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Rise of co-working cafe culture

Prajyot Mainkar

Co-working culture has evolved over the years and cafes are longer just places to scroll through the menu. While we are almost peeping into 2020, cafes have evolved to provide a good spacious location for the culture of co-working. People have found several ways to connect with the community by giving them a space they might find right for plugging in their laptops for work. The openness to build the community around the co-working cafe has been one of the interesting concepts. More often, such cafes are seen as networking places for people to connect with others. Meetups and events have been a form of community engagement regularly helping people to learn and network.

 The ambiance holds the key at every co-working space. A lot of people want to disconnect from their routine lives and plug into the frame work of ‘Growing together’. A lot of digital nomads consider co-working spaces as spaces for positive transformations. Meeting new people, growing with the community, a full-equipped cafe, healthy yet lean menu to support one’s appetite, relaxation space, outdoor balconies, member lounge, meetup areas, unlimited chatter and other breakout areas are now at one’s disposal.

 Here are some of the leading co-working cafes and spaces in Goa.

The Hostel Crowd: One of the earliest enablers of the co-living and co-working cultures in Goa, this place is situated in Fontainhas, Panaji. The campus has an Organic Cafe that serves healthy food with a wide range of options to choose from. Over the years, The Hostel Crowd has been one of the premier choices for creative and professional people across the globe to come together in this space that breeds stay-meet-network and collaboration culture. In a short span of time this brand has gained a lot of popularity amongst backpackers, who find it affordable to experience this culture.

91Springboard: This co-working anchored in Goa just a few years back, but has been instrumental in building the co-working interests in the state. It has also been operational in locations like Bangalore, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Gurugram and Noida. It is one of those co-working spaces that never make you feel confined while you work. The on-the toes and ever assisting support team, 24×7 open space with security ensures you have complete peace at work. Not to mention a great sense of community that builds their core ensuring the space is well utilised for several activities such as meetups, events, shows and more. The space also houses the 91Cafe.

Cafe Rasa: This is a newly opened cafe that has brought a trendy co-working culture to Goa. It is a perfect space for digital nomads who want to escape the city for a few hours or even a day to get the work done. This space has one of the finest locations in the city that overlooks the river Mandovi. You can stay and work as long as you want, while you pay for any pickings from the menu. It is a space blended with much-needed infrastructure. Not to miss is the free WiFi that compliments one’s work.

Ignite by EDC Goa: Located in the heart of the city of Panaji, this co-working space is located in the EDC Goa premises. This space might not necessarily be categorised in the co-working cafe league, but it has a great ambiance. However, just like 91Springboard, you have to pay per seat. EDC has been boosting entrepreneurs by aiding them with financial support. They extended this thought by launching a 5000 square feet space to help entrepreneurs work. They also support incubation where by selected companies receive mentorship to build scalable and successful ventures.

MeWo: This is a new project in town. This space has a refreshing work ambiance. Themed areas allow one to conduct meetings. There is also an option of cabins for teams and a cafe for discussions.

FiiRe (Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship): One of the popular spaces in south Goa which has been established with support from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations. This is not just a co-working space but also supports incubation and virtual incubation programmes like Ignite. The highlights of FiiRe are the events that the centre has been organising to support and boost the entrepreneurship culture in Goa.

CIBA: With over 100 startups and more than 500 employments, the Center for Incubation and Business Acceleration has been one of the earliest co-working spaces and incubators in Goa. They have three locations in India, two of which are in Goa.

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