CO+HOOTS coworking space looks to add second location, take on more members

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XXX. (Madeline Pado/DD)

Adding a second location will allow CO+HOOTS to take on more members, which is an extensive process that includes a trial period to make sure the businesses are a good fit. (Madeline Pado/DD)

Coworking space CO+HOOTS is discussing a second Phoenix location to the relief of businesses that are competing to be a part of the company.

Jenny Poon, the 29-year-old founder of CO+HOOTS, said she launched the creative workspace three years ago with the specific intent to attract entrepreneurs and help develop their ideas through collaboration with other creative and like minds in the workplace.

Located on Washington and 11th streets, the goal for CO+HOOTS is to expand across Washington Street. This would eventually transform Washington Row into an entrepreneurial district, much like Roosevelt Row as an arts district downtown.

“CO+HOOTS gives all of these talented people a place to grow their business alongside others who are just as passionate,” Poon said. “Best part is it all happens right here in Phoenix.”

Poon emphasized that there are no official plans or an official workspace picked out for the second location, just the decision that there is going to be one. CO+HOOTS has more than 700 members.

“We’re just starting the conversation with developers about what opportunities there are and where there is a hole that needs filling in Phoenix,” Poon said. “We’ve learned a lot in the last three years of running CO+HOOTS in Phoenix, now we’re looking at how we can help Phoenix businesses continue to grow and stay here.”

The process to become a member of the CO+HOOTS “nest,” as Poon calls it, is extensive.

Potential companies must fill out an application about themselves, their business and what they’re looking for in a workplace. From there, the company is required to go through a trial phase.

In the trial, the potential member spends at least a week in the space, interacting with other businesses. The company needs to determine if CO+HOOTS would be a good fit for their team before they are invited by Poon to become an official CO+HOOTS member.

“This trial gives potential members an opportunity to try out the space and see what membership might fit best for them,” Poon said. “It also gives a chance for us to show them our culture here at CO+HOOTS.”

After the trial period, Poon said it is usually very clear if the company will be fit or unfit for CO+HOOTS.

“We ask for input from our other members, but generally it is either me or one of our community members that makes the official decision if the potential member is a good fit, and it is one of us that generally gives them the official welcome to CO+HOOTS,” Poon said.

Eric Lennox, founder of landscape architecture firm Artifex 10, said he has been a member of CO+HOOTS for more than two years.

“When I essentially inquired about the workspace, there were a few days where I went in and worked and interacted with everyone to see if it was a fit for me; I didn’t hesitate to move my space to CO+HOOTS” Lennox said.

“There are a lot of benefits that happen outside of just having a workspace. You receive business advice, the ability to interact with new friends and so many more opportunities you wouldn’t have being at home in your office alone,” he said.

Businesses often collaborate and partner on projects, Poon said.

Michael Zimmerlich, founder of 80/20 Records, is one of the newer members at CO+HOOTS.

“I only joined CO+HOOTS six months ago, but I instantly fell in love with the people there and knew this was exactly the environment I wanted to be around,” Zimmerlich said.

Zimmerlich said he did not go through the trial process because spaces were filling up fast and he felt joining the nest was a risk he was willing to take.

“It’s a home away from home, and I would recommend CO+HOOTS to everyone and all businesses,” said Zimmerlich.

Contact the reporter at rcoukoul@asu.edu