challenging to attract people to the space? And what do you think needs to happen in order to educate potential members about the benefits of Social Workplaces?

We generally feel that in London especially, that there is high demand for shared workspaces that meet the needs and expectations of potential tenants. Most companies and individuals, particularly startups, have a good understanding of why it’s beneficial to work in shared spaces, including the access to support, networking opportunities and inspiring atmosphere they can provide.

When you were developing Interchange, was design a major consideration? What types of design influenced the process? For example, did you focus on different types of third spaces such as a restaurant of a café? 

Vanessa Lee Butz , Managing Director at Interchange

Vanessa Lee Butz , Managing Director at Interchange

One of our buildings, ‘Atrium’, is still under construction, but once complete, Interchange will offer over 84,000 square foot of coworking space. We will also have a number of exciting facilities available on-site, including a restaurant, cafe, bar, and gym.

The Camden buildings have been designed by DRS under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, an acclaimed British designer whose past work includes Shoreditch House and Mondrian Hotel.

In your opinion, why do you think that corporate players are now looking to leave their offices? What are they missing in the more traditional environments ?

We’ve definitely seen a trend over the last few years of larger, corporate companies becoming interested in what startups are doing and the way in which they work, particularly in relation to innovative business practices and new technologies. Coworking is a big part of this, as it encourages openness, creativity and collaboration. Interchange provides a framework for these elements and is therefore an ideal space, whether for a one-man startup or a satellite team of a larger company.

Do you provide any additional services for your members? Have you curated these programs to certain types of professionals, or are they more open?

As part of the wider Interchange offering, we run regular events, workshops, talks and training sessions from our events space, which anyone can attend. Additionally, our tenants also have the unique opportunity to establish their own retail space in the iconic Camden Markets, from which they can showcase and sell their products.


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