Co-working offices have been on the rise in the past couple of years and the Öresund region is not short on them either. This time, we asked Chloe Nauta to explain about The Ground, a Malmö-based co-working space for digital entrepreneurs. Chloe is the Head of Operations at The Ground, making sure that everything runs smoothly. We have talked with her about her responsibilities running the hub, how the daily life at The Ground looks like and what she envisions for the future.
Can you describe The Ground and what was the concept behind opening it? How is it different from other co-working spaces in the region?
“The Ground is a entrepreneurial community filled with hard-working, nice people who build digital products. It began because two successful entrepreneurs had sold their company, and wanted a space to sit and work on their next interesting project with other likeminded digital experts. So they bought a house and The Ground family was started. The Ground is private and network based – all companies come in through people sitting at the ground.
What is your role at The Ground? Can you explain a little bit about yourself and the team who is running The Ground?
“I run the Ground, overseeing daily operations, managing events and the projects we have on the go here. I make sure the companies sitting at The Ground have what they need, meet with new companies and people at the ground and help with strategic planning for the future. Hampus Jakobsson looks after investors and incoming companies, as well as mentoring the companies. Really everyone who sits at The Ground is involved in running it. People host expert meetups and events, start afterwork initiatives, make house improvements, etc. themselves which we really encourage because we want people to feel like The Ground is their space. In particular, the companies are really good at supporting their counterparts (designers, developers, etc.) in other companies, bouncing ideas and mentoring each other.
What are the office and workspace options? How does it work as a co-working space, what is free, what is paid?
“Companies hire offices (own room) and have access to meeting rooms. We treat The Ground like a house, so everyone has their own room, shared kitchen and hangout spaces. You also need to take off your shoes at the door. We don’t have a co-working space, companies pay by the amount of people they are in the room, and then everything is included.
How can an individual or a business be accepted to work at The Ground?
“We find companies through our network. At the moment The Ground is full, however we are looking to expand next year and then hopefully will have space to bring in more companies.
On the website, working at the The Ground is described as being part of a family. What is the community like?
“At The Ground we always will prioritise culture above profit, selecting only people and companies who understand and want to contribute to the ‘family’ atmosphere we have here. We help each other out, we make each other coffee, there’s a lot of knowledge sharing, trading advice and ideas and mentoring which happens in our kitchen, which really is the heart of The Ground. The companies we have are all digital product focussed, a lot of experts/specialised knowledge especially around machine learning and image recognition.
Do you organise any events at The Ground?
“We host meetups, investor events and other smaller startup community events. Most of these events come through our network or are initiated by people sitting in the house.
What are your visions for the future? How do you think The Ground will look in the next couple of years?
“We’re currently expanding our building size, so we can have a dedicated event space and a few more companies in the house. Our vision is to continue building a digital expert hub in Malmö, mentoring and helping other entrepreneurs in the region.