Below is the third post in a series written by Gangplank HQ and Gangplank Tucson to address topics raised during the Gamestorming event. Also refer to Gamestorming Reflections, and Where’s the Booty?.
What does Gangplank look for in an ideal space?
Gangplank’s are all about community and eliminating barriers to collaboration. Therefore, you want an open space with plenty of room to play. An ideal space should also have several private or semi-private rooms to host client meetings, brainstorming or take phone calls.
How much space should a Gangplank shoot for?
To start, not a ton. Gangplank Chandler is on our third location, having started in just 1,500 sq ft, moving to 4,500 and now to 6,500 sq ft (soon to be 15,000). A Gangplank space should grow with your community. Too large a space and it will look empty, discouraging drop-ins and isolating Anchors.
How do Gangplank affiliates find space?
Since Gangplank HQ does not have a budget to open new locations, the ideal Gangplank affiliate is connected with a company or local municipality that is willing to assist with overhead costs. Gangplank HQ and soon-to-be Gangplank Avondale work closely with their respective economic development offices to find a space. In the case of Gangplank Tucson, we are fortunate to have found an innovative partner in Bookmans to provide the space.
What about desks and equipment?
Gangplank affiliates should have a consistent look to the workspace. Different desks or tables can discourage drop-ins from changing up where they sit, since some desks maybe perceived as better than others. Additionally, Gangplank’s should be agile and able to move as the space demands. At Gangplank HQ, all of our desks are IKEA Galant since they are inexpensive and easy to move. Anchors donate the desks when they join the space.
As for any additional equipment, everyone is expected to bring their own computers to work on. We don’t provide public computers, unless they are for a specific academy class. At Gangplank HQ, printers, power strips, ethernet cords, have been purchased by Anchors or the space as needed.
Holy crap, what about WiFi, internet, power, conference rooms, chairs, etc?
Donations are great =) At Gangplank HQ, our chairs and conference room table were donations, as was our sound system and Internet infrastructure. You never know unless you ask.
Essentially, Gangplank’s run lean and mean, just like most startups. We keep our costs low and only ask for something when we need it. Our Anchors and drop-in community have often stepped up to help with larger costs, such as switching to LED lighting or building our network. The important thing to remember is, there are no monthly costs. The focus is on one-time donations that are driven by our community.