The rising popularity of coworking is transforming Orlando into a hub for creativity and collaborative innovation. One of the most exciting developments in The City Beautiful is the increasing availability of these shared workspaces, which give startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers access to ideas, resources, and networking that they can’t get at home or their nearest coffee shop. “Coworking spaces have seen a tidal wave of demand, driven primarily by [Orlando’s] tech and creative communities,” notes Dennis R. Pape, cofounder of Catalyst Spaces. Here we’ve gathered a list of the best places in town.
1. Canvs 101 South Garland Ave, suite 108
Vibe: Sleek, laid back atmosphere with a Silicon Valley feel. Canvs provides an open plan, modern workspace in the heart of downtown’s Cultural District, replete with state-of-the-art conference rooms, Gigabit Internet, a Bicycle Wall (aka vertical bike storage), a shared kitchen stocked with coffee, healthy snacks, and beer, and access to weekly events and programs. Although it’s geared towards tech startups and related businesses, they aim to make it easier for anyone to start their own business. Canvs is currently home to Starter Studio, Fyre, the Florida Tech Journal, and the Orlando Tech Association, to name a few.
Vibe: Airy, modern aesthetic combined with a warm sense of community. Opening in mid-March 2015, Catalyst is designed to spark business innovation and growth by fostering relationships between entrepreneurs, tech startups, creatives, and independent workers. Perks include FiOS internet, Vespr Craft Coffee bar, private offices, a networked printer, learning opportunities, and coworking in other Florida cities. A few of the notable companies that work there include Bootstrap Academy, Yelp’s Orlando office, and Root Radius. Located on the top floor for the 1 South Orange building, it has a great view of downtown as well.
Cost: Community membership $99/month; Dedicated Desk $325/month; open 24/7 * Contact Details: (407) 701-5577; catalystspaces.com
3. CoLab 37 North Orange Ave, 9th Floor
Vibe: Bright, welcoming, and fun, with a palpable feel of positive energy. Located in the historic Angebilt building off of Orange Ave, CoLab’s motto is “Connect, Collaborate, Coffee” – the 3 essentials for success for any small business or startup. In the spirit of creativity, any coworker with a dedicated office is encouraged to paint and/or decorate their office however they wish. CoLab is home to Creative Spark, Applied Informatics, and Social Hire, among their diverse group of businesses. Coworking includes access to shared work areas, special events, and unlimited coffee; not to the mention good vibes and friendly people.
Cost: One Day Drop-In $15.00; Full Time membership $199/month Contact Details: (904) 417-8430; colabusa.com
4. Factur 520 Virginia Drive
Vibe: Fun, exciting, woodshop feel. Inspired by the larger “Maker” movement, Factur’s motto is “Learn. Create. Share.” As a member-driven fabrication laboratory and coworking space, they strive help people work, learn, and build a community rooted in science, art and technology. Although they aim to help companies who are starting up, they don’t house companies onsite. However, access to a woodworking and 3D printing room, and eventually drones, smelting, and blacksmithing, are among the included perks. Factur also accepts volunteers who are interested in learning about the skills they employ.
Cost: Part Time membership $75/month; Full membership $250/month Contact Details: (407) 801-3228; factur.org
5. Swivel Spaces 315 E. Robinson Street, suite 525
Vibe: Quiet, friendly, goal-focused atmosphere.If you’re looking for a professional office in a gorgeous building off of Lake Eola, then Swivel Spaces is the perfect match. A small, eclectic mix of tech companies, insurance agents, and freelance web developers call this coworking space home. Amenities include WiFi, a bright glass enclosed conference room, shared kitchen, bright open workspaces, and a gorgeous lobby with views of the Lake. Unlike the others in our list, it’s not specifically targeted to tech companies or startups, but it does provide a quiet place to get some work done uninterrupted, while still offering the opportunity to collaborate with fellow coworkers.
Vibe: Eclectic, restaurant-y, re-imagine Cafe TuTuTango as a steakhouse. Effin Amazing is a digital marketing agency, so coworking isn’t their business model, but they do offer desks to weary designers, developers, professionals, so it kinnnnda feels like a coworking space. But it’s not. The space features a full lounge with free coffee, beer and ping pong, but as Effin Amazing founder Dan McGaw says, the atmosphere is a, “get shit done kinda place,” separating the lounge from the rest of the workspace. The office features five sizable conference rooms with ChromeCast projectors, 8×5 dry erase boards throughout, and is the only cowor … er … space on this list with free parking. All space residents also get free access to Bootstrap Academy, an education course on running a startup.