We were lucky enough to visit The Rainmaking Loft, London, of which there are two more hubs in Berlin and Copenhagen, to have a chat with the General Manager, Rasthy De Los Reyes. Despite being very busy, running an international working environment in the bustling St Katherine Dock and hosting several events each week, Rasthy took some time out to give us an insight into the ideas behind and running of a collaborative working space.
Tell us about The Rainmaking Loft?
TRL: Rainmaking Loft is a startup hub offering highly subsidised desk space for startups. By building a collaborative and inspiring working environment, we offer support startups through our ecosystem.
LS: How long has it been up and running?
TRL: The first London co-working space was launched in 2013, together with our partners Tesco.
LS: Are there other Rainmaking Lofts outside London?
TRL: Our Berlin location opened in February 2014. We’re also proud to announce our new location in Copenhagen in March 2015.
LS: What is their purpose?
TRL: Their purpose is to enable each of our members to take full advantage of the startup ecosystem throughout Europe, by providing them “a home away from home”.
LS: What was your inspiration to create a space such as ‘The Rainmaking Loft’?
TRL: The inspiration to create a space was to provide startups a place to work somewhere special. By providing them with a place where they can collaborate and share, this is in turn can build meaningful business relationship in the future. With this in mind, we created an open plan office.
LS: Are there specific features which you included in the design?
TRL: Specific features include a communal space, kitchen retro themed meeting rooms, Skype pods & a 150 seater event space. These serve as a breakout space from their permanent desks and enable the members to have a bit more privacy. The event space also hosts a number of startup events, and is also available for hire for corporate meetings and off-sites.
LS: Do they make an overall impact on the running of the space?
TRL: The event space has a huge impact on the running of space as it serves as a way for other entrepreneurs and startups to see what the Rainmaking Loft has to offer.
LS: Have you encountered difficulties in the layout of the space?
TRL: Keeping the space refreshed and inspiring each month on. By adding new features and moving certain furniture, we have essentially ensured that the members are kept on their toes. Likewise, we take in feedback from our members for their ideas.
LS: How have you overcome them?
TRL: By adding new features such as a hammock, and moving and adding furniture to the space, and removing stockpiles of stuff which weren’t being used.
LS: Do you think the open plan working space is beneficial to those in it?
TRL: Yes, it certainly has been beneficial for the smaller teams, as starting their own business with only two people it can be quite lonesome. By having the community with them they can work from the enthusiasm and advice of others to help them overcome any problems they face.
LS: What added extras contribute to the smooth running of The Rainmaking Loft?
TRL: Regular Ping pong tournaments, run club, yoga classes & bean bag areas have certainly helped when it gets all too much for the startups.
LS: Is there a specific theme you have gone for?
TRL: Retro game themed meeting rooms, we have named 4 meeting rooms after retro games: Pac-man, Space Invaders, Super Mario & Donkey Kong.
LS: Do you run courses and events in the Rainmaking Loft?
TRL: On a weekly basis we host 7 day & evening events. Some startup orientated and others as corporate venue hire.
LS: Do you encourage networking between teams? If so, how?
TRL: Yes. We host a number of social events with team members, and likewise the Rainmaking Loft team regularly introduces each member to another upon crossing paths, such as by a water cooler or the coffee machine.
LS: And finally, is the Rainmaking Loft exactly as you hoped it would be?
TRL: Yes and more. We offer more than desk space for startups in London. We provide a community and network to ensure that they grow and succeed.
The atmosphere and buzz around the hub was a scene of excitement and enthusiasm and we could sense the enjoyment of working there throughout all the different start-up companies. Leadership Styled can most definitely say that if we were London based, we would be straight in to The Rainmaking Loft.
Keep in touch monthly (or even more frequently with us*).
* We promise not to virtually stalk you, it will be (at max) weekly round ups and elements that it would be rude not to tell you about...