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May 22nd, 2024
A Hub for All: And-Co Opens its Doors to Game-Changing Ideas

Vancouver Startup Week (VSW) is only T-9 days away, and at the forefront we’re thrilled to have And-Co, as one of our Diamond Sponsors. Their commitment to fostering innovation continues to inspire us. This year, they’re actively shaping the VSW experience by hosting a multitude of events within their dynamic space.

Imagine a week filled with energy: panel discussions sparking groundbreaking ideas, hands-on workshops that equip you to build the future, and networking events that create connections that will power the next generation of startups. This vision becomes reality at And-Co, VSW sponsored venue (also home of VSW HQ!)

But VSW isn't just about cool events – it's also about fostering a collaborative community. And-Co's walls will house the VSW Community Space: a dedicated haven for entrepreneurs. Here, you can "drop in, connect with fellow visionaries, recharge with a coffee, or grab a seat to strategize!"

Read on to learn more about And-Co, and how their space is contributing to our vibrant startup ecosystem here in BC. We'll explore the events, networking opportunities, and resources available to help you launch and propel your innovative idea.

(Please note the following responses have been edited for concision and readability)

How do you see And-Co adapting its space specifically to meet the changing needs of Vancouver's entrepreneurs and remote workers?

“And-Co was intentionally designed to support the dynamic work styles of today’s entrepreneurs and remote workers in Vancouver, anticipating the shift towards more flexible and varied work requirements, even during its pre-pandemic conception phase. Our facility includes adjustable workstations, private offices, and hot desk options, accommodating both long-term projects and drop-in tasks. We provide diverse work environments from sound-proof phone booths for private calls to expansive meeting rooms for team collaborations. Regularly hosted industry-specific networking events and workshops also enrich our members' professional experiences by connecting them with peers and potential collaborators, further enhancing the value of our coworking space in the bustling city landscape.”

What innovative features and amenities do you see becoming must-haves in future coworking spaces?

“The future of coworking spaces is likely to emphasize three main areas: wellness, technological integration, and environmental sustainability. At And-Co, we're leading the way by incorporating advanced air filtration systems to ensure healthful environments, deploying state-of-the-art virtual collaboration tools to connect global teams, and using sustainable materials to minimize our ecological footprint. Our WELL Platinum Certification showcases our commitment to setting a high standard in building healthy, productive, and sustainable work environments, making our spaces not just places to work, but places where people can thrive.”

Can you share some examples of how And-Co currently creates designated areas for both focused work and collaboration within your space?

“Our coworking space is meticulously organized to cater to varying needs, facilitating seamless transitions between solitary and collaborative work. We offer sound-proof meeting rooms for confidential discussions and high-concentration tasks, while open-plan areas encourage spontaneous team interactions and brainstorming sessions. Each space is equipped with high-speed internet, ergonomic furniture, and modern AV systems to enhance productivity. Additionally, our flexible event spaces are used for workshops, seminars, and community events, making them ideal for professional growth and networking opportunities.”


How do you envision technology playing a role in the future of coworking spaces?

“As we progress further into the digital age, the role of technology in coworking spaces becomes increasingly critical. And-Co is at the forefront, integrating smart technologies that enhance the user experience. We are incorporating systems for smart office management, which streamline everything from room bookings to climate control, making our spaces more responsive to the needs of our members. Virtual reality tools for remote collaboration and AI-enhanced support services are also being explored to keep our members connected and productive, regardless of their physical location.”

Does And-Co have any plans for integrating new technologies to further enhance the member experience?

“Yes, And-Co is continuously looking to integrate cutting-edge technologies to enhance our workspace. We are currently updating our tech infrastructure to include more intuitive interfaces for event management and smarter, more cohesive applications for everyday tasks like door access and space reservation. This integration reduces the need for multiple platforms, simplifying the user experience and allowing more time for productive work. These technological advancements are part of our broader strategy to make And-Co a leader in innovative coworking solutions.”

What unique events or programs does And-Co host to foster a strong sense of community among its members?

“And-Co hosts a variety of unique events and programs to foster a strong sense of community among its members. These include bi-weekly community lunches and breakfast gatherings, where members can start their day or take a mid-day break while networking in a relaxed setting. Monthly happy hours and collective wellness sessions, such as yoga and meditation, are also organized to promote wellbeing and social interaction. Additionally, And-Co offers free networking events and conferences, providing professional development opportunities. The partnership with non-profit organizations like Flavours of Hope and Indigenous Tourism BC allows members to engage with and support diverse cultural initiatives, enhancing the community spirit within And-Co. Make sure to follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn, and to check our website to see the past and upcoming events!”


Can you elaborate on some of the environmentally friendly practices And-Co currently implements within the workspace?

“And-Co has implemented a variety of environmentally friendly practices that align with its commitment to wellness and sustainability in the workspace. These initiatives are governed by WELL certification principles as mentioned before, focusing on enhancing air and water quality, using eco-friendly materials, and promoting energy efficiency. Specific actions include advanced air filtration systems, enhanced moisture management, access to healthy nourishment options, ergonomic workstations, and integrating natural light to support circadian rhythms.

And-Co’s efforts have led to achieving the prestigious WELL Platinum Certification, recognizing its role as a leader in creating a healthy and sustainable workspace. Additionally, this commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles has positioned And-Co as finalists for the NAIOP ESG Award, further highlighting its dedication to sustainability and responsible business practices.”

How do you think coworking spaces can contribute to a healthier work-life balance for their members? What initiatives does And-Co incorporate to help members achieve a healthy work-life balance?

“Coworking spaces, like And-Co, are instrumental in fostering a healthier work-life balance for their members by offering a plethora of amenities and initiatives. At And-Co, we prioritize member well-being every step of the day. From providing easy commute options, such as access to public transit and EV charging stations, to offering sound-proof booths for focused work and breakout areas for relaxation, we ensure members can seamlessly transition between work tasks and personal needs. Our chef-prepared lunches, healthy snacks, and fresh breakfast options nourish members throughout the day, promoting physical wellness. Additionally, our commitment to mental wellness is evident in our diverse workspaces designed to boost efficiency and our offering of classes at The Well, where members can prioritize movement and mindfulness.

Furthermore, our unique amenities, such as light and dark-themed decompression rooms and access to a fully equipped content creation room, cater to diverse needs and enhance member experience. Overall, And-Co goes above and beyond to support its members in achieving a balanced and fulfilling work-life dynamic.”


Being located in Vancouver, how does And-Co balance offering a collaborative environment for a global network of remote workers while also fostering a strong sense of community specific to the local area?

“Located in Vancouver, we at And-Co effectively balance creating a collaborative environment for a global network of remote workers with fostering a vibrant local community. We achieve this through a multifaceted approach that includes tailored workspaces designed to meet diverse needs—from soundproof booths for focused work to open forums for community interaction. Additionally, our commitment to local culture is evident in our robust Art Program and Solidarity Partners Initiative, which support local artists and community projects. These programs not only enhance our workspace aesthetically and socially but also embed a strong sense of local identity and involvement. By integrating these elements, we maintain a dynamic and supportive atmosphere that connects remote workers globally while promoting a strong, engaged community locally. You can learn more about our community initiatives here.”

Finally, what’s next for And-Co? What’s the north star?

“Our north star at And-Co is to enhance the balance between work and life by fostering an environment of wellness, community, and sustainability. We are dedicated to setting new benchmarks in workplace wellness and community engagement, being recognized as the only WELL Certified™ Platinum site in British Columbia. This model, which combines high-quality, sustainable workspaces with vibrant community interactions, could potentially be replicated in other cities seeking to boost urban life through innovative coworking spaces that prioritize health and community connectivity. For more details, you can visit our website here.”

A huge thank you to And-Co, our Diamond Sponsor! They're not just fueling innovation, they're actively shaping the VSW experience. And-Co's vibrant space will be the a VSW Sponsored Venue, buzzing with panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and energizing networking parties. It's also where you'll find the VSW Community Space: your haven to connect with fellow entrepreneurs, grab a coffee, or strategize your next move. Come pick up your passes, recharge your batteries, and dive into the VSW community – all under the innovative roof of And-Co!

Ticket Reminder: Whether you're a seasoned founder or just starting to sketch out your business plan, VSW offers something for everyone (only 9 days away!). Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to learn, connect, and take your startup journey to the next level!

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