Celebrating rad working communities all over the globe! In this edition of community shoutout we chat to Awesome HQ, a coworking hub based in Christchurch New Zealand.
Walk through video of Awesome HQ’s space by residents Flashworks Media
Can you tell us a little about Awesome HQ and the journey up until now?
Awesome HQ is the brainchild of Ministry of Awesome. Ministry of Awesome is the starting point to make things happen. We support early-stage entrepreneurs with ideas for projects, events, start-ups, social enterprises and more to turn their ideas into reality. Our methods of support include:
- Startup Activation Programme: We work with the surrounding community to provide tailored support to talk through early-stage ideas, share invaluable tools and resources and connect individuals and teams with other humans who can help shape ideas to a reality.
- The Launch Club: A place to get ongoing coaching support from our Start-Up Activator, free workshops and access to exclusive networking events and the wider entrepreneurial community.
- Workshop Series: A place to deep dive into various aspects of business, from purpose to prospects and pricing to pitching. The Workshop Series is a chance to network alongside like-minded ideators and set yourself up for success.
“Ministry of Awesome is simply the best place for pitch coaching in Canterbury. The feedback was the most thorough and supportive I’ve ever had and really helped to take my delivery to the new level”. Carsten Grimm — The Wellbeing Game
Ministry of Awesome was founded in post quake 2012, so we’ve just had our 5th birthday! We started out at different location to where Awesome HQ coworking space is now, originally starting with only desks. The space was more of a hub for people to come and share their ideas, and if they wanted to use one of our desks they were more than welcome to. With the increasing number of humans interested in working from the Ministry of Awesome HQ, we supplied the demand moved down the road into a bigger space where Awesome HQ was born!
We have the space to accommodate around 30 permanent members and have a strong emphasis on hotdesking. We’ve got great connections nationwide and there’s always people dropping in and out of the space, so there’s always someone new to meet and chat to!
You describe the Awesome HQ as “Not just a place to work”. What would you say the community vibe is like, and does the style of the office influence this?
I’d describe Awesome HQ as more chilled out space opposed to other coworking spaces, the layout of the space is very open planned and is flooded with natural light. We’ve positioned all the meeting rooms up front, and you’re left with a open space to move around freely and collaborate with one another.
“It doesn’t really feel like you’re in an office”
A lot of our residents describe the space as a second home to them, you can rock up in your slippers and just make yourself comfy!
What get’s you excited to come to work at AwesomeHQ?
I don’t really see my job as “work”, I really just enjoy coming into the space and catching up with all the residents, and meeting new people. This job has allowed me to meet people with such diverse backgrounds, that in a normal 9–5 job just wouldn’t be possible. I’m really lucky to be in a position where I can say I truly love what I do!
Can you tell us some cool stories about what your members are up to or have done?
Hannah Rhodes, SingularityU New Zealand and Australia, TEDxChristchurch.
Hannah is the project co-ordinator for SingularityU New Zealand and Australia as well as TEDxChristchurch. She works in a team of 4 as well as with a bunch of awesome contractors. She loves the team of people she gets to create with, especially all the local organisations who are doing their bit to support epic events in Christchurch, such as BrownBread and Strategy. Hannah especially likes that she is exposed to new ideas every day and that she is surrounded by passionate, excited people.
She is currently working on two events:
- TEDxChristchurch - 28 October 2017. This year they are creating a completely new experience. With only 240 seats they are stripping the event right back to create a more intimate setting. There will be opportunities for more contact with speakers and more of a focus on the ideas as the key theme.
- SingularityU Australia Summit - 19–21 February 2018. This event is running off the back of Singularity University NZ Summit and is back due to popular demand. It is held in Sydney at the ICC in Darling Harbour. There will be a lot of new speakers and they are also bringing back core faculty from SU.
TEDxChristchurch has has been a member of AwesomeHQ since the very beginning and SingularityU New Zealand became members in March 2016.
What the members have to say!
It’s been great working at Awesome HQ for the past two years . I feel very privileged to be part of this amazing community of people! The best thing about being here every day is that it’s not just an office space; it’s a hub where entrepreneurs, idea-creators and change-makers come to meet and learn from each other. We also get free doughnuts sometimes!
Hannah Rhodes — SingularityU New Zealand & Australia, TEDxChristchurch.
What is some advice for sharing and collaborating on ideas in a coworking space?
The advice I’d give to new people coming into a shared work environment would be to be as open as possible. Having an open mind really helps, being able to approach things from various angles and respecting other people’s views goes along way.
“You never know, the person sitting in the desk next to you could help you with a problem you’re facing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help by reaching out to the wider community”.
What are some of things you guys get up to as a community?
We run weekly networking and pitching events which we encourage our members to attend — these always get great turnouts and are really social. Our events programme is tailored to include all members of the community, every couple of months we put out surveys to our members making sure we’re meeting their needs.
Check out the events page for Awesome HQ!
What does the future look like for Awesome HQ?
Expansion! We have plans to expand so that we can accomodate larger businesses and organisations, which at the moment we just don’t have the capacity for. In the meantime, continuing to be a space where people can come, even if it’s just for the day to work and share ideas with one another.
What do you believe the future of work is in general?
I think the growing trend in the shared economy is going to continue to boom, with coworking spaces perhaps becoming the norm in the way we work. Organisations will need to be adaptable to the needs of employees, and I believe there is going to much more freedom in the way people deliver work.
What are your favourite things about coworking?
- Every day there’s a chance that there will be a new face in the office, so you’re constantly chatting to new people and finding out what they do.
- The social aspect — having after work drinks, making meaningful connections and friendships.
- Usually on the first Wednesday of every month we get doughnuts, and actually 9 times out of 10 there is always someone sharing some good food!
What advice would give yourself back when you first got into the coworking space operation side of things?
I’d definitely remind my past self that everyone is different, and chances are your members have different needs from the person they’re sitting next to. Take the time to sit down with each of your members and find out their needs, and what they’re trying to get out of coworking.
“Having a space filled with members is good, but having a space filled with engaged members is what you should be working towards!”
A quick message from the Awesome HQ team!
We’ve got a beautiful coworking space that may suit your needs! Our space is specifically designed to support start-ups, freelancers, small businesses and individuals with growth from start to expansion. Our centrally located coworking space in the CBD and Innovation Precinct will be with you on the entrepreneurial ride.”
Fancy spending a day or more at AwesomeHQ? Grab a hotdesk for a steal of a price of $10 on CoLo! You’ll need to sign up for your hotdesk promo code or if you already have a code book your desk now on CoLo.
A massive thank you to Gina the Community Guru at AwesomeHQ for taking the time to share the the AwesomeHQ journey with us! Gina and the team are doing rad things for the startup scene down in Christchurch and you can find out more about the programmes and events on their website!