Co-working spaces have been expanding rapidly in Berlin in recent years. The most famous and oldest are Betahaus and St. Oberholz, but people are paying special attention to Mindspace, which only opened in 2016.
Mindspace is not actually a German company but instead an “overseas group,” founded in Tel Aviv, Israel. Tel Aviv draws startups from all over Israel, and is a kind of battlefield of co-working spaces. Co-founder Yotam Alroy looks back at the early days. “Facebook, AOL and well-known venture capital groups have their own base, but we started our business in the Silicon Valley of Tel Aviv,” he says. “We very much wanted a place where you can really feel creativity, design sense and innovation.”
Soon after it became a success in Tel Aviv, it applied that accomplishment to Berlin. However, when a company is expanding globally, cites such as New York or London should have been among the choices. Mr. Alroy explains why they chose Berlin. “The other cities are already mature business hubs,” he says. “In that respect Berlin is still developing. But it is a wonderful city full of creativity, innovation and diversity. It is also an international hub where entrepreneurs from around the world gather. Along with startups, there are also many service providers, creative agencies, PR agencies, IR agencies and venture capitalists. We wanted to be pioneers in a place where we can expect growth in the future. I think that Berlin was a natural choice for us.”
In deciding to enter Berlin, Mindspace thoroughly investigated the city. “To find the best place to locate Mindspace, of course I researched the buildings and the structure of the city,” Mr. Alroy says. “I also studied how people work in Berlin, the lifestyles, and also the situation in the offices where they work.”
When Mindspace opened in Berlin, it quickly became a popular co-working space. One main factor was a good location. Mindspace is in Friedrichstrasse, one of the best shopping streets in Berlin, with rows of luxury hotels, department stores and restaurants. Perhaps it is like placing a workspace in Japan in Ginza. There are many people who are drawn to the location and make use of it.
“Many people seem to be attracted by the design and atmosphere and fell like they want to stay here,” Mr. Alroy says. Berlin has many co-working spaces, but they have succeeded by establish a place with innovative design and innovative style.
Exterior view of Mindspace.
Members: Approx. 850
Open space desk: €250
Private office: from €950
The Mindspace design point, Mr. Alroy says, “Is to have an at-home atmosphere where it is easy to work—cool and trendy, but not too trendy.” The interior designer did space design for brand management, and while there are places similar that in Tel Aviv, this is completely different. He seems to have devised a way to express a sense of Berlin-ness.
Mr. Alroy’s innovative style refers to the spaciousness of the shared space. No other co-working space in Berlin has the same amount of space as Mindspace. “When a team doesn’t want to go to the office, you can use this as a place to change location and do idea building, so we are enriching the shared space,” he says. The total space covers 5,000 square meters, and can accommodate up to 850 people. There are private rooms inside, providing a wide range of shared spaces for members to use. This is likely why Mindspace is called an adult co-working space.
Another reason why their business in Berlin is good is perhaps because they have been successful in understanding the minds of their users. “We do call the users members,” Mr. Alroy says, “and, interestingly, the members in Tel Aviv and Berlin are quite similar. They are seeking a high-quality product, and will actively participate in the community. They welcome the connection between office space and lifestyle, and are active in collaboration among members. So it can be said that the communities are very similar—except for language.”
About 740 people are now using Mindspace in Berlin. In addition to freelancers and startups, this also includes large companies. “Companies use Mindspace as an innovation hub,” Mr. Alroy says. Innovation teams, international teams, short-term project teams and others often leave their normal daily routine and work in Mindspace.”
Mindspace also connects companies in both Tel Aviv and Berlin. Along with establishing connections with community managers at both sites, a special app is also now available. For example, if someone is looking for a freelance designer, members in both Berlin and Tel Aviv can be contacted.
“Our goal is to create internationally renowned brands, and to expand business into more places,” Mr. Alroy says. Whether freelance, startups, small and mid-size companies or large firms, all are the same in that they use the space. Mindspace wants to be useful to them in providing the office space and the lifestyle that these individuals and companies are looking for. “We want to offer more opportunities for members to collaborate, providing fully-equipped facilities, quality design, style, benefits and partnerships,” Mr. Alroy says.
In addition to office functions, Mindshare provides lifestyle and collaboration. Besides business, it’s a place where members meet people and make friends. After all, Mindspace is named for “the space where mind and soul meet.” “We want to be a meaningful player in promoting co-working space, and are thinking about being a presence that can change the meaning of the office,” Mr. Alroy says enthusiastically. From Tel Aviv to Berlin; the next destination is Munich and two additional locations in Berlin (Mitte and Kreuzberg). Keep your eyes open for future developments.
Consultancy for work style: in-house
Interior Design: in-house
Terrace overlooking Gendarmenmarkt Square, perhaps the most beautiful in Berlin.
An event space, capable of hosting some 150 people. It is also rented to people outside the community.
Semi-enclosed spaces are available when members want to concentrate and work.