Ian Graham, who is well-known in the Ottawa tech community because of his involvement with Bar Camps, Demo Camps, etc, has a new start-up called The Code Factory that lets you cowork in Ottawa.
Location, location, location …
Located in Ottawa’s downtown core a couple of blocks south of Parliament Hill, The Code Factory has offices for rent, drop-in communal working space with WiFi, and a lot of character (old building, bright with lots of windows, hardwood, rickity old elevator that reminds me of office buildings in SoHo).
No three-year leases
The offices go for around $800-$1,000/month (no long-term lease required), and all have windows or skylights. The open (no cubicles) communal working space costs $5/hour, billed to the nearest half hour, and includes unlimited coffee, cappuccino, or espresso, making it a break-even for coders who spend a lot at Starbucks (think one cappuccino/hour).
For the communal working space, his target market is coders who work from home, but miss the energy and social life of an office and want to drop in a couple of times a week. Despite all the friendly chatter, I find I’m actually getting more done in four hours there than I do in eight hours at home.
Shut-in no more
At a 45 minute walk from my house, The Code Factory is perfect for me — I’ve worked from home for over 10 years, and the Factory gives me an excuse for a little extra exercise, gets me downtown, and gives me the buzz that comes from working around other coders. I think that Ian has done a great service for the Ottawa tech community — much more so than yet another incubator or government-subsidized fund — and that we’ll see at least one or two successful companies tracing their roots back to the Factory, as well as a lot of happy consultants like me.