Townsville has always had a strong community mindset. This has even filtered into the startup eco-sphere, with amazing co-working spaces popping up all over our city. Below are some of the most modern, fun and welcoming spaces this great city has to offer. There’s everything from shipping container hackspaces to re-vamped, mix-use offices and art spaces bright enough to put a smile on every creatives face. If you’re a startup, stay-at-home business or entrepreneur looking to get your foot in the door without the hassle of a costly lease, these Townsville co-working spaces will be sure to get the mind buzzing!
InnovationNQ (iNQ) is the Pinterest perfect workplace. Exposed architecture and modern offices mesh perfectly with the bright and talented minds who reside there. Since opening, iNQ has fostered several notable startups; from Applied Inspirations – who graduated from the space and now have offices in the UK and Melbourne – in addition to BlueKino, JESI, Fierce Ventures and many more.
“Grow up and get out. Incubate here, get your feet going and then move out and give back to the community,” says iNQ’s co-founder, committee member and community driver, Joe Hoolihan.
The space is hooked up to NBN and has a variety of hot desks and private office spaces available as well as a meeting room, large kitchen space and open, light-filled area to relax in. The close-knit community is nothing short of brilliant too, with iNQ workers often gathering for Wednesday geek nights or pooling their talents together to help out.
“One of the benefits is having connections without having to sign an expensive lease. It’s the ability to have access to ‘what do I do next’. Collaborative sharing really is a key part,” Joe says.
The iNQ community extends beyond the workers too, with over 30 different events – ranging in topics from Fintech and Blockchain to fashion and information nights – held in the space last year. Looking around at the classic community feel and the modern layout, you can see why this tried and true workspace has consistently been a hub for some of Townsville’s sharpest minds.
Remember watching those renovator shows where people would build amazing spaces out of shipping containers? Well now we have one right here in Townsville called MixHaus. The idea stemmed out of a three-year digital participation research project and took the title of our city’s first maker’s space.
“It was cheaper, portable and at the end, if it didn’t go anywhere you could just sell it. It wasn’t like leasing a whole space,” Warren Cheetham, Library Coordinator at City Libraries Townsville says. “To activate the idea, it became a partnership between Library, QUT, JCU, the researchers and Laluna Youth Arts.”
The space has been left deliberately neutral so that those interested can come in and truly make the space their own. Inside, you’ll find loads of storage, tables, chairs. You can even plug a generator so you can power your ideas and really bring them to life. “It’s only limited by your imagination,” Warren says. The space has been used by Laluna Youth Arts for coding and IT projects, which saw kids learn how to stitch and program conductive thread, events like Lux Luman and so much more.
MixHaus will also be used in the 2018 Commonwealth Games as part of the mini ‘shipping container city’ in Uncontained. This means it will be spray-painted by local, national and international street artists as part of the display. As if this isn’t exciting enough, Warren says the opportunities for hackers, makers and creators are endless. “It’s unique for Townsville and it’s a space that can be moved. It can be put on a train or a truck and moved out west or to regional areas. It’s really a space that is available for our region.”
Innovators in Townsville have a new home for business thanks to The HUB Creative Space – a sensational makers space dedicated to bringing artistic and imaginative ideas to life. There’s a huge gallery for your workshops, secure lockers for your materials and a wet lab for everything messy and crafty. What makes this space unique – apart from the incredible artwork – is the huge array of classes there. You’ll see everything from feng shui and mosaic classes right through to healing touch clinics and workshops plus visibility coaching for small businesses and more. One of the most popular classes, however, is the art and wine nights where you can sip wine, get creative and enjoy great company – seriously, does it get much better?
“I can cater for messy right through to corporate. So you can use it as a venue and hire it or you can see what classes are suited to you,” says owner Sue Bright. “I encourage people to just come in and see it. Don’t ring and enquire. Come be inspired.”
Sue says that corporates have even fallen in love with the space, making it entirely their own by using their many different rooms for “breakout areas”. As a result, groups can break away for work activities and discuss topics in various rooms.
When it comes to creative and awe-inspiring areas that will get any artists’ heart racing, The HUB Creative Space certainly takes the cake (or the paintbrush!).
WHAT’S NEXT FOR TOWNSVILLE CO-WORKING SPACES?
Finally, we have the up-coming Co. Habitat Co-Working Space. The Townsville Transit Centre is currently going through some major redevelopment, part of which is the Mckenzie Street mezzanine which is being converted into Co. Habitat Co-working Space – a vibrant and fresh shared office space. Once complete, the shared space will have an open desk style shared area, a conference room, a meeting room with en suite, kitchenette, chill out area and a mixture of small and large private offices; all filled with amazing natural light. Depending on renovations, Co. Habitat Co-Working Space is expected to open it’s doors between late February and mid March so keep an eye out!