There are a lot of us in this space who are nomadic. We’re independents or small starups who work out of coffee houses or kitchens or small offices or garages. Co-working as a concept has been around for a while and I’ve been to a bunch of co-working offices, but yesterday, I spent the day down at NextSpace in Santa Cruz. And it was different.

NextSpace was started by a fellow Georgetown Hoya and good friend, Jeremy Neuner. They have a great location right downtown. It’s home to a lot of independents and 2-4 person startups including some you may have heard of like and uservoice, and others you probably haven’t…yet. They also have designers, developers, engineers, consultants, architects, even a few lawyers. For a look around, check out the NextSpace photostream on Flickr.

Unlike other co-working spaces, you don’t rent space–you get a memebership. The idea behind the membership is that you get access to the space including conference rooms, the “library,” the cafe, events, networking, discounts at local merchants, and most of all the other members. The memberships are tiered depending on access to the space and range from common area access all the way to private four person offices. They like to think of themselves like a healthclub, but for working instead of working out.

But above all else, what NextSpace is really selling is the community. And it’s a great community. I met a ton of cool people down there yesterday and loved it. Santa Cruz has a great emergent entrepreneurial scene. I’ll be heading back often for their Free Friday co-working in the future.

NextSpace is way more than a collection of desks. It’s a collection of people. Jeremy and his team bring together entrepreneurs, investors, ideas, events, and opportunities to build an incredible environment for independents and emerging companies to thrive.

Are you an independent or a start up? Where do you do your work? Where do you want to do your work? And what would your ideal work space look like?

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