A new coworking space is being fitted out at the Pueblo Complex in Los Alamos. Diamond Mix will provide workspace for those building startup businesses or doing freelance work at home or in coffee shops around town.
The coworking idea began about a decade ago. Technology workers in San Francisco were among the first to establish coworking spaces. The idea spread rapidly and there are now around 1,000 coworking spaces, large and small, worldwide, including several in New Mexico. The idea is not only to share space and tools, but to build community and overcome the isolation of working alone.
Rohan Loveland, a local scientist, engineer and technical entrepreneur, works one quarter time at Los Alamos National Laboratory and devotes the remainder of his work time to his startup company, Dynofit. While networking with others building technical startups, he saw a need for a low cost workspace that did not require a long lease.
“Small businesses are experiments,” Loveland said. “We can provide a place to get started without a big investment in space.”
Loveland hopes Diamond Mix will be an environment in which people can share ideas as well as space.
“We want to get away from beige cubicles and bring out creativity and fun,” he said, adding that Diamond Mix is a nonprofit. “We want to have as little paperwork and bureaucracy as possible.”
Diamond Mix rents from Los Alamos Public Schools and is currently outfitting the space. As people sign on, spaces will be developed to meet their needs.
“If things go well, we have space to expand,” Loveland said.
Everything from cubicles to offices is possible. Visitors to Los Alamos can rent a desk for short-term stays as well. There is space for 10 cubicles and two rooms with doors, as well as a shared conference room that can also be rented for meetings. A large table with chairs is in the center of the space. There’s also the “Think Corner” – a couch and whiteboard collaboration area, where people can share coffee and brainstorm, an electronics lab, including a 3-D printer and two computer-equipped work stations, as well as Wi-Fi Internet and a networked printer.
“We’re just getting started and we want to work with people to put together spaces to meet their needs,” Loveland said.
The vision is for Diamond Mix to be a community resource as well as a workspace, Loveland said. Diamond Mix sponsors TED Talks, streamed to its conference room, followed by discussion at noon Tuesdays. July 15, the TED Talk by Nicholas Negroponte is “A 30-year History of the Future.” Everyone is welcome.
“It’s a great way for people to see the space and meet each other,” Loveland said.