Sometimes working downtown can feel like an episode right out of Silicon Valley. What do you do if you don’t fit that life? According to a study done by MIT, the average age of entrepreneurs is 42 years old. So often we’re swept away with the image of Mark Zuckerberg building Facebook out of his dorm room that we forget that a lot of people don’t fit that stereotype.
Offices for Grown Ups
One of my favorite things about coworking spaces in North Austin is that it tends to be more of a “get things done” mentality. Duo Works is a welcoming space for all different kinds of people at different stages of their company. Several are bootstrapped companies and are serious about getting work done. When you have a family life and are just looking for an established space, driving downtown can be a process and not nearly as efficient. Therefore, you’ll find a variety of people of experienced people working on their 2nd career and had tried their hand at in the corporate world.
I was able to get a good amount of deep work in while visiting for the day as everyone is respectful of your space. Although it’s less of a social scene as other spaces like Downtown, a lot of collaboration between groups still happen. They consider themselves more of a coop versus a coworking space because of this.
Duo Work’s slogan is “Never work alone,” resonating to entrepreneurs who have worked remotely for several years. Jessica Merrill-Miller, one of Duo Works’ cofounders explains how she didn’t realize she needed the community until then. It’s a place to help you be better in your business without the formal program or stress.
Mom and Pop Run Like a Corporate Business
While talking with Jessica I was impressed to learn about all the work that it took to set up Duo Works. It’s in the original building of Tech Ranch, which is still in existence and operational. Duo Works specializes only in coworking and leasing office space.
The idea started when Jessica was speaking at a SXSW event for her HR staffing company, Workology. She met her cofounder Linda, who had gone through the Tech Ranch program and officed out of the location previously. Soon after, Jessica was packing up her things and moved from Oklahoma to start up Duo Works. Her whole family pitched in to clean and paint the space. It really does have a mom and pop feel in how it was set up but they run it like a corporate business.
When they launched Duo Works, they were able to retain a lot of the members who continue to drive the growth in the community. When they transitioned to Duo Works, both Linda and Jessica have been very open and transparent with their community which I believe is why the space continues to prosper.
Who Should Go?
Duo works caters to people who are serious about getting things done and being efficient about it. For those who want to drive, there is plenty of parking. The interesting part about Duo Works’ location is that they’re situated in an area where it’s short driving distance that you can also commute by biking. Typically, you only get this option Downtown so it’s a perk for those who still like the close commutes but need the comforts of the suburbs. Jessica explains how there isn’t beer on tap as it isn’t something people care for. They set up the space as the best option to suit the community.
Another great differentiator of Duo Works is that they have great training and meeting spaces. Generally, you’ll find open spaces or glass walled conference rooms. Duo Works’ conference and meeting rooms are more traditional and private and are perfect for company events.