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What is it about shared office spaces? What makes them desirable and who are the people who choose work there? Barclays Eagle Labs revisited!
I had a chance to meet with the Manager of the Brighton Eagle Labs last week to talk business opportunities and how I could contribute my own services to their existing offering. Brian Sharkey (I had been introduced to him by not one, not two, but three different people) turned out to be a very different kind of manager than I had expected. Yes: I had imagined him to be the driven, pro-proactive person he turned out to be, but I was surprised by his very hands-on approach that is as much un-banking establishment as I could imagine.
The whole space is buzzing with creative juices and opportunities, and talking to Brian was a very positive experience as well. Being walked through this odd maze of a space with truly unique room layouts above ground and below was a real eye-opener to someone who is used to working on his own and has been stuck in corporate offices for the longest time. If anything Eagle Labs does what it says on the label: bringing people in touch with each other, and help them make the best use of these connections. The description ‘incubator’ is no mistake, and I believe that new ideas and collaborations are always a real possibility from the sheer number of diverse people and businesses present here, combined with a fully equipped and easily accessible maker space.
The availability and use of modern technologies like laser cutters (super impressive), 3D-printing, all kinds of tools, AV equipment and event spaces rounds off the whole attractive package of working from here. A big plus here: you are not left alone with the technology. After an introduction session on basic uses of the available tools, a technology specialist is always around to assist with any kind of problem you might come up against. A truly supported way of getting things done.
Personally, I was very taken with the open atmosphere and reception I received. It felt like I was part of the family and welcome to visit again. And again.