From Nick Barron. Follow him on Twitter @nbarron; email him at nick[AT]borderstan.com.
On a weekday stop into any DC coffee shop offering free WiFi and you’ll see the laptop armies: Folks using technology to do their jobs without being in an office.
Now DC-based TouchdownSpace aims to make it easier for the laptop armies to find a base when they need it.
The company provides access to on-demand office space through their website and mobile application (iPhone and Android), allowing you to see on a map offices you can rent by the day or hour. Each listing comes with photos of the space, ratings and reviews, a schedule showing you when it’s free to book — and lets you book the space.
TouchdownSpace also offers a concierge booking service, called White Glove Booking, which allows you to tell the company what you need, when and where you need it, and they handle scheduling and booking for you.
The company’s goal is to meet what TouchdownSpace CEO Caleb Parker sees as a need for smaller businesses to lower costs typically associated with having an office.
“We believe the entrepreneur and SMB are the key to economic growth, and want to help them break free from expensive leases so they can invest in growing their companies,” Parker said.
TouchdownSpace only works with companies who offer flexible renting options, and who have staff to manage and clean office space. In other words, TouchdownSpace isn’t offering up a law firm’s extra office for you to rent.
The company got its start when Parker and TouchdownSpace’s COO Svet Voloshin were running another company called Executive Space Solutions. Their customers kept asking for temporary office space.
“Our name (TouchdownSpace) actually came from our customers, who said, ‘We need a place where we can touchdown between meetings,’ ” Parker said.
Given recent trends, the need for lower cost, on-demand office space is likely to go up.
For example, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study a few years ago predicted freelance positions will make up at least half of new jobs created as America climbs out of recession.
Today TouchdownSpace is only operating in DC, but expects to be in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and San Diego by the end of March.
And in a few weeks Parker says his company will add to their map of places you can book WiFi hotspots throughout the DC Metro area. These spots will not be bookable, but could be anything from a coffee shop to a library.
TouchdownSpace will rely on users to populate the map. Further down the road users will be able to rate and review the various hotspots.
Listen Local First, a local music initiative devoted to building awareness and creating opportunities for local musicians and venues, is partnering with Cannon.fm to help launch DC’s first local music streaming app.
Cannon.fm is a free music/radio streaming app and website with content comprised entirely of local musicians, based out of Columbus, Ohio. The goal of the Listen Local First partnership and application is to help embrace this idea and “to create a centralized platform and community for artists and listeners to engage with their local music scene.”
The new application will also allow for local businesses to stream playlists and highlighted tracks of local artists in their businesses, which helps to better promote the talent of DC’s music scene.
Currently the app is in its beta phase. According to a statement from Listen Local First users will be able to search for specific bands, create favorite lists, filter by upcoming shows and create and share playlists with each other in the next few weeks of the roll-out.
For more information, visit Listen Local First’s website.