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PeerSpace: A real solution for small business or another app trying to jump on the Airbnb bandwagon

Margaux Poupard | March 24, 2014 | Story Tech World

The last thing most up-and-coming entrepreneurs and small business owners want is another app to clog up their phones home screen. But will PeerSpace have them deleting Word Scramble to make room? The concept is fairly simple.

There are several options in the city when it comes to renting a desk by the hour—Sandbox Suites, Intelligent Office—to name a few. Not to mention your local Peet's. PeerSpace’s tries to solve a bigger problem for those not-officially-there-yet startups.

Hosts with extra space list their temporary room via the mobile app. Guests can browse for a spot that best suits their needs, like an office meeting, culinary demonstrations, or casting auditions. Hosts are able to offset expenses while utilizing underused space, newbies get an office space that isn’t their home living room.

After five years at EA, co-founder and CEO Rony Chammas, left to attend grad school at NYU. Though Chammas was originally inspired by a problem that plagues New York, it applies to any metropolitan city. Underused or plain old vacant retail store fronts abound, often taking small businesses down with them. Upon completing his MBA and moving back to San Francisco, Chammas had first-hand experience with the problem.

Dataway Network Systems rebuilt a Tenderloin office space that ended up being too big for their staff,” Rony Chammas said. “Eight to ten desks were sitting empty when I approached Simon Lewis.” Lewis, founder and CEO of Dataway, offered Chammas a counter-deal when they discussed listing Dataway’s location. Not only did Lewis agree to list his spare desks, anointing Dataway as the first host clients of PeerSpace, he gave Chammas a temporary spot there to continue PeerSpace business.

Enter Matt Bendett, former EA colleague and first guest of PeerSpace. Bendett started with spitballing ideas with Chammas, to co-founder quickly because, "the business was something I could get behind." Currently all the desks at Dataway are filled, now the co-founders have turned their attention to replicating the flexibility across different small businesses.

One hundred host signups since their launch three weeks ago is no small feat. Ishmael Jackson from The Body Academy was looking for a service just like that to aid his predicament, deciding to try to bridge the gap with PeerSpace. “Rony, Matt, Nicole, and Daniel have been extremely helpful. They’ve offered advice and made the host end set-up extremely easy,” says Jackson. “So far we have had two guests appointments. They were great work experiences, to have people who really appreciated the space, and infused their creative energy into it.”


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