The best laid plans can still result in epic fail 0

We’ve had an unfortunate turn of events working out a new location for okcCoCo. We had a new location picked, renovations planned and our move scheduled but at the very last minute, the landlord of the property decided to back out. Even after efforts to resolve the situation, we were unable to come to an agreement.

Therefore, we’ve been investigating alternative locations. Needless to say, this will put us off our original schedule. This might affect you because we will need to shut down the okcCoCo on the 15th of March.

We’re looking to find a facility as soon as possible. I’m sorry I can’t provide more details now but as you can see, there are a number of factors outside of our direct control. We’re highly motivated to find a location, because it means, many of us are currently without office space.

We are confident that we will be able to find a new location and create an awesome new okcCoCo for everyone in the community to enjoy. We ask for your patience while we work to make this happen.

We’re sorry that we will have this unfortunate hiccup, but please know we are working to find a solution. If you have any questions or suggestions, or know of an ideal space for the okcCoCo, please get in touch with us! We will provide updates when we have more information.

the okcCoCo Founders

Update: A bit more about our search for a location.

We’ve been looking for a new location for the okcCoCo since last year. The primary reason that we decided to pursue a new location was that the expense of our current location had been dramatically increasing over time. This last year our ability to cover the expenses of rent, utilities and insurance (our only expenses) were stretched beyond the limits, depleting all our funds. Not only had our rent been on an increasing ramp, our electricity costs last summer quadrupled. It was a hot summer, but we were also negatively affected by changes the landlord made to the electrical wiring in the building. It was clear that we needed a solution, and that if we didn’t move out of our current location, we would not be able to cover our expenses for another year.

We started to look at alternative, less expensive locations in Midtown. After much searching, we found and put together a plan to move into a vacant warehouse near the railroad tracks and the highway in Midtown. While the space was raw, the very low rent rate would allow us lots of space and flexibility. All we would need to provide would be the sweat equity to improve the location ourselves. As this was the strategy that we used with our current location, this was an appealing opportunity. One significant issue with that location was its location adjacent to the train tracks and the noise associated with the train whistles. At that time, the city had in place a plan to build a quite zone for the train throughout Midtown in order to encourage development in the area. To our discouragement, the city cancelled all plans for the quite zone when a Dallas developer backed out of a large development effort to build high end apartments in Midtown. That decision made it impossible for us to pursue this location any further and set us back significantly in our search for a new okcCoCo location.

We were quite happy to have subsequently found the location that we described in the indiegogo campaign. The property was being offered at a low rental rate, and had an existing floor plan that included offices and large common areas, both ideal for our purposes. At 10,000 sqft, the property offered the opportunity to expand our foot print and for us to expand the kinds of services that we offered. There was a lot of potential in that property. The primary drawbacks of the property were the quite outdated interior and less modern floor plan. We had worked magic with the outdated facility that was the original okcCoCo, and were confident that we could work magic again on this new facility.

We needed two things to happen in order for this location to work out financially. We needed to find funds to renovate the facility, and we needed enough tenants to agree to locate to the new facility. Both of these things we believed were possible. We put together a vision of the new okcCoCo, held two public open houses at the facility, and launched an indiegogo campaign. We were very pleased and honored to find so much support in the community for the okcCoCo. Our campaign was funded in excess of our request thanks to many many generous people who clearly appreciate the value that an organization like the okcCoCo brings to the community.

We were quite dismayed to find out shortly thereafter that some 70% of our current tenants had decided that they weren’t willing to move to the new location, and had instead decided to make alternative arrangements at other locations. When we inquired, the feedback was that our tenants were interested in having offices in a modern facility and that they didn’t think that even with our modernization plans, that the proposed facility would meet their standards. We knew it would be hard for people to see the vision, but really didn’t think it would be a show stopper. This turn of events made us think deeply about the okcCoCo and our membership. What we realized was that those tenants who left, neither participated nor contributed to the community or events at okcCoCo. They were at the okcCoCo exclusively to take advantage of our great location, facility and relatively low rental rates. So, in retrospect it is not at all surprising that these tenants decided to move elsewhere when the core of our proposal at the new facility was the expansions of community spaces, services and events, without corresponding improvements in the office spaces.

With this new understanding, we came to believe that the okcCoCo would best be served by focusing on providing community services including space for coworking, user groups and events, rather than on providing office spaces to anyone who was able to pay. Thus we started our search for a very different type of location. However our search was even more constrained. We were forced to look for smaller spaces because of our monthly revenues were now cut in more than half by the departure of so many tenants. We also needed to find a space ready to move in with very little renovation because of the time crunch. This was a challenge.

After much searching and many site visits, we found an ideal property that was at one time the offices of a physical therapist. It had a large common area, and handful of patient rooms that would work well as conference rooms. The space was modern, and only needed minor renovations. Moreover because of the reduced size, the rental rate was within our budget. We proceeded to negotiate a lease, create designs and plans for the space, had contractors provide quotes for the renovations and put together a timeline for moving into the facility that would keep our doors open without interruption. To our great disappointment, at last minute, the landlord decided to withdraw from the negotiation for what I can only describe to be arbitrary and capricious reasons. Even after efforts to resolve the situation, we were unable to move forward.

Here we are today, back on page one, looking for a new space. Because the lease at our current location is almost up, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend operations until such time that we can find and renovate a property that will serve the community for years to come. We’ve put in a lot of hard work to make the okcCoCo what it is and will continue to do our best open a new okcCoCo as soon as possible. We ask for your patience while we work to make this happen.

okcCoCo Reboot 0

Techmas Holiday Party!!! 0

Let us jingle your bells at the Third Annual Techmas Holiday Party

To celebrate the holidays this year, the okcCoCo is inviting the entire tech community (okcCoCo members, freelancers, employees of local tech companies, and members of okcCoCo user groups) for a night of drinks, food, entertainment and holiday cheer.

We’re holding this party in benefit of , a Horse and Dog rescue run by Maeghan Hadley. We’re asking for a minimum donation of $10 to attend. A silent auction for cool technology
items will be held.

When: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
Time: 7:00pm
Where: okcCoCo 723 North Hudson Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Spouses are welcome!

We are looking for sponsors to donate holiday prizes (new or used technology) that we can give away to attendees or put up in our silent auction. If you are a business and would like to sponsor some Christmas cheer,


okcCoCo will be providing Holiday drinks!

Black Dog BBQ will be providing a great BBQ dinner!

Pre-Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 0

An event for entrepreneurs not to miss!

Pre-Entrepreneurship Bootcamp: What You Need to Know and Do Before Starting a Business on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m at the Div

We need your help 0

We are thrilled to have recently launched into our 3rd year of coworking and community collaboration here at the Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative. We believe that this year will be our best year by far. We are planning and hosting even more events and expanding our services aimed at fostering the technical, creative and entrepreneurial communities in Oklahoma City. To accomplish this, we need your help, now.

The okcCoCo is supported exclusively by its members and member businesses. We have been very lucky to have had many generous individuals support our efforts over the last two years. If you are a current or past okcCoCo member, we owe you a great debt. Thank you very much for your support.

How can you help the okcCoCo? We have a number of memberships that provide services that might be of value to you or your business. We have inexpensive memberships such as our $15/month community membership. We have memberships for businesses that allow flexible use of our facility for business meetings, events or offsite work for employees. We also rent out space including our classroom, conference room and social area for all sorts of events. We have hosted marketing seminars, corporate board meetings, professional retreats, conferences, and even high school graduation parties.
We also accept and are very thankful for financial, software or equipment donations brought or sent to the okcCoCo.

Is there a way to help okcCoCo without becoming a member? Yes! We rely heavily on the time and effort people put into creating and running community events that we host at the okcCoCo. We’ve had over twenty professional groups meet monthly here at the okcCoCo since our launch. We’ve hosted dozens of community events. The passion and work of well over 100 members and non-members alike went into making these events come to life. If you are interested in creating an event, building a community or simply sharing your passions with others, we welcome you to come talk to us about how we can help you build something new and awesome.

It would be hard to understate the value of personal referrals, recommendations, and positive reviews of the people who use and attend events at the okcCoCo, whether that be in person via word of mouth or online via social media. Telling friends and colleagues about okcCoCo and our coworking space, our office spaces, our events and our business services is extremely valuable to us. We rely on the voice of the community. Thank you if you have or will share our story.

Why would I help the okcCoCo? okcCoCo is focused on improving the technical, creative and entrepreneurial opportunities, resources and community in Oklahoma City. That can mean a lot of things, but as we see it, it means more jobs, more startup businesses, more events, more educational opportunities, stronger community, more attention from local government to the valuable contributions we make that help create a thriving, growing city and economy.

Looking back at the last two years, we have accomplished more than we ever thought possible, thanks to the contributions of the community. We have built a coworking facility where dozens of people work daily, dozens of businesses share our coworking and meeting space, and ten businesses have private office space. We’ve been able to connect freelance professionals and business with each other as well as with new clients seeking services. Through our events we have helped to promote and foster over 100 startup businesses. We have hosted well over 200 professional and user group meetings.
We have launched new events including BarCamp, Red Dirt RubyConf, Gov20a, Code4aCause, Throw Your Voice, MobileBeta, Red Dirt Javascript. We’ve partnered with organizations like the Greater Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce and i2E to host events focused on entrepreneurship such as OpenBeta, Global entrepreneurship week, and Startup weekend and to help our companies participate in other events such as SXSW, The Entrepreneurs Conference, and Innotech.

Individuals and businesses, we, as a community, have built something special that did not exist here before, and does not exist in many many other cities. If we want this to continue, we will need your help. Please reach out to help us make this our best year yet.

The okcCoCo Founders

Seminar: DDD, TDD & BDD: Cutting through the acronyms 0

Looking for a half-day primer on the latest best practices in software engineering? Come join other Oklahoma engineers at a free half-day seminar on DDD, TDD and BDD led by Ray Lewallen. Thursday, September 8, 1pm-5pm at okcCoCo. More details can be found on the Telogical Systems website. Register Now!

New Developers Group: okcDroid for Android Developers 0

okcDroid will hold it’s first meeting on August 18th at 6:30pm at the okcCoCo. This first meeting will be a charter meeting. Discussions will be had around what the community would like to see out of a Android Developers User Group in the Oklahoma City metro area. Follow for updates.

BrightBit opens office at the okcCoCo! 0

We’re happy to have BrightBit choose the okcCoCo as their home base in Oklahoma City!

BrightBit is a team of creatives and technologists, recognized leaders in web and mobile app development. They have years of experience crafting applications of all sizes. They think a close relationship with clients and quick development cycles are the keys to making a great app. Working with the most popular tools and best practices means less hassle down the road and faster deliverables. Building apps shouldn’t be a pain for customers. They believe in using the best tools to help bring amazing apps to life while also being simple to use, and are strong advocates of open-source platforms and web standards.

Gov20a 0

G is for Geek 0

New publication by okcCoCo member Amber Parrow!

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