Unused office space, meet freelancer. Freelancer, meet unused office space. The ‘E-Harmony’ of underutilized office space has arrived in Columbus.
Launched in Baltimore about two years ago, Kinglet has made its way to Columbus to play matchmaker between open office space and the freelancers, startups and small businesses that need flexible work space.
Both hailing from careers in commercial real estate, Co-Founders Jeff Jacobson and Alex Kopicki hatched the idea after touring many an empty commercial building. Clients and colleagues were seeking a purpose for these underutilized spaces. They wanted to be able to put in several desks and create coworking or office space. Heeding that insight, Kinglet was born.
“The success that was experienced in Baltimore was not foreseen; it was kind of a surprise,” says Ian Smith of Kinglet.
That got the business thinking expansion. What was true about Baltimore, the people, the culture, that made it work?
“Where around the U.S. are there similar environments?” Smith asked.
Kinglet identified five cities: Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Columbus. The business looked at how quickly and easily they could penetrate each market through their networks, eventually landing on Cincinnati for city number two and an extension up to Columbus for number three.
Columbus was a mirror of Baltimore’s recipe for success in two ways: community and collaboration. Both cities supported a number of coworking and co-op office spaces. Kinglet also saw Columbus’ collaborative spirit through the numerous organizations that provide support to small businesses.
Kinglet aggregates open office spaces into one place through its platform that offers free listings for businesses, and free browsing for customers.
“What’s really cool is we just completely streamline the communication process,” Smith says.
Booking a tour is as easy as clicking a button for the freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses Kinglet supports.
Providing that space creates two advantages for host businesses. Smith says they get to rub shoulders with that independent worker community and foster that collaboration, and, “It also helps offset their expenses.”
Kinglet finds their platform best suits a medium-sized business with extra space, to coworking communities looking to fill spots. Hosts are open to offer the space in terms that best make sense for their business. Some prefer a firm four to six month commitment, while others are more flexible with month-to-month obligations.
Since its launch in Columbus about four months ago, Smith says Kinglet has made a couple dozen matches, with coworking spaces like The Hub on Kenny and Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op, to offices like treetree listing their availability on the site.
While listings and browsing are free, Kinglet turns its profit by taking an incremental fee off of each match made.
For more information and to browse spaces, visit gokinglet.com.