Startups around the world are desperate for office space in the San Francisco Bay Area, so tomorrow RocketSpace will announce the lease of a new 50,000 sq. ft. office so it can house startups with up to 60 employees instead of capping them at 30. Along with this RocketSpace Suites project, the “office-as-a-service” plans to lock down another 100,000 sq. ft. spot and open a space in London this year.
RocketSpace currently provides plug-and-play office space for 130 startups and their 600 employees at a per-person, per-month rate. It lets founders concentrate on their businesses while RocketSpace handles leases, security, bandwidth, firewalls and other office hassles. Its relationships with venture capitalists and corporate accelerators have kept at least one of its residents securing funding every week, and it runs inspiring events featuring speakers like Peter Thiel and Vinod Khosla.
CEO Duncan Logan told me in a meeting today that one of RocketSpace’s biggest problems is that due to space contraints, “we kick out companies when they get to 3o employees.” Fast-rising startups like Uber, Spotify, Kabam, and Leap Motion have all gotten the boot. It’s also receiving far more qualified applicants than it has room for. RocketSpace needed more, well, space. Meanwhile, its current real estate is literally about to get steamrolled. Tomorrow, the city of San Francisco will announce RocketSpace’s current 181 Fremont location will be demolished to make way for a new Transbay Tower transportation hub.
So after a year of searching, tomorrow RocketSpace will announce the lease of a 50,000 sq. ft. space just north of Market Street at 180 Sansome. Eventually it hopes to take over that whole tower. But RocketSpace Suites is just the start of its expansion. It’s currently looking at a 90,000 sq. ft. Bay Area space to replace the Fremont home it will have to vacate. Logan says it will be able to host 2,000 people in its combined 140,000 sq. ft. space. By the end of 2013 RocketSpace plans to have added a London space. And even though it’s completely bootstrapped, after that it’s eying Tel Aviv, Berlin, and Vancouver for additional locations.
Logan says RocketSpace aspires to become an “innovation campus” that he calls a “Stanford for startups.” He explains that “young companies are like young people. They’re a product of their environment. We can build the best possible environment for startups.” By surrounding themselves with similarly ambitious makers, Logan believes startups can be more creative and productive.
Just watch out for your neighbors poaching your engineers.