Last week I attended the Platform 302 opening and came away really impressed. Platform 302 (@Platform302) is a new workspace located at 302 Cumberland Avenue that offers a range of different spaces to rent for companies 10 years or younger that are focusing on revenue generation.
I really loved the space. It just had the right feel. Scruffy hardwood floors, exposed wooden beams, brick walls, and glass doors connecting rooms to a larger open space on the 2nd floor. I also really loved the ping pong table in the basement, along with the kitchen and a TV/couch area. It really felt like somebody listened to their customers and delivered a great product – this is exactly the kind of space that appeals to me personally.
It’s great to see startup spaces like this popping up all over the city. If you want to be plugged into the innovation hub at the McMaster Innovation Park there is the Factory Floor. If you want direct access to Mohawk students there is iDeaWORKS (@MohawkIdeaWorks). If you want to be downtown in the heart of the creative sector you’ve got the Cobalt Connects (@CobaltConnects) Hotel Hamilton space on the corner of Mulberry and James. For those of the maker / hacker ethos there is Hamilton’s hackerspace ThinkHaus (@ThinkHausOrg). Each space serves a different purpose by providing value in different ways, and in the process they build a market for future spaces. It’s not a zero-sum game, the pie just gets bigger.
I like the location of Platform 302 as well, it’s very close to Gage Park and the future stadium district. It’s important to see downtown Hamilton succeed because it’s the heart of the city, but seeing economic growth spread more broadly across the lower city is great too. Hot desk space starts at just $75, with a range of options beyond this. I’m told that 50% of companies currently at Platform 302 are tech, with the remaining 50% mostly in real estate.
I hope that more tech companies move into Platform 302. Collaborative space can be a huge thing for growing young companies as they can share talents, pool their knowledge and help each other out. Like a Startup Weekend that just keeps going. I hate to make yet another Hamilton-to-Toronto comparison, but when I’ve visited colleagues in Toronto working at tech startups there I’ve often been jealous of the cool space they’re working in and wondered why we don’t have something similar in Hamilton. Now we do.
Check out video of Platform 302 from Hamilton Economic Development and some pictures I took below: