HIVEN A Community Co-Working Startup That Uses Your Home, Comes To Oakland

The man in the video above is Andrés López, Community Manager with co-working startup HIVEN.
While I was visiting Perch, a local Oakland Adams Point cafe, a man walked around handing out cards to an event. When he came over, I said “Want to vlog it? I’ll put it out on my network.” So, he did.

What Mr. López is promoting is a startup company meetup that’s to occur in Empowerment Park next to Lake Merritt on Thursday, June 21 at 7 PM. It’s the startups first meetup – an evening, outdoor gathering to meet HIVEN co-workers and hosts.

That’s all well and good, but what’s HIVEN?

If you’ve never heard of HIVEN, it’s OK. it’s a Berkeley-based startup that bills itself as “a community marketplace for micro-renting home workspaces.” HIVEN is so new that it was a 2018 UC Berkeley Pitch Fest Finalist. It’s so new that it has no write-up in any tech or social media blog. It’s so new that you have to go on a detailed keyword search for information about it. That’s what this blogger did.

According to Linkedin HIVEN consists of the following people:

– Founder and CEO Christelle Rohaut
– COO Sundar Subramanian
– Software Developer Soroush Kalantari
– Designer / Community Manager Andres Lopez
– Research Assistant In Machine Learning Antoine Dedieu

How the group is paying itself if beyond me at this time, because I’ve not yet been able to find evidence that HIVEN was funded. That doesn’t mean it didn’t receive angel funding or “friends and family” funding, however.

As it turns out, both Christelle and I, who’ve not yet met, gained our Masters of City Planning degrees from Cal – UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design. But with one difference: I graduated in 1987, she just walked this year.

But’s it quite apparent Ms. Rohaut used her time studing cities to come to the idea that became HIVEN. Under her Linkedin profile on her position as CEO of HIVEN, Christelle stats with “At hīven, we are passionate about making cities more affordable for local residents and more flexible for local workers. For the hundreds of millions of freelancers and entrepreneurs out there: forget noisy coffee shops, long commute, a boring desk, or feeling isolated alone at home. Hīven creates the future of work with you, by building the largest network of home-based coworking communities. Every home, every coworker, every day are unique.”

Here’s the actual pitch of HIVEN that Ms. Rohaut gave on May 11th 2018 for the UC Berkeley Pitch Fest:

What I gathered from Christelle’s speech is that HIVEN sees the home – yours or mine – as a unused part of the co-working marketplace. There’s only 1 million square feet of co-working space in San Francisco, but 36 million square feet of co-working space demand, she estimates in her presentation.

“We are a double-sided marketplace,” Rohaut said “matching host and guest.” The host has a wifi-equipped space; the guest needs the space and is wlling to pay a smell fee to use it. HIVEN also matches co-workers by profession.

As to how HIVEN finds people to become the marketplace, Rohaut said they were handing out cards at cafes and working with the Freelancers Network in Oakland. Which explains how Lopez came to visit Perch, which happens to be across the street from the site of HIVEN’s first major meeting event in Empowerment Park.

So, if you have space in your home that you think would be great for coworkers to use, or if you’re looking for a cheap neighborhood coworking club, check out HIVEN’s meetup this Thursday in Oakland at Lake Merritt’s Empowerment Park 462 Bellevue Ave – across the street from Ahn’s Burgers.

You have to sign up to attend the party (Or do you? It’s in a public park, not a ballroom, so..) so follow this link to get an Eventbrite ticket:

Stay tuned.

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