A professional co-working space isn’t a new concept for the Eastside. What Bellevue startup extraSlice is doing differently is building around the technology startup.
While the company has been in business a year, it opened its doors at its new 16,000-square-foot location in Eastgate June 1, and is eagerly awaiting the tech companies that call Bellevue home to come through the doors.
Binu Reghunathan, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of extraSlice, said the location was meant to help startups avoid the hindrances he experienced in his own foray into technology startups.
“This is a technology-focused space,” he said. “We went through the process of finding a good place to work. We had to go through all of the struggles.”
ExtraSlice wants to be more than just a place to work from 9 to 5, said the company’s spokesman, Dan Hoff. The building is already set up with a massive amount of space (the company started with 3,200 square feet before moving to the new location), a dedicated server room, dozens of ports for fully-wired offices to spring up and robust training services, all at a competitive rate, Hoff said.
“The co-working space market in the region is already relatively mature,” he said. “It started out of necessity. The first people had space, they had real estate. When you have real estate, that’s what you’ll sell. What we have is a group of developers and engineers who wanted to see if we could construct a space around tech startups.”
The company held a pitch event June 9, with vendors and developers mingling and looking at the space. One startup even walked away with $120,000 in gear and assistance (not to mention space in the co-working community).
For Hoff and extraSlice, the more companies working toward improving technology, the better.
“The barriers to starting a business right now are very low,” he said. “If you’ve got a good idea and some capabilities, you can start one. However, the barriers to success are incredibly high. We’re trying to bring those barriers down.”
The company will offer services for those in the startups to help bring the company a little further along. Want to learn coding? They’ve got it. Want to get a dedicated group of engineers or developers to help you out? The company has connections both here and abroad to make that happen, Hoff said.
“We have a level of agility that tech companies look for,” Hoff said. “A company could come in and have a certain amount of space, and then four months later they could say ‘we’ve actually grown so much, we need more.’ And we could be agile enough with our space to work with that.”
Companies can get a membership in extraSlice (which gets several days of office use, meeting times and discounted services) for as low as $49 a month, with prices starting at $220 a month for a desk and $499 a month for a complete office. A technology training program (extraSlice Career School) can actually teach people skills to be placed in jobs in the booming tech market. Reghunathan said that the three-month program has a placement rate of 93 percent, with more than 75 percent being hired before the program is even over.
While Reghunathan and his partner Meghana Subramanian are confident in their business model, something as new as extraSlice is always a little nerve-wracking.
“I’m excited about it,” Reghunathan said. “And a little nervous. Mostly excited though.”
ExtraSlice is located at 3600 136th Pl. SE #300.