News: Mercer Island company matches unused meeting space with users

Article by Charles Bermant of the Seattle Times Business and Technology section

What:, Mercer Island

Who: Nic Peterson, 27, co-founder

Mission: Connect people who want short-term, inexpensive meeting space with suitable venues for their event.

Employees: 3 full time, 4 contractors

Financials: The angel-funded company takes 13 percent of each transaction, and "has an advertising model we haven't activated yet," Peterson said. He predicts it could be profitable in two to three years.

Planned hookup: The on-the-fly format provides a midpoint between the isolating freelance experience and the often intrusive corporate setting. Matching unused space to people looking for a meeting place benefits everyone, according to Peterson. People looking for a place to work save money and hook up in more interesting places than an antiseptic hotel-conference room. People who need to establish a satellite office for occasional use are better off paying $35 a day for a comfortable desk in a downtown office building than leasing an entire office.

Frank assessment: Both sides must follow certain safety rules. In lieu of a deposit, renters leave a credit card to ensure against damage. Prospective landlords need to be on site to help clients gain access when they arrive. There are also certain standards. "We check the properties out," Peterson said. "We don't help the average Joe rent out his garage."

Room to move: "It's good to have flexibility in a meeting space," Peterson said. "There are a lot of available places that have historical significance, and people have no idea they exist. There are a lot of small common spaces that are affordable and pleasant, and their owners can earn extra money that can help them with expenses."



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