• AndrewC

Urla is quickly becoming Turkey's tech city.

We interviewed Patrick Bosteels the10-year startup veteran, Co-founder of Urla.

Urla is a coastal town of Izmir, 3rd biggest city of Turkey. Normally people associate this town with holidays but there is a very good tech university here. We wanted to be THE coworking and concretion space for Urla. Actually, it would be called Stage Coworking (our main brand is Stage-Co), but we understood soon enough that Turkish people have difficulty pronouncing 2 English words, so we picked Urla to create awareness and of course for search results.

-What seems to be the business problem or challenges that you have today? What keeps you awake at night?

Well, of course, paying the bills, as not much is happening in the coworking seats at the moment. We have a big theater room (a former cinema, actually) and it was filled with people 4 months ago. We wonder when people will be allowed to come together for art and/or learning, creating together. And will they still want it... how long will it take to cover our loss.

-What seems to be the business problem or challenges that you have today? What keeps you awake at night?

We have a passion for coworking and co-creation, collaboration (actually these are our mottos). We love working with startups for a better future, we run workshops, training, and acceleration programs. So, as challenging as it might be, creating a network and ecosystem in Urla, İzmir sounds crazy but bit by bit we find each other and connect with the rest of the world. and that is lovely :)

-How are your space and your members coping with this unprecedented situation?

Well, they miss the events, but summer is here, so they can go to their summer houses and work from home. We have a WhatsApp group, so they keep in touch.

-Which actions did you do in order to remodel and prepare your space in order to keep your tenant healthy?

Well, we basically closed the space, and now it is disinfected. But we still don't make announcements like come back and work here. Our space is busier with workshops than individual people working on desks. We push virtual office and work from home these days.

-How do your members find you today?

They can google Urla (district name) and coworking and find us easily, but we have a strong presence among startup circles and entrepreneurs of the city. We give some social media ads and create online events for a continuous buzz.

-How do you see the future? Give us your projection/analysis.

Our space is a very good point for digital nomads. Urla has a lot to offer (sea, sun, outdoor activities, wineries, and amazing Mediterranean food). We were hoping to organize Digital Nomad events, and we will go in that direction because we believe the world will stay connected and people will start traveling again, only more consciously maybe. As for coworking, it might work because big companies will dissolve and they will need alternatives for skyscraper plazas, and more and more people will have to start their own business. Coworking is cost-effective, we just need to adjust to the needs of the time and conditions, that's it.

Find out more about this amazing space at URLA

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