Last week, team CoLo headed over the ditch to make the first steps towards our launch in Australia. Melbourne has over 180 coworking spaces, is home to a thriving creative and innovative scene, and was also the host of GCUCAU, so we hopped on a plane and headed on over to the perfect city for CoLo’s Australian adventure!
Day 1: York Butter Factory & ACMI X
After an extremely early start over in New Zealand, we landed in Melbourne, caught the bus into the CBD and set up camp at the closest coworking space, York Butter Factory!
We explored this amazing space and enjoyed a well-needed cup of coffee, before heading out into the heart of Melbourne! Lunch was a quick stop at Henry & the Fox where we fuelled up for the day ahead.
We started our exploration at the incredible ACMI X, a coworking space dedicated to the creative industries. Here we met with Nikki to chat coworking, creativity and community, and got the tour of the beautifully designed ACMI X office space (we particularly loved the library!)
Next stop was a whirlwind tour around the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), taking in the art and artefacts and admiring the amazing floral floor!
We rounded out the day with what possibly could be considered one of the highlights of the trip — Korean BBQ in Melbourne’s Chinatown! We may have had no idea what we were doing, but we had fun and the food was yum! A perfect end to day 1!
Day 2: The Idea Collective, Nest & One Roof Women, plus an ambassador party!
Day two was the most jam-packed day of our Melbourne trip, but it was so worth it! We travelled from one side of Melbourne to the other and back again, exploring incredible spaces and meeting the most rad people along the way!
We spent the first part of our day hanging out in Footscray at the Idea Collective with Liana, designer at Hello Idea, and owner of this amazing space. We talked design, coworking and the history of Footscray while taking in all of the super interesting posters, packaging and trinkets that Liana has decorated her space with!
Next stop after an adventurous train journey across town was Nest in Thornbury! We chatted with Jay (and his beautiful dog, Champ) about design thinking, the importance of acoustics and the realities of coworking, all while enjoying a delicious thai lunch across the street! What a perfect way to spend a lunchtime!
Once we ventured back across town, we headed to One Roof Women, the coworking home for women who are making it happen! We chatted with Hayley about all things female, work and entrepreneurship in their light, bright and fun space full of powerful women doing amazing things!
Night time brought our CoLo Ambassador hangout! We headed to the Garden State Hotel for snacks, drinks and a good time — getting to know our Melbourne Brand Ambassadors and looking forward to working together in the future!
Day 3: Jam Jar Cowork & CoLo Convos
Thankfully, day 3 was a little less hectic! After fuelling up at Manchester Press, we joined forces with Christine from the Bridge Street Collective and headed to Collingwood to meet with Suzanne at her brand new space, Jam Jar Cowork! At JamJar we met Rose the beautiful whippet, hung out with Bridget on her first ever day coworking, and heard about Suzanne’s story of setting up JamJar!
We then headed back to the city to chat with Max, the community manager at York Butter Factory. Max gave us the full tour and explained the goals and aims behind all that goes on in their space — amazing stuff happening in the tech community here!
The main event on day 3 was our first CoLo Convos event! We were honoured to be joined by Inspire9’s Conrad Tracey, Hub Australia’s Brad Krauskopf, Innovation Melbourne’s Taylor Tran, Pausefest’s George Hedon, Mevo’s Erik Zydervelt, and The Bridge Street Collective’s Christine Donaldson! Hosted at Inspire9 in Richmond, we talked to this amazing panel of humans about where their ideas came from, their journey along the way, and what lessons they have learnt!
Day 4: The Workery
We kicked off day 4 with a team breakfast at Trunk Diner, before shooting off to visit Delia and Russell at the Workery in Elsternwick. In the full throws of an expansion, the Workery is growing at a rapid rate! We chatted with the team about the journey so far, where they’re at now, and what the future holds!
When we arrived back in the city and finished our lunch at the self-appointed best dumpling house in Melbourne, team CoLo split up to treat ourselves to a spot of shopping! We then reconvened and ventured out Mamasita for the most incredible mexican dinner to round out another amazing day in Melbourne!
Day 5: GCUCAU
The time finally arrived on Friday for us to attend the incredible GCUC!! We spent the day listening, learning and getting to know all of the amazing people in Melbourne’s coworking scene. Our co-founder, Nick, joined the panel on next-level community building, while Connor taught an unconference session on digital marketing, and our Creative Director helped another session of coworking operators with their branding and identity design strategies!
We talked to so many wonderful people, learnt so much about coworking and Australia, and left feeling empowered and excited about the future! If that doesn’t scream successful conference, I’m not sure what does!
Check out CoLo’s #GCUCAU storify to see the full juicy story!
Day 6: Home time!
Unfortunately, the fun had to stop at some point! On Saturday we set off back to windy Wellington, with full hearts, minds and stomachs! With a newfound excitement for the future of CoLo and an anticipation for what our move into Australia will hold, we are so thankful for an amazing week in Melbourne! Massive thanks to everyone that we met along the way who told their stories, shared their lessons and volunteered their advice!
We were so impressed with the diversity, uniqueness and comradery of Melbourne’s coworking spaces and their operators, working alongside each other in their individual niches to bring the future of work to the world. Keep doing you Melbourne — CoLo loves you!
We will be doing a full recap of GCUCAU on our blog soon, as well as a series of interviews with each of the spaces we visited! Hit subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming articles and to stay up to date with where we’re headed next!
We also filmed our week full of adventures, so stay tuned for the CoLo weekly vlog!