Hector Kolonas is the founder of included.co who run a powerful Member Benefits programme that secures great deals by leveraging the aggregate buying-power of hundreds of entrepreneurial communities and coworking spaces worldwide.
We caught up with him, and chatted about Member Benefits and their often hidden value to growing coworking spaces and their members.
Oh and by the way, we’ve also integrated their Member Benefits programme right into Nexudus so your members can get the latest and greatest deals from right inside your whitelabel community platform.
Why Member Benefits and why coworking?
Before launching included, I found myself launching coworking spaces in nearly-abandoned offices after a financial meltdown on the island of Cyprus. As I got more involved with the day-to-day running, marketing and community management of coworking communities across Europe, I loved how these communities were enabling people to rebuild their work lives or even launch new projects and companies.
However, even though we’ve become used to sharing meeting rooms, coffee, kitchens and workspace; it dawned to me that we were leaving money on the table by not sharing other service or product providers.
Not only would recommendations help us save time, but buying in larger quantities would make things cheaper. It was there that the idea for included.co was born, just another idea turned into an action within a coworking space.
With so many spaces getting their community, office design and amenities perfect, members are increasingly looking at who can help their businesses spend less (and make more) money, when picking their workspace.
How long has included been running?
The first version went live on 1st October 2014 with a handful of pilot partner communities.
Nowdays we’re proud to be supporting hundreds of communities, and shrinking the costs of almost as many business products and/or services.
You call coworking spaces ‘partners’, why? Is there any cost for them to join the programme?
One of my personal drivers for launching the company was to one-day support entrepreneurship in as many local ecosystems as possible, if not all of them.
The best way to do this on a global scale was to partner up with the communities in which entrepreneurship is already being housed, supported and inspired.
For this reason, we knew that charging the workspace operators for this service would go against our global vision. Instead we knew that many of these communities were running on razor thin margins, so we built our business around charging whomever was making money through the platform, and then splitting this with the community operators.
So registering a community for included.co isn’t just free, it makes the space money whilst saving their members money.
You recently made integrations possible for platforms like ours through your ‘invisible API’, why would a relatively young startup risk the brand exposure?
Firstly, the brand of our partner communities is far more important to their local entrepreneurial ecosystem than ours should ever be. So by ‘going invisible’ we get to keep empowering entrepreneurship whilst strengthening our partners’ brands.
Secondly, brilliant community management and interaction platforms exist and are being used every day by both operators and members. We don’t think anyone wins by having to check yet another platform to see if there’s any savings or discounts available with their memberships.
Any thoughts on our Member Benefits integration?
We’re super excited to support Nexudus-powered communities, their members, and look forward to integrating even more powerful functionality right into your community platform over the next few months.
As we’re driving up revenue for the community, without using any of the community managers’ time, we believe this will be a big hit for both included and not-included-yet Nexudus clients.
How can the not-included-yet get involved?
Simply register your community via included.co/for/community-operators and when your community is approved, log into your Nexudus account and plug in your workspace ‘username’ when you enable the integration.
And just like that, you too, are included and your members will love you for it!
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