Business Link is one of the largest coworking centers in Poland. It’s constantly expanding, and it currently has 16 outlets that cover all the country’s main regional cities. As Business Link is now entering the Czech market too, I’ve asked Jarosław Bator, Business Link’s COO, a few questions to unveil the secret of the company’s success.
The first coworking center you established, in 2011, was your office in Warsaw. What made you grow out into the other major Polish cities in just a few years?
It was an immediate success—which surprised us. We happened to choose the perfect blend for a great location: in the downtown of Warsaw, nearby corporations, and close to universities. Once we saw the interest in our coworking spaces, we began to expand. Now we have three centers in Warsaw, two each in Krakow and Poznan, and one each in cities like Wrocław, Gdansk, Katowice, Torun, and Lublin. And our cooperation with Skanska is bringing a second step to our expansion: abroad.
Who works at your coworking centers? Who frequents your locations?
We would like for each of our Business Links to have a unique ecosystem that links large, global corporations, freelancers, and startups. Freelancers and startups are among our largest client groups. They bring fresh, new, and sometimes very unusual ideas that make our locations vibrant and unique.
University students are another interesting client group. They enjoy the comfort and pleasant work environment at our coworking centers. We also note a lot of stays by business scouts—business people traveling around the country, watching for business opportunities. They use our centers before deciding to set up a regular office and sign a fixed lease agreement in an office building. We are able to cater to startups as they grow from, say, 5 to 20 people, and then they usually decide for some kind of permanent, regular headquarters, either with us or elsewhere. There are also many corporations that have dedicated departments or move their project teams to a creative Business Link space.
How do you pamper your clients? What makes them keep coming back to you?
Firstly, we have pleasant places with great interior design and comfortable furniture (both for work and relaxation) that are fully equipped and full-service. Secondly, we have a support system for each individual and startup to help them really take off, including special lectures, a mentoring system, and networking events. Thirdly, we try hard to create a spirit of belonging to a group of similarly-minded souls. For example we organize regular events like breakfasts for our clients. Last but not least, we have great staff who are smiling, happy to help, and willing to contribute to the great atmosphere we’re known for.
Do you have a success story for us—people who started at your coworking center and are now running a large business both in Poland and abroad?
Yes, definitely. A two-woman company named GLOV. They created a special glove that lets women remove makeup using just this glove plus water. It’s very convenient and useful. Their product is so innovative that they’re now expanding globally, and you can find GLOV products at every Douglas International beauty shop.
What are your plans for Prague?
Our goal is to create an international entrepreneurship ecosystem throughout Central and Eastern Europe. For Prague, our Business Link will be a unique, one-of-a-kind business center for everyone. It will be something completely new. Prague is our first destination outside Poland, and we have leased 4,000 square meters of prime office space in the Visionary business complex in Prague’s Holešovice district. This complex is situated at the junction of many means of transport: local (subway and trams), regional (buses), and even international (trains leading from Germany to Austria and Slovakia). With tenants from the consultancy, creative, and IT fields, Visionary will provide great accommodation for the clients of our coworking center.
Can you already provide us with details on what we can look forward to? Why should independent professionals turn to your coworking center?
Certainly—right now we’re at the final stage of approving our space planning, and we’re choosing our interior designers. We want these spaces to have the same level of quality as we typically offer in Poland, and so we’ll be creating upmarket interiors with state-of-the-art services. More specifically, we can reveal that the interior will be in a club, boutique style—the dominant colors will be bottle-green, gray, and beige—and that materials of the highest quality will be used. Additionally, we plan to use silver glamour elements and attractive lighting.
When will you open, and how we can register?
We’re going to open the Prague Business Link this summer. More details will be posted on our website.
Business Link’s coworking spaces in Prague:
- 4,700 square meters of modern office space serving approx. 100 people
- 159 private offices
- 5 conference rooms