Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble;
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble;
Quit your stressing, opening multiple tabs;
Come and settle down at Soho Labs.
Soho Labs have cracked the formula for coworking for startups in the heart of Central London.
Welcome to a brand new, beautiful and bright co-working space in salacious Soho.
Raj Ramanandi (on the left), previously an angel investor, tells us all about the advantages of being based in the heart of central London. He also waxed lyrical about the benefits of being surrounded by the right people and, of course, perfect lunch breaks!
The space is situated right above West End’s theatre Les Miserables, seconds away from Soho, Chinatown and Leicester Square.
Did you always plan to start a coworking space?
Not always. It was only once I had turned 3.
Seriously though, it has been a plan at the back of my mind for a year or two, but rather fortuitously this amazing space was offered to us and we could not say no. The location and the unique space were perfect for what my co-founder Mike Fauconnier-Bank and I had in mind for our first location.
What are you most proud of?
Very simply – the people inside and outside of Soho Labs. We are beginning to curate a membership of interesting and interested people. We do not ask that they work in any specific field, we only check they are easy-going, community-minded, and show an interest. By showing an interest in others they themselves become interesting to us. Being as central as we are means we attract the most interesting people.
How do you find tenants and how do they find you?
For this initial space we have made a conscious effort to rely on our own networks as much as possible. Of course we have relied on specialists like Hubble to help us find like-minded co-workers. After all, we work out of this space too, so it is in our interest to make it a joy everyday. We’ve seen so much interest already, we’re thinking of opening a new space and have started a guestlist for it already.
What are the main issues in finding a space? How much admin does it take?
Finding a space can be difficult because ultimately it has to tick many boxes. The financials. The space. The atmosphere. The location. Getting all of the ticks is not easy. Once the space has been acquired it is fun. If you enjoy hosting people, like we do, it should be second nature. We hope our members judge us on our hosting abilities and recommend us on that basis.
What’s the best thing that’s happened since opening up your coworking space?
The reaction we get when people walk into our space. It is often just those words, “wow, what a cool space”.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to people who are about to move into a new, maybe their first office space?
Talk to Soho Labs! Seriously though, make sure the environment is right for you and your company.
What was your first office or what did this space look like when you first got it? How did it change?
It was square with white walls. It didn’t change. It looked dull. We were stuck there on a 3-year lease! Coworking is so much better.
What’s a perfect lunch break in Soho?
I personally like a stroll around the neighbourhood where we are based. Soho has such a rich diversity of people that there’s probably not a finer people-watching opportunity anywhere else in the world. It is exciting, inspiring, humbling, and many more things. It’s a fantastic physical, emotional and visual workout!
Thanks Raj! If you’re a fan of the Soho Labs formula, sign up here. To tempt you a bit more, check out our beautiful guide to Soho at Work.