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“Our coworking space is moving from a tech to a high tech environment”

by | Jun 8, 2020 | Coworking, Events, Impact, Podcast | 0 comments

Barbara Inmann is the Managing Director of Impact Hub Vienna, a coworking space in the heart of Vienna with a diverse community of founders, creatives, investors, established companies and NGOs who have one thing in common: they believe bold, entrepreneurial ideas can change society for the better. Impact Hub Vienna also hosts the HQ of the global Impact Hub network counting more than 110 Impact Hubs across the world with 16.000+ members. We have interviewed Barbara Inmann to find out more about their way through the Covid-19 crisis and how they envision the future.

Main takeaways

The highlights from our conversation with Barbara are summarised just here:

  • Impact Hub Vienna thinks they need more blended versions of events and meetings held offline and online: “That’s what we saw in the last weeks, during the lockdown, and also now in the re-opening”.
  • Since Impact Hub Vienna didn’t have any tech people on its own payroll, and in order to rapidly pivot during the Covid-19 crisis, they partnered up with one of its tenants, an agency operating online streaming for the movie industry, to fit out its event room permanently with the right caption and sound equipment. The digital streaming agency had an interest in the partnership as well, as from now on they won’t need to rent rooms elsewhere to shoot clips for their other clients.
  • Impact Hub Vienna will sell the online streaming service as well as the services of the digital streaming agency under a revenue share model. A win-win scenario with a long term vision.
  • So far, meetings and events in Austria are still limited in terms of capacity: “Only mini-groups are coming”, states Barbara. The demand for coworking remains low for the hot desking: “Every week, the demand is a bit higher, but mainly the demand for the private offices has picked up again”.
  • The Hub network’s members aren’t just coworking spaces; they organise a lot of workshops, for instance on social entrepreneurship. Impact Hub can rely on some other sources of revenues such as their social entrepreneurship incubation services.
  • The Impact Hub is working on setting up new programs with partners such as local governments: “The world is changing. There is a lot of thirst for even more sustainability. Small Businesses are looking to heal and re-start and this is the opportunity to adapt people’s business models, values and approaches for the new post-Covid19 era. This is an opportunity in which the whole Impact Hub international network is involved”.
  • Before Covid-19, the Impact Hub community was engaged. It seems that if the crisis is accelerating the engagement even more.
  • Impact Hub Global has coworking spaces in South America, Africa, Asia, Australia… The support they offer to each space is different according to each country: “We are lucky to be in Austria, from that perspective, for instance. But we all take part in the reflection on how to redesign the model around the space”, explains Barbara.
  • Tech and digitisation are definitely the hottest topics at the moment: “There is also a rethinking wether products and services should mainly be built around the physical space or not. This is a question we are deeply investigating now”, states Barbara.
  • There is a new way of working and learning: “We will see more and more of an online layer for coworking spaces. At Impact Hub Vienna, we have hosted online lunches and coffee breaks during the lockdown with members of other Impact Hub spaces in other countries. This could be an opportunity”, affirms Barbara.

Watch the full video conversation with Barbara Inmann below.


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