April 01, 2010 by alex
Back in december I attended the “Berlin Coworking Day”, a meetup of the German coworking scene. In the talks I saw a recurring problem was the lack of proper software to help with all the tasks that running a coworking space requires. Since we had been running our own coworking space for a while the problems were not new to me.
So, after a few hours I decided to leave the meetup and start to scratch my own itch. Since upstream was taking the month off anyway I had enough time to play around.
After roughly 4 man weeks of development we released the first version of our coworking space management software at http://cobot.me - it obviously didn’t have a lot of features, but enough to help our own needs.
The basic principle is this: a coworking space owner signs up her space and gets her own cobot site under its own subdomain. There she adds payment plans, payment methods, invoicing details etc. Anyone who wants to start coworking at this space signs up and chooses a plan and payment method.
From then on cobot helps the owner of the space in various ways. It manages payment tracking and invoicing (can be fully automated with Paypal), it helps to keep track of day to day tasks and problems (“the printer ran out of paper”) and provides a platform for communication between coworking space and coworkers.
In addition it allows a space owner to track key metrics of their space. From turnover to occupancy this gives coworking spaces the numbers they need to optimize their plans and the number of coworkers they can fit in.
Even for our small coworking space (which is now full) cobot has made things a lot easier already (we actually know who hasn’t paid yet now). Our next step is to use cobot’s wifi login/presence tracking system so we know how full we really are, and maybe fit in a few more people.
The first responses were quite positive and we started talking to a number of coworking spaces, mostly in Germany and the United States. With the feedback we’re getting and constantly improving the site we’re confident to become the first choice for many of the coworking spaces that are being started all over the world these days.
If you are interested in how cobot works you can read more details and see screenshots in the guides section of the site.
If you do have a coworking space we hope you hop over to cobot and sign up - you can try it out for free with up to 5 coworkers. After that it’s only 1 EUR/1.50 USD per coworker and month.