Most Influential People in Coworking in 2018

By Bernhard Mehl
April 23, 2018

By the end of 2018, there are expected to be 37,000 coworking spaces throughout the world - 370% growth from 2016.

Among the sweeping changes, there has been a strong community of influencers who have helped shape coworking into the high-growth industry it is today. These are pioneers, revolutionaries, and next-level leaders who are all tied to one very strong belief: that coworking is changing the way we work and is here to stay.

We work with hundreds of coworking spaces throughout the globe, and we feel lucky to have been an integral part in the growth of these organizations. Through our work, we’ve seen the impact coworking has had on individuals, companies, and the overall way our society thinks about the workplace.

And it is our yearly tradition to honor those who have played an integral role in helping the movement get to where it is today.

Here are the 2018 most influential people in coworking split in six categories:

  • Most Impressive Networks
  • Coworking Innovators
  • Biggest Commercial Successes
  • Most Active Community Builders
  • Coworking Originals
  • Rising Newcomers

(If you're running a coworking space and would like to know how Kisi can help in running your space more securely and efficiently, get in contact with us for special discounts just for coworking spaces.)

Most Impressive Networks

Most Impressive Networks Coworking Influencers 2018

These individuals have established themselves as thought leaders with some of the strongest communities of members, leaders, and influencers.

Mike LaRosa Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Mike LaRosa

Company: Coworkaholic

Location: Washington, DC

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

He is truly passionate about coworking. It’s most clear in his ability to bring communities together to collectively propel the industry forward.

Jean Yves-Huwart Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Jean-Yves Huwart

Company: Coworking Europe

Location: Brussels

Website: https://socialworkplaces.com/

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

He’s one of the biggest voices of coworking in Europe, and has brought together a community of coworking spaces through Coworking Europe, where we can learn from each other and discuss the future of our industry.

Tony Bacigalupo

Name: Tony Bacigalupo

Company: New Work City

Location: New York City

Website: www.tonybacigalupo.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Tony is truly passionate about the collective good of coworking, bringing together coworking owners to ensure that whoever wants to be part of the coworking movement can be.

Ramon Suarez Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Ramon Suarez

Company: Betacowork

Location: Brussels

Website: www.coworkinghandbook.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Ramon quite literally wrote the handbook on coworking, and he’s done a great job of using it to connect individuals interested in coworking from throughout the world.

Liz Elam Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Liz Elam

Company: GCUC

Location: Austin

Website: www.linkcoworking.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

She hosts the GCUC [Global Coworking Unconference Conference], and has dedicated herself to her passion of connecting and informing the industry.

Coworking Innovators

Coworking Innovators Coworking Influencers 2018

These individuals are visionaries that are pushing coworking forward both creatively and strategically.

Craig Baute Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Craig Baute

Company: Creative Density Coworking

Location: Denver

Website: www.craigbaute.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Craig uses his solid business background in his approach to coworking - at the end of the day, we’re all running businesses we want to succeed, and he a forward-thinker who can help get there.

Drew Jones Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Drew Jones

Company: OpenWork

Location: Austin

Website: www.openwork.agency

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

He has an intuition for where the future of work is heading not just within coworking, but within the entire corporate working industry as a whole.

Jamie Russo

Name: Jamie Russo

Company: LExC (League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces)

Location: San Francisco

Website: https://lexc.co/

Social media: LinkedIn

President of LExC, a boutique of coworking spaces around the world, which has revolutionized the way of coworking for its mobile members.

Chelsea Rustrum Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Chelsea Rustrum

Company: Sharers.co

Location: San Francisco

Website: www.rustrum.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

She has a true vision when it comes to the sharing economy, and has helped the coworking understand where it fits into this new revolution.

Iris Kavanagh Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Iris Kavanagh

Company: NextSpace

Location: San Francisco

Website: www.iriskavanagh.com/

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

She’s the community expert - she knows how to build, foster, and optimize growth for communities of all sizes and types. Most importantly, she’s a pleasure to work with!

Biggest Commercial Successes

Coworking Influencers Best Commercial Successes 2018

The title says it all - these individuals have achieved significant commercial success in their coworking ventures.

Adam Neumann

Name: Adam Neumann

Company: WeWork

Location: New York City

Website: www.wework.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Adam built the biggest coworking space chain in the United States. It’s hard to argue with that success!

Joshua Abram Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Joshua Abram

Company: Neuehouse

Location: New York City

Website: www.neuehouse.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

With Neuehouse, Joshua shows a serious coworking model of how work collective will look like in the future.

Nick Jones Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Nick Jones

Company: Soho House

Location: London, UK

Website: www.sohohouse.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Nick successfully built the most loyal, high-end worldwide coworking and travel community.

Jim Newton Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Jim Newton

Company: TechShop

Location: Menlo Park

Website: www.techshop.ws

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Jim started techshop in 2006, way before anyone thought about hardware startups. Now, he provides the world with a community garage full of tools to build their dreams.

Name: Davide Dattoli

Company: Talent Garden

Location: Milan, Italy

Website: https://talentgarden.org/

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

With Talent Garden in 8 countries and 23 campuses, it is clear to say that Davide has achieved great success with this innovation and coworking network platform.

Most Active Community Builders

Most Active Community Builders Coworking Influencers 2018

These individuals are gold mines for knowledge on all things coworking, and they do a fantastic building communities centered on their passions.

Jerome Chang Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Jerome Chang

Company: BLANKSPACES

Location: Los Angeles

Website: www.blankspaces.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Jerome is always contributing to help fellow coworking space owners. He also opened the the first coworking space in SoCal and SF, long before anyone else.

Alex Hillman Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Alex Hillman

Company: Indy Hall

Location: Philadelphia

Website: www.indyhall.org

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

He’s been a community builder since the start and runs the most popular coworking podcast.

Bob Summers Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Bob Summers

Company: TechPad

Location: San Francisco

Website: www.techpad.org

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

He’s a true entrepreneur, and is the perfect example of someone who can use passion to drive community.

Jared Kenna

Name: Jered Kenna

Company: 20Mission

Location: San Francisco

Website: www.20mission.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Jered’s created the landing hub for every entrepreneur arriving in San Francisco.

Jacob Sayles Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Jacob Sayles

Company: Office Nomads

Location: Seattle

Website: www.officenomads.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Community runs in through his veins: he’s a builder and contributor to Open Coworking, the coworking wiki, coworking visa, and Coworking Seattle.

Coworking Originals

coworking originals

These individuals have been part of the coworking movement since the beginning, and helped pave the way for industry influencers to come.

Miguel Mckelvey

Name: Miguel Mckelvey

Company: WeWork

Location: New York City

Website: https://www.wework.com/

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Previously founded GreenDesk with Adam Neumann, the duo sold the business and founded WeWork. Enough said!

Amit Gupta Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Amit Gupta

Company: Jelly

Location: Portland

Website: www.workatjelly.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

He introduced coworking to NYC [one of the industry’s biggest hubs] with Jelly.

James Wahba Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: James Wahba

Company: Projective Space

Location: New York City

Website: www.projective.co

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

James and his brothers stay true to community coworking in NYC and constantly experiment to bring the best experience to their members.

Tina Roth Eisenberg Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Tina Roth Eisenberg

Company: Friends

Location: Brooklyn

Website: www.friendsworkhere.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

For Tina, coworking is and has been a natural lifestyle and source of inspiration.

Alex Linsker Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Alex Linsker

Company: Collective Agency

Location: Portland

Website: www.collectiveagency.co

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Alex is one of the most consistent shapers of the coworking culture.

Rising Newcomers

Rising Newcomers Coworking Influencers 2018

The newest generation of coworking influencers, these individuals are going to play an integral role in taking coworking to the next level.

Scott Cohen Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Scott Cohen

Company: New Lab

Location: Brooklyn

Website: www.newlab.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Scott shows how an interdisciplinary, creative work facility can lift up and position an entire borough.

David Idell

Name: David Idell

Company: Croissant

Location: New York City

Website: https://www.getcroissant.com/

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

David, CEO and co-founder of Croissant has proven that this new way of utilising coworking spaces for mobile entrepreneurs is exactly what they need.

Jamie Hodari Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Jamie Hodari

Company: Industrious

Location: Brooklyn

Website: www.industriousoffice.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Industrious is the fastest growing coworking space in the US.

Zoltan Szalas Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Zoltan Szalas

Company: Croissant

Location: New York City

Website: www.getcroissant.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Zoltan made what many have waited a long time for - a space on demand from your phone.

Jason Widen Coworking Influencers 2016

Name: Jason Widen

Company: HQ Raleigh

Location: Raleigh

Website: www.hqraleigh.com

Social media: TwitterLinkedIn

Jason proves that the entrepreneurial spirit is what drives thriving coworking communities.
5d08d831370a895c58eec465
template-9
container

Phone-based systems are not just a small-business solution. CEO of Kisi, Bernhard Mehl, comments: “If you see the average of three doors connected then that might seem low but, in reality, one door relates to around 50 employees—so those are locations with about 150 people on average, including satellite offices. That’s quite significant.”

Mobile Access Control Adoption by Industry

Kisi examined which industries are investing the most in mobile access control technology. To do so, the average size of mobile access control installation projects by industry were measured. Commercial real estate topped the list with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Education management came in last with 1.0 door running mobile access per facility. 

Physical Security Statistics: Mobile Access by Industry


The number of shooting incidents at K-12 schools, according to the CHDS, reached an all-time high at 97 incidents in 2018—compared to 44 in 2017. Cloud-based access control companies, like Kisi, offer a lockdown feature for active shooter situations or emergencies, making it an effective protective layer for places that are targeted, such as religious institutions, which come in near the top of the list with 4.0 doors running mobile access per facility. 

Based on industry size, it makes sense that commercial real estate tops the list, with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Cloud-based access control enables these larger organizations to scale more seamlessly and allows large organizations, like telecommunications, to deploy the most manageable IT solutions available, eliminating the need to create and manage a business’s own IT infrastructure over time.

“Commercial real estate is, of course, the driver of mobile adoption since they have the largest buildings,” Mehl adds. “The key here is to show that mobile-first technologies are not a risk but an innovation that brings positive ROI and allows agencies to reposition their buildings as forward-thinking establishments.”

The scalabelilty and ease of use in onboarding an organization allows many different types of industries and businesses of different sizes to adapt a cloud-based access control system, either using keycard or mobile credentials for access. 


Mobile Access Control by State

Looking specifically at the United States, Kisi analyzed in which states companies are investing the most into upgrading to smartphone-enabled access systems. Of the currently installed base of access control readers, around 20 percent will be mobile capable by 2022, according to a recent IHS report. Cloud-based systems, like Kisi, are future-proof—allowing over-the-air updates in real time and unlimited scalability for users.


“Mobile unlock technology makes you think of the major tech hubs like New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles,” Mehl adds. “Looking at which states have the largest projects, it’s surprising and refreshing that those are not the typical ‘tech cities, and yet that’s where access control technology really makes an impact.” The fact that the largest projects are seen in states outside of the typical tech startup landscape is evidence that mobile access control is highly applicable across industry sectors.


For further questions about this study, reach out to Kait Hobson (kait@getkisi.com)

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.

Stay updated with Kisi about news and feature releases

Free access to our best guides, industry insights and more

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Kisi
Useful Resources
Guides