Jon Pirtle is CEO of Nashville-based co-working company E|SPACES. Recently named to his position (read more here), Pirtle found a few minutes to chat with Post Managing Editor William Williams.
WW: There are currently two E|SPACES locations. What is your timetable for expansion and how many locations do you envision?
JP: Our timetable will reflect the demand, but I foresee at least one or two new locations opening in the next two years. When business people visit E|SPACES and realize they can get every possible office space and business service they need, without paying huge rental fees or overhead, they are hooked.
WW: What areas are you targeting for new locations?
JP: I look particularly to East Nashville, The Gulch and Berry Hill as potential hot spots for a new location. Other cities like Austin, Charlotte and Boston also would benefit from the model we’ve created. Our plan is to first grow our current locations in Nashville and Cool Springs to ensure we are providing members with all the services they require, and then looking to expand in Middle Tennessee and beyond.
WW: Your predecessor, Phil Gibbs, said he wanted the company to have a location in the city's urban core. Do you agree?
JP: I believe that every corner of this city where people are doing business should ideally have an E|SPACES nearby. In Midtown and downtown Nashville, we see a lot of established companies that are using every inch of their office space, and they’ve been renting out expensive hotel conference rooms for meetings because they have nowhere else to go.
East Nashville is on the other end of the spectrum, with a large number of entrepreneurs who have been working in coffee shops and basements because they haven’t had affordable options. So I agree with Phil that each of these neighborhoods would greatly benefit from an E|SPACES location.
WW: What are a few things you might add to E|SPACES' offerings?
JP: Specifically, I would like to hone in on our member benefits and create affinity programs and loyalty discounts that support our members and incentivize others to join. I’d also like to expand our partnerships with other professional organizations in Nashville by hosting more networking events, seminars and tours here at our offices.
WW: What is the main concern or criticism you hear regarding co-working businesses like E|SPACES and how do you counter that?
JP: The most common question I hear is “What makes your company any different from a hotel business center or coffee shop?” In fact, we are completely different. Come to E|SPACES and we match you to the exact office space you need at the moment — from a quiet nook for research to a secure conference room for brainstorming. We provide every service imaginable so your business can happen seamlessly. Whether you need a copy machine, mail delivered to your desk, or full tech support for an international conference call — E|SPACES has it. We have created an entirely new workspace that adapts to today’s modern business person. E|SPACES is the future of office space available today.
E|Spaces announced Wednesday its Belle Meade facility is “sold out.”
Tenants in the space, located in The Hill Center at Belle Meade building home to, among many other, Publix, include bytes of knowledge (b:ok), NumberGarage.com, Populr.me and Smartvue.
“People today are looking for flexible solutions that meet their needs for a place to work and meet with colleagues and clients,” Phil Gibbs, E|Spaces CEO, said in a release. “ What they are not looking for is a five-year lease that locks them into something that may not meet their needs in six months.”
The company — which offers work and meeting spaces highlighted by high-end commons areas and flexible leases — targets individual entrepreneurs and small businesses. It launched in July 2010 with the opening of the Belle Meade center, and in February 2012 added a Cool Springs location. (Read more here.)
Local tech shop Atiba has partnered with E|Spaces to put on a series of educational sessions this fall at the Belle Meade and Cool Springs E|Spaces locations. The seminars are free but limited in size.
Events are complimentary, and will occur on either the first or second Tuesday of each month, from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., with the venue rotating between the two E|Spaces locations in Belle Meade and Cool Springs. The inaugural event will be held on Tuesday, September 18 at 5:30 p.m., at the Belle Meade E|Spaces location, where Rob Massie, Managing Director of Atiba Network Services, speaks on “The Cloud: What is it and how can it help me?” with Jerrod Barrows, also of Atiba Network Services.
The Nashville City Club and E|SPACES have begun marketing a program that lets each entity’s members join the other at discounted rates. The idea is to link up the traditional lunch and meeting areas of the City Club’s downtown spot with the Belle Meade and Cool Springs lounges and work spaces of E|Spaces.
Phil Gibbs, CEO of E|SPACES, noted that, “We are the new kid in town compared to the rich tradition of the City Club. This meets a real need for us by giving our members a downtown option. In addition to Cool Springs and West Nashville, they now can work and schedule meetings downtown while enjoying excellent food prepared by Chef Toby Willis. And the City Club has done a great job of solving the usual downtown parking problem.”
Check out more here.
A group of organizations led by "Ms. Biz" Allison Rinner are preparing for a Wednesday event that will help local youth entrepreneurs properly prepare themselves to pitch ideas to a new MTV show along the lines of Shark Tank. The sessions will take place at Espaces in Belle Meade.