It was about 2 odd years back, that Rajeev ji and I were sitting down for a conversation. He had spoken to me about CoWorking as a business several times, and it was something that fit into our nature perfectly – both of us had been there, done that in several of our ventures, some of our ventures were successful, some average and some failed even before we could press the button to start. We had also had a chance to be a part of a community of Angel Investors, and Mentors who had worked closely with several startups and contributed whatever little we could to help them grow.
On 1st June 2015, we opened our doors to the first SproutBox, it was a 3-floor building in DLF Phase 1 in Gurgaon, and we had only built out Floor 1 and Floor 2, and had built an open coworking space, with one conference room. Over the months that we were building out – everyone had a lot of contribution to do, and we reached out to designers worldwide to help us design our furniture to be ergonomic yet functional from a coworking standpoint, met with chair vendors to ensure we had the best in class seating, worked with color therapists to find the right shade to put on the walls so that it added to the energy of the place, and after a havan and prayers we were finally open!
Over the last 2 years, we have been a part of the CoWorking Industry, we have had a chance to work with some amazing coworkers, companies that became valuable and got funded, to companies that their founders run like a startup but want to retain a lifestyle and self-owned business. Across these last 2 years, we have been home to over 45 startups and mentored nearly a 100 odd startups across India. Spoken at several conferences, and even judged startup competitions, but what gives us a kick is the energy that our space is filled with and that happens thanks to the contribution of our CoWorkers – who are the most valuable part of all this.
As we turn 2 on 1st of June 2017, we open doors to our Second Facility, and this time we are bringing SproutBox to New Dehli, in Okhla Industrial Area Phase 1. Just like SproutBox Gurgaon we open with One floor and will soon build out the other floors. Our learnings over the year show in this building, we have more team rooms, more conference rooms and even a cafe on site in the building.
With a Seating capacity of 300 + people, an in-house 40 people auditorium, a maker space and even a data center in the building, Okhla will prove to be the center for Startups across Delhi, Faridabad, Noida, and Gurgaon. Built with a Partnership with Suryavilas Luxury Resorts, SproutBox Suryavilas (Okhla) will also be a full-time incubator working closely with Food, Food Tech, and Hospitality Companies. Our CoWorking Space, will still be diverse, and based on diversity, adding more and more coworkers and startup companies that are across varied fields.
CoWorking and SproutBox both are in its infant stages, as we grow we are open to comments, feedback, bouquets and even brickbats – so if you have experienced SproutBox whether you can in as a guest for a meeting, attended an event with us, or are (or have been) a coworker, please feel free to share this with us.
At SproutBox, we have always believed in the words “This is your space”, this year we hope to grow our family of CoWorkers, Collaborators, Creators and People full of energy to build the next big thing – so come join us as we celebrate turning two years old, tag us in a post with the Hashtag #SproutBoxTurns2 or join us for one of our celebration events coming up soon.
Before I sign off, I have to acknowledge the Hard Work put in by our team members, our Security Guards, our House Keeping Team, our Admin Team, and especially Rajeev ji my Co-Founder and Partner in all this.
End Note: If you have not, you would notice that we have now shut down – SproutBox Mini. It was an amazing format – having a casual coworking space inside a Gym with a Full-time coffee shop in the same complex – but it had its own challenges and could not serve up the requirements we had for a coworking space for our coworkers.. this story maybe another day.