For some reason my photos aren't uploading correctly. Bear with me as I try to fix them!
The second coworking space I visited, and the only other well known space in Lima, is called Stars Camp.
I'll preface this article by saying that I didn't spend nearly as much time here as I did at Comunal, which I wrote about in a previous article. I spent three days at Comunal, whereas I got a quick tour at Stars Camp and later only spent a half day working there after trying to set up a workshop.
My overall impression is that Stars Camp has a different community and work environment compared to Comunal. It seems much more familial- which makes sense, as the three cofounders are all older women, and it's located in Lince, which is a more residential part of Lima. Where Comunal tries (and succeeds, in my experience) to be a fun, exciting place to be, Stars Camp's focus is on highlighting the startups in their space and trying to connect them with resources and expertise. The founders of both spaces recognize that they seek to serve somewhat distinct demographics- not to mention they're decently far away from each other in the city- so they have a jovial relationship.
Arriving at Stars Camp meant either taking a taxi, or using one of the buses that runs along Avenue Javier Prado. Though it's on a quieter residential street, it's perhaps a three minute walk from this main throughway. And 2 blocks away there's a supermarket.
Walking inside, you're greeted by the receptionist. The first thing she had me do was read Stars Camp's motto on the wall. Comunal had their tongue-in-cheek rules, and I suppose most any space like this will have a similar motto or credo that attempts to capture the spirit of the community within. I translated part of it below.
Here, dreams matter.
Translator's note- where I used the word begin, the orginal Spanish was "emprende", from the verb emprender. Emprender can literally be the verb form or the act of entrepreneurship, and it's often used more generally as well in the sense of beginning or forging something new. For example, you can say "emprender un camino" which would be to blaze a new trail. We would probably translate "emprende" in the sense of Stars Camp as the verb "to innovate" (entrepreneurship being a noun borrowed from French, we lack the verb form), but as you can see, the credo already uses the verb innovate just before "emprende". As a result, I've chosen to go with the more general meaning of the verb.
Around the corner to the right, there are two rooms of flex space. Remember, this is where the tenant pays a reduced fee to use a common space, where they don't have their own desk- they just grab whatever desk is open. You also often pay for less than a full 40 hour work week.
There's a bulletin board where they highlight and celebrate all the startup and business teams in their space, and on the opposing wall there is a big calendar of upcoming events. So one one side, you have the entrepreneurs climbing the wall to reach the top and become "stars", and on the other all the upcoming community events and resources that can help them get there.
The patio, where tenants can take a break, eat lunch, and relax. You're outdoors, in the sun and fresh air, but you're also still "inside" the coworking space. I think that's why patios and terraces are such great places to relax- you get a change of scenery, you're outdoors where you can be refreshed, but far away from traffic and the noise of the city, but you haven't left the building. Plus in Lima, which has a consistently pleasant temperature year round, you can always use it. I think a coworking or any kind of community space suffers for not having a patio or terrace!
Stars Camp's Zen Room, which is their community living room. Like Comunal, they use it for events. I'm beginning to see a pattern here with the bean bags and big cushions.
Upstairs, you can rent desks and even entire office rooms for your team. There are also several conference rooms of varying sizes that can be rented for meetings.
As a Stars Camp employee showed me around the space, they told me about some of the tenants. Many seemed to be software startups, more so than at Comunal. The recent success they're most proud of is a traffic app that helps drivers navigate through Lima more efficiently that was just beginning to get some traction.
As I said in the article on Comunal, next time I'd like to spend more time talking to the founders and tenants about the space. Regardless, I like that Stars Camp seems committed to the success of the entrepreneurs in its space. As an entrepreneur, I can say that it is appealing to feel surrounded by the resources and support of people who want to see you succeed. It's a cozy space where Comunal is fun and energetic. Which one you might want to work in depends on the type of business you have, your personality, and of course where you're located in Lima.
Until the next coworking space I visit!
Dillon Dakota Carroll
...sees much and knows much