American entrepreneurial activity in 2009 was at it's highest point in 14 years, according to an article in The Atlantic. Freelance job postings have risen dramatically as well. Despite the value of independence in work, one simple loss for freelancers and one-person businesses is a byproduct of their careers: the lack workplace camaraderie.
Bill Barnett and Gerard Sychay both had this problem. The pair of web developers were tired of working from home and not having anyone to talk to to or go take a break and get lunch with. With this in mind, set out to make Cincy Coworks
. It started as a once-a-week meet up in Over-the-Rhine and brought together nearly 20 people to work together for the day. After a few months of successful meet-ups, Cincy Coworks moved into its own space in June 2010 with six people committing to sharing the space. After outgrowing the small space, Cincy Coworks moved to its present location in Walnut Hills in April 2011.
Presently, five people, including developers and writers, share the space, which allows for part and full-time rentals. Cincy Coworks even offers student rates of only $25 per month.
"Cincy Coworks is about bringing people of different disciplines together," says co-founder Sychay. "We like all things creative. Bringing all these people together can help us to raise the city's profile."
He sees strength in the diversity of talents in both the community workspace and in events Cincy Coworks sponsors, such as Queen City Merge, which took place last week. QC Merge worked to bring people of all different web expertises together.
"No one ever hangs out together across their lines of designs or developers," Sychay says. "As a developer myself, I have so many moments where I think how much easier something would be if I had a designer right next to me. If you bring all these people together, I think businesses will start to come together."
Sychay poses the most important question Cincinnati needs to face now as this: If New York is the financial capital of the country, Austin is the musical capital, and Los Angeles is the entertainment capital, what is Cincinnati?
By Evan Wallis