Silicon Valley's latest startup hub: an entrepreneurial 'hostel'

Social networking is great, but people still need to be close to other people. The latest boom industry is startup centers that not only provide working space, but also opportunities to connect.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Startups are tough enough -- they shouldn't be lonely ordeals. The latest boom industry is startup centers, incubators, or entrepreneurial hubs, which not only provide working space for startups, but also places to collaborate and learn from one another.

A group calling itself the "Aussie Mafia" is now building what is purportedly the biggest entrepreneurial incubator to date -- a 36,000-square-foot center in San Francisco. The new center will provide offices, facilities, network hookups and support to new ventures. According to a report in The Next Web, Elias Bizannes, the founder of StartupBus, is behind the effort to establish "startuphouse"- "a hostel for entrepreneurs where they will live, breath and eat startups for the duration of their stay." Bizannes also intends to set up a funding program for startups that set up at the facility.

As Bizannes explained in the interview, he also sees a resurgent entreperneurial climate, with growing demand for such collaborative environments:

"What's happening right now, you need less money to start a startup. Less money for marketing, less money from what we’ve been trying to do from 10 years ago. The consequence is if you’re a smart person, you can now do your own company. But what that's created is this high demand for talent, the talent are doing their own startups. There’s just not enough office space to accommodate everyone."

Currently, The Next Web reports, the largest startup incubator, Plug and Play, is right down the 101 in Sunnyvale/Redwood City. Plug and Play Tech Center now incorporates more than 300 startups, who are linked into 170 investors who participate in regular screening sessions exclusive to members.

The power of social networking has brought together global communities of like-minded people in many ways. A colleague in Nepal is now as close as the cubicle next door -- or maybe even more accessible than your office neighbor. But there still will always be a need for physical proximity to keep the energy flowing.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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