If you were lucky enough to attend Hack Coworking 2020 last month, you already know that it the magic wasn’t lost in the transition from a physical event to a completely digital one. As always, we offered our own challenge to the participants and this year, Mauro Bellani won with his submission Than Coffee. Mauro took some time to tell us a bit about himself and about what makes his winning project so promising.
Hi Mauro! Congratulations on your success in Cobot’s Hack Coworking challenge. Can you tell us about your submission Than Coffee and what problems it solves for coworking spaces?
Than Coffee is an opportunity for coworking spaces. It brings more engagement to a daily rite, the daily coffee, and social causes. It increases the sense of community between the space’s members because they can donate a virtual coffee for supporting a cause set up by the space. Science fiction? Absolutely not! It looks like a virtual donation box that fits inside the coffee corner. It is possible to build in a cost-friendly and technology-wise way.
While you’re grabbing your coffee you can donate, contactless, to a cause that the space has chosen. Than Coffee is not a magic wand solving specific coworking space problems. It prompts social participation for the users and can be implemented in varied contexts, like corporations, social clubs, associations, etc.
How did you come up with the idea?
While the lockdown was imposed in many countries I took a closer look at the industry. More than ever before, I participated in webinars, talks, and meetups. Almost every day I had the chance to communicate with coworking operators. Some Italian coworking spaces led praiseworthy initiatives to help communities, like social grocery shopping to sustain the local producers, support for local initiatives, or paying tuition for a member who cannot afford it during the lockdown. I was already familiar with a classic Naples tradition, “Caffè Sospeso” (Suspended Coffee), a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. I asked myself: “How we can use technology to bring this into a community context?” I saw an analogy between the coffee and the coworking spaces. I used available technology to bring value, not just during a pandemic.
What was your favorite part of Hack Coworking 2020?
I appreciate that a collective sense of improvisation held strong throughout the entire event. Hack Coworking was just an opportunity not just to tackle a challenge but also to hear the words from worldwide coworking insiders. I was inspired by COVID-19 Coworking stories, how the art of “making do” once again plays an important role.
Are you working on any other projects right now, or do you have anything else you’d like to promote?
I spent the last 16 months working to implement solutions to make the life inside a coworking space easier, after a bumpy road I am now totally inside the Coworking Startup life. With Proova, I want to bring a ready to use software solution dedicated to small-sized coworking space, with the right functionalities with a price they can afford it. The roadmap has just begun, but stay tuned to see our approach. I make it with a startup approach, there is still a lot to learn in this field.
Thanks again for answering my questions! Any last takeaways you’d like to share?
I am sure we will hear more and more about coworking during the next times, it’s up to us to make it smarter and wiser. Only then will the future of work be for more and more people.
If you aren’t already using Cobot as your coworking management software, give it a go! You’ll find that our features can help you run your coworking space more effectively and grow your community. Just sign up for a free trial or a live demo session. And if you have questions, our support team is all ears!