Workshop17 won Best Coworking Space, South Africa, 2018 at the recent Southern Africa Startup Awards. It was one of 75 local finalists shortlisted across 15 categories.
The sought-after award was presented to Workshop17 for being “a coworking space that deserves recognition for its services, support and resources to fast-growing tech start-ups, and for creating a culture and environment that fosters innovation”.
Workshop17 (formerly Open Workspaces) creates and manages spaces in which startups, freelancers and companies — big and small, profit and non-profit, new and experienced — can work, meet, collaborate and innovate. It is a leading coworking space with an increasing number of locations in South Africa.
Since its first coworking space opened in 2012, Workshop17 has grown into five iconic workspaces hosting over 2,000 members and 500 companies. More locations are in the pipeline.
Paul Keursten, CEO and Co-Founder of Workshop17, says, “We are thrilled to be recognised as a successful platform for a greater ecosystem of exciting businesses and entrepreneurs that are working to shape a powerful, prosperous Africa. Our members make us who we are. We believe in them and we are happy that they believe in us too. This award is thanks to our amazing members, an incredible team and great partners.”
Workshop17 coworking spaces are unique in that they offer more than simply a place to work; they actively foster a thriving community. Members are invited to regular public events supporting entrepreneurship, learning and networking in various fields. Workshop17 community managers and community ambassadors actively connect members who can help each other grow.
“We make it easy for businesses to grow and shrink with us. We want to be partners for the life of their business, support our members’ big wins and celebrate their successes with them,” says Paul. “Our plug-and-play spaces have everything from superb connectivity to on-site event and community managers; we take care of everything so the only thing you have to focus on is your business.”
Its original space, Workshop17 Maboneng, opened in Johannesburg in 2012. Workshop17 V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, followed thereafter. Then, it took just two years for Workshop17 West Street, Sandton Central, to open in 2017, which also marked the start of Workshop17’s partnership with leading JSE-listed international property company Growthpoint Properties in a 50/50 joint venture.
In 2018, it added two locations, Workshop17 Tabakhuis, Paarl, and Workshop17 Firestation, Rosebank.
It has now set its sights on opening four new coworking spaces every year for the next five years, including expanding Workshop17 into other cities and beyond borders into other African countries.
Workshop17 Kloof Street will open in 2019 at 32 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town.
The Southern African Startup Awards are part of the Global Startup Awards, which spotlights those who dare to dream big and shape the way our future will look. It brings together ideas and talents from seven regions and 50-plus countries. Workshop17 will also compete in the regional grand final later this month.