For Connect Ventures, finding the right workspace was crucial. The venture capital firm has invested in some of Europe’s most dynamic growing companies, including CityMapper, Boiler Room, mobile and web prototyping platform Marvel and coffee brand Pact to name a few.
With a busy schedule of new companies and entrepreneurs to meet, it was vital for the team to have a welcoming space for holding meetings. While other businesses might be focused on space for desks, to Connect Ventures it was more important to create a space that reflects their brand.
The team moved into their office in Shoreditch 18 months ago, aided in their search by Kontor. Connect Venture’s managing partner Sitar Teli explains why finding the right space was essential.
What was your number one priority when searching for your own workspace?
Location. It was critical for us to be in East London, close to Old Street station. This was vital because we wanted to be in the heart of the start-up community.
Here, we’re close to Google Campus, Runway East and other co-working properties in the area. We’re surrounded by the companies and people that we have backed and might be interested in backing. This is absolutely the perfect location for us.
How important was the look and feel of the office?
We were certainly after a particular look to the office, such as a wooden floor, brick walls. It feels much more like a start-up office. This reflects the types of businesses we’re meeting every day.
We also needed the space to be relatively big. Although we were only a team of four at the time, five now, we needed at least three meetings rooms. Space that could be used for events was also important, so the office needed to be larger than otherwise.
How did the search go?
Working with a company such as Kontor was critical for us throughout the search as we’re a small team. A couple of our portfolio companies had worked with Kontor so they came highly recommended.
The team Kontor were great. Every set of details they sent us about properties fitted our requirements. They also proactively highlighted aspects that we should look at, such as the fact that it was slightly above budget but might be worth it for a certain reason. Or we should consider this space for a specific feature.
Did you need to change much to make the office how you wanted it?
An important part of our criteria was the ability to make the space our own. In fact, when we first took this space it was just a bare shell.
Kontor recommended a fit-out company, ThirdWay Interiors, and they were great. We worked closely with them on the whole design so that it became a comfortable space that reflected our brand.
What advice would you give another firm looking for a permanent workspace?
Use someone like Kontor for sure. When you take into account the amount of time we saved, as well as Kontor’s ability to get us in to view spaces that weren’t even on the market yet, there’s no question that working with the team was worth it.