Runway East is a cool and colourful workspace for high growth startups, with a strong community spirit.
“Entrepreneurs work long hours – it’s a fact of life,” Natasha Guerra, Runway East’s chipper COO, tells me. “Part of building a high growth company is putting in the hours, so it makes sense to clock those hours in the most awesome space possible.”
And the folks at Runway East certainly practise what they preach. Occupying a whole floor of the a bright, airy and freshly-built building on Finsbury Square, Runway East is the perfect space for ambitious startups.
In terms of workspace staples, Runway East boasts superfast wifi, bountiful tea and coffee and some of the comfiest office chairs known to man.
Less conventionally – and almost certainly inspired by the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – the space has an indoor croquet lawn (“With a Pimms truck in the summer!” adds Natasha), ping pong tables, a palatial, 120 person events space with folding walls, and – in keeping with Runway East’s name – an actual runway. I’m told that there are also plans in the works to install an indoor climbing wall in the space.
As Natasha explains, Runway East’s fabulous eccentricity is part of its mission to make the office “somewhere you actually enjoy hanging out”.
Natasha pauses my lauding of her fresh herb garden and ‘cake hour’ to talk about the company’s core focus: its community.
“A strong, vibrant community is so important for a workspace,” she explains. “It lets networking and mentoring happen organically.”
Oli, COO of Street Bees and a Runway East member, agrees. “The open-plan space means that you overhear useful conversations,” he says. “People are always happy to chat and give advice. I also get direct customer support from companies I actually use – Receipt Bank sit next to me!”
From founders’ dinners to community lunches and pub crawls, the space goes out of its way to promote community bonding.
Their events are a huge part of their offering as a space. Peter, another Runway East member and CEO of Twistilled, explains: “Part of being an entrepreneur is doing a million different jobs. Runway’s events are incredibly useful for skill development and are super social.” (Judging by Peter, Oli and Natasha’s knowing giggles, I conclude that ‘social’ probably involves wine.)
Peter sums up the community spirit well. “It’s mad, but I actually choose to spend my Friday nights with my co-workers,” he admits. “Now surely that is a marker of success.”
Membership to Runway East is by application. Apply through their listing on Hubble.