In this exclusive Q&A, we learn more about the coworking franchise opportunity Venture X, from its president Jason Anderson.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Can you please share a bit of background on the Venture X concept including when you began to franchise the brand?
Jason Anderson (JA): Venture X’s first location opened in 2012 in Naples, Florida. Inspired by the early, tech-driven coworking concept, Venture X set out to test its theory that coworking would be desirable beyond startups and tech companies and offer that experience to a broad membership base of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small, as well as large, businesses. Once the Venture X concept in Naples, Florida proved successful, the company decided to expand the concept to other entrepreneurs and major cities across the nation.
In 2016, Venture X partnered with Ray Titus and United Franchise Group, a company that is responsible for some of the franchise industry’s top-ranked, award-winning brands. After serving in other leadership roles at United Franchise Group and with my experience in franchising, real estate, marketing and technology, I became President of Venture X in January, 2019. I oversee all aspects of the growth and development of this dynamic business.
Today, Venture X is exploring growth domestically as well as internationally. We have more than 60 signed locations in 18 countries and will open 21 locations by the end of Q1 2019. Our growth is a direct reflection of the demand for coworking space.
FC: What is driving marketplace demand for coworking spaces?
JA: The way people work and how companies operate is changing. With the rise of coworking spaces, traditional office space won’t exist in 10-15 years. Coworking is a very new industry, but it is growing exponentially to meet rising demand. In fact, the Global Coworking Unconference Conference forecasts that the number of global coworking spaces will grow from 14,411 in 2017 to just over 30,000 in 2022.
An increasing need for greater workplace flexibility and agility is leading more corporations to use coworking spaces for some of their space needs. The trend will only accelerate over the next 5 years, especially due to corporations looking to reduce their exposure to long-term leases and employees insisting on more workplace options.
Another driving factor behind coworking growth is the growing number of global self-employed workers, coupled with a growing realization of the value of coworking by independent workers. Also, coworking spaces continue to be the location of choice for most startups. These emerging companies understand the cost, flexibility and talent attraction advantages provided by coworking spaces.
FC: In the growing market, how does Venture X differentiate itself from other coworking brands?
JA: Venture X fills a gap in the shared workspace category by being a middle ground between millennial playgrounds and stiff suit-and-tie work environments. We designed our shared workspaces to feel modern and professional, a collaborative community where you can get your work done without the distraction of office parties or ping pong tables, but not so stuffy you feel the need to wear a suit and tie.
We are a modern, professional coworking space franchise that offers virtual, community, shared and private offices to members that want to have their cake and eat it, too. We blend the modern design of high-end office space with the perks and flexibility of traditional coworking. This designation as “coworking 3.0” – a grown-up version of coworking – is an important differentiator.
Our design also sets us apart. Venture X office spaces are designed by world-renowned architecture firm, Gensler and feature high end Herman Miller furnishings. Technology is another area where we stand out. Venture X has made a commitment to providing high-quality, all-in-one IT support for franchisees by working with essensys. For coworking spaces, IT infrastructure is a key part of the business, so this dedication to cutting-edge technology sets Venture X apart from other coworking space opportunities.
Additionally, our real estate availability is a unique aspect of our franchise sales. While most coworking spaces only have available territories in urban landscapes, Venture X businesses thrive in suburban and rural areas as well – in fact, our highly successful flagship location is located in Farmington, Utah.
FC: How do you help potential franchisees understand the operations of a coworking space franchise?
JA: We explain that many business models today are built on a collaborative concept, including transportation and vacation destination sharing and that we are at the forefront of this growing trend. Like other “sharing” industries, Venture X franchisees simply provide the modern workspace, and members buy private memberships, giving them access to open areas or private offices – whichever they prefer. The private memberships will expand to all new locations, giving members immediate access to all locations and all other members. This provides a unique selling position compared to other one-off location concepts.
After that, it’s simple. The franchise is easy to run and it’s simple to understand the numbers. The expenses are rent, utilities, maintenance and staff. The income is rent and upsells. Venture X only requires 3-4 staff members, which typically include two full-time and one or two part-time employees.
With a $79,500 franchise fee and $1.1M to $3.4M total investment, we’ve heard our franchisees say that being a part of the Venture X franchisee network is like being in a country club of elite entrepreneurs. They come from backgrounds like hoteliers, landlords, PE investors, C-Suite executives and multi-unit food operators. They all bring something unique to the table and collaborate, learn from each other and help each other out when needed.
FC: Can you tell us more about the future of coworking and your vision for Venture X?
JA: By 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 65 million Americans will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors, or entrepreneurs, making up a full 40 percent of the workforce. Venture X provides an attractive opportunity for those workers who want to benefit from a rich work community. With the multiple factors driving growth for coworking, combined with how we are filling a marketplace gap for modern professionals, we are primed to be the top player in the industry.
Within one year, we will be the fastest growing coworking brand. In three years, we will be the largest coworking brand by open locations with over 100. In five years, we will surpass the biggest player out there right now, and within 10 years – who knows, the sky’s the limit.
FC: How can people learn more about Venture X and its franchising opportunities?
JA: They can visit https://venturexfranchise.com.