By Steve Upham : altspace Coworking Office

This time three years ago I was anxiously trying to tie up the loose ends surrounding the launch of a new local networking event.  The Altrincham Jelly aimed to offer freelancers and remote workers a comfortable monthly meet up to exchange ideas and discuss the challenges of working outside a conventional office environment.  My idea was that it would be an introduction to coworking in a cool, town centre location.

The good people of Embrace Cafe / Bar kindly offered me their space and I packed coffee, post its, note pads and our resident jelly beans to help keep us all energised across the day.  There was a good turn out from a diverse mix of businesses and we had some really productive meet ups over the next 6 months.  Whilst the idea of a pop up shop or cafe was nothing new there weren’t many people trying out a very new concept like coworking outside a major city.

The fundamentals that define altspace were very much on display during the run of the Altrincham Jelly across 2016.  The events helped many of us get started in our business journeys and we facilitated some great work and partnerships.  The meet ups really helped me overcome the isolation of home working and I could canvas opinion on what people valued about Altrincham.  This was a real bonus when I was deciding upon a startup space the following year.  I’d done the hard yards and run regular focus groups in a casual and relaxed setting.  In summary always trial your business ideas and help avoid aborted launches or unsuccessful ventures by running a low cost trial.  This involves patience and lots of hard work but three years on I don’t regret a minute of it!