Some Green Grows in Brooklyn
A good party depends on critical mass: Get enough people in the house early in the evening, and the rest will take care of itself. A solid start helps a party draw more and more guests in while encouraging the early-comers to remain. Fail to get critical mass, and your guests are home in time for the 11:00 news.
This theory has kept the good times rolling on more than one Saturday night, and now it's getting the green times rolling in Brooklyn, New York. That's where a smart new initiative called Green Spaces is putting the idea of critical mass to work for new green businesses. The company leases working space to start-ups and others in the sustainable realm.
For rents ranging from $150 to $475 a month, Green Spaces provides the basics that small businesses need, including desks, mailing address, wireless internet access, and a conference room with speaker phone and presentation board.
But what Green Spaces really offers is community. And that may be the most important piece of the green start-up puzzle. Because when your work space is connected to other work spaces in which like-minded souls are engaged in comparable endeavors and facing similar obstacles, you don't have to go it alone. You can share resources and ideas. You can network and connect. You can do a whole lot of very excellent things you might not do alone, and this can often mean the difference between success and failure.
Green Spaces is about giving people who want to make a difference a place to do it. Theirs is a great idea that's so good, my only question is why isn't this done more often? Looking forward (and isn't that always the better direction) let's hope that this business incubation model spreads from city to city spurring a new generation of sustainable products and services.
There's a whole lot more to love about Green Spaces, from its unique building with 100% reclaimed office furnishings to its Green Business Competition, which draws critical attention to New York City's nascent green economy. But that all takes a back seat to the organization's novel approach to helping green businesses succeed. At Green Spaces, everyone really is in it together. And that kind of critical mass is the only way we're going to have the kind of planetary party we all want to attend.
UPDATE: Green Spaces' new website highlights Green Spaces in Denver, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, in addition to New York. www.greenspaceshome.com