Gabriela Hersham is the co-founder and CEO of Huckletree, the independent workspace accelerator and innovation hub provider in the UK and Ireland, aimed at scaling disruptor tech businesses.
I see the need for flexible workspaces across London
London’s landscape is a patchwork of unique neighbourhoods, each with their own distinct character and charm. Everyone has their favourite spot, whether it’s the urban architecture of Barbican, the vibrant street art in Shoreditch or the leafy streets of Notting Hill.
With the needs of businesses ever changing, the way we consume office space is following suit and most important is where we want to be. London as a whole is a popular choice – it was recently identified as the world’s number one coworking city.
And popularity is exactly what we look at when choosing locations. Our newest hub in Oxford Circus embodies the buzz, energy and creativity of the iconic location while taking inspiration from the innovative businesses on its doorstep. I’m now delighted to see Westminster Council’s plans to revamp the area, making it an aspirational destination once again.
Further afield in Kensington, a historically affluent and residential area has evolved into a hub for entrepreneurship, calling for a space to support this fusion of heritage, creativity and innovation. In turn, we will excitedly open the doors of Huckletree Kensington early next year.
The City is also having its moment again, largely driven by the exodus from Canary Wharf. Our upcoming hub in Liverpool Street is nestled in the heart of London’s financial district and serves as the perfect base for startups disrupting the finance sector.
By identifying new areas for business within our city and providing versatile, industry-specific spaces that cater to the evolving needs of today’s workforce, the flex market will continue to thrive and stay relevant alongside the ever-changing needs of businesses.
Nurturing new talent
The startup landscape is changing and universities are finally starting to nurture entrepreneurial spirit beyond the classroom. I am passionate about supporting and accelerating the growth of ambitious, early stage startups through providing students with access to networks and resources, helping them realise their potential and make true impact.
The doors to our Innovation Lab at Regents University London open next week and will provide students and alumni a dynamic workspace, valuable networking opportunities and curated programming designed to support their entrepreneurial journeys.
The downfall of Wework has created space for challenger brands to compete fairly within the flexible workspace market. It also proves that continuously offering heavy discounts is not a sustainable strategy over the long term. We have actually seen our standard length of agreements increase, with more companies choosing flexible options like Huckletree and staying for longer because their teams love working from our dynamic workspaces. Flexible operators will play a crucial role in rejuvenating the commercial real estate market.
What I’m reading this week
I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more fiction and I’m currently enjoying Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. This book tells a beautifully human tale of friendship between two people and the path that their friendship takes them on, into their adulthood and through their professional journeys. I am reminded to cherish and protect my deepest friendships, especially the platonic love I share with one of my oldest childhood friends.