Co-Working Startups

A co-working space as a great lead funnel

Awesome things are bound to happen when great minds unite. This is exactly what happened to StartDock, a company Thom Wernke and 4 other startup founders formed when they were looking for a space for their own individual startups.  This venture became a springboard for more ideas to come to life for this group.

StartDock is a co-working community that fosters collaboration and innovation for like-minded startups, located at the very heart of Amsterdam.  What summarizes the mission of Thom and his team is succinctly captured by a quote on their homepage, “You will never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”  StartDock has created a community that is so passionate about their ideas and businesses that it has become a strong network of startups who support each other.  In fact, much of their initial growth can be attributed to the network of startups who brought in their own network to “nest” in StartDock. This initial success has greatly encouraged the team and has decided to open a second location in 2017.

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Bringing online startups together and helping them grow naturally is an attractive incentive for these founders.  As far back as 2013, featured three startups (Ezeep, Coffee Circle, and Orderbird) who started out a Betahaus, a prominent German co-working space.  Stories like these give credibility to the opportunities presented by StartDock and other coworking spaces around the world.

The story of StartDock’s success doesn’t end there. As a young company, there are still a lot more areas to explore.  Not long after Thom and his team gave birth to another startup idea called Databazen like StartDock, connects other startups together, although on a technology level.  They connect different software applications together, similar to how an API works.  Their services extends to all kinds of data solutions focusing on e-commerce businesses or webshops. They automate processes for their clients through building CRM systems, create dashboards, and provide other customized software solutions.

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There is an abundance of web applications available to every enterprise that choosing which ones best fits your company becomes a deterrent for executing your campaigns.  That is what Databazen aims to address. Why choose only one when you can use multiple applications which can be enabled through an integrative solution Which Databazen develops for you.

This classic B2B organization is slowly tapping in the richness and abundance of applications, which only a few companies are doing (e.g. Zapier).  Because of the popularity of their competitors, Databazen faces challenging, but exciting days in 2017.  Growing from their own network, which StartDock helped foster, Databazen and StartDock should focus on online marketing strategies to get ahead of the competition in 2017.

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Currently, StartDock is setting up a campaign that will boost their network of investors.  If executed correctly, this will create a virtuous cycle for StartDock, wherein these investors will have a front seat view and first pick on these up-and-coming startup companies.  That is a brilliant idea! However, these investors can only be easily encouraged when you can show them numbers, but not just any kind of numbers. These has to be growth numbers.  What StartDock can do in order to increase enrollment are the following:

  1. Add a referral program as a way to encourage existing users to invite new users. Startups like Paypal who have used referral programs experienced massive growth (7% to 10% daily growth).  If StartDock and Databazen make this feature available this for their network, there’s no doubt that they will grow fast.
  2. Optimizing sales funnels. By inserting tools like Google Analytics and Crazyegg, Thom’s team can quickly optimize their funnels by adjusting the right variable.  This can be a better pricing scheme (1 year subscription or limited time offer deals) or by finding out how to attract their leads better.
  3. Create a community database where startups can collaborate. If there’s one single trait present in all entrepreneurs, it’s their openness to collaboration.  With this powerful feature available, there’s no doubt that StartDock and Databazen can quickly grow their network of clients.
  4. Social media campaigns. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram continue to become an essential component in a marketing strategy. Thom’s team should make sure to have a heavy presence on all those media.

In this age where everything can be started virtually anywhere (garages or dormitories), offering an incentive goes a long way.  For StartDock, they have the power to harness the benefit of having an abundant supply of ideas and startups through their network of startup founders.  They can even offer their services at Databazen as an extension to StartDock’s services. What we can be certain is that the field is prime for picking for Thom and his team.


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