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Room To Grow: San Diego Startup Plans $100 Million Expansion

An undated promotional picture provided by CommonGrounds Workplace.


Above: An undated promotional picture provided by CommonGrounds Workplace.

At their best, coworking spaces are shared places where entrepreneurs can collaborate.

They’re growing in San Diego County, and CommonGrounds is growing faster than most in the industry. Since launching in 2016, this Carlsbad location has tripled in size. The shared workspace company has locations in San Jose, Long Beach and Denver. The company headquartered in Carlsbad raised $100 million from investors to build 20 to 30 new locations, in the next two years. One of these new locations will be in downtown San Diego and is set to open in 2020.

Photo credit: CommonGrounds Workplace

Undated renderings of the CommonGrounds Workplace set to open in 2020 in downtown San Diego.

CommonGrounds CEO Jacob Bates spoke to KPBS anchor Ebone Monet about the demand for what he calls 'hackable spaces', about how CommonGrounds offers workplace as a service, and what San Diego needs to attract more talent. Here are the highlights of that interview.

Q: Why are startups and entrepreneurs drawn to shared work spaces such as CommonGrounds?

A: It’s an environment they would build for themselves to attract and retain talent to build a friction-less environment and be productive. And we’re building that environment not only for the Fortune 500 but for the entrepreneurial to also participate in an environment that is more upscale, more professional and is truly enterprise ready.

Q: How does CommonGrounds differ from other trendy coworking spaces?

A: It’s easy to come into a space that is modern and hip and cool. But as soon as you start to work you start to notice that your five senses as a human start to fire. That could be the acoustics are not as sound as they could be, visual noise whether...those are creating friction and friction is impacting productivity.

Q: What are some of the benefits of building a startup in San Diego?

A: As a startup company, we have a lot of passion and perseverance for what we’re doing and a lot of grit, but that requires a lot of work. And to do that, we want to have an environment where our employees, the community, the members that we support, have the environment where they can really thrive both inside and outside of work and really have that harmony in work life and that’s what we love about San Diego.

Reported by Mathew Bowler

Editor's Note: This story was updated with a new opening date for the downtown San Diego location.


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