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Oxford MBA venture offers quirky meeting spaces to inspire creativity in corporates

(L-R) Jan Hoffmann-Keining and Julian Jost 

An online service to help companies change the way they meet by connecting meeting organisers with unique spaces has been co-founded by Oxford MBA alumnus Julian Jost. Located in Berlin, Spacebase currently features over 1,500 curated venue space in 14 cities across the world, including in Cape Town, Tel Aviv and Hong Kong, as well as in numerous European cities.

Julian and Jan Hoffmann-Keining, both former strategic consultants and long-time friends, took the decision to launch Spacebase after becoming frustrated by conventional meetings, feeling they were often both time-consuming and unproductive. Going beyond their personal frustration, they found the average employee spends 31 hours in meetings a month, costing US businesses alone $106 billion. Julian and Jan were convinced that the time and resources devoted to meetings could be put to better use.

‘The most worthwhile meetings focus on bringing people together to stimulate creative problem solving, strategic thinking and collaboration. The venue is crucial to the energy and success of a meeting,’ says Julian. ‘We offer a new approach to traditional business meetings. Spacebase enables companies to hold their meetings in unique spaces, such as an old theatre in Amsterdam, an indoor farm in Berlin, or even a boxing ring in Munich, which allows them to reinvigorate their staff and find new and unexpected solutions and ideas. Plus our venues often offer a cheaper alternative to traditional spaces, such as hotel conference rooms.’

Launched in early 2015, Spacebase allows businesses and corporate companies to easily and quickly find and book unusual and quirky meeting spaces through an online platform.  Based around the principles of the sharing economy, Spacebase is mutually beneficial for meeting organisers, staff attending meetings, companies, and the venues.

‘I developed a strong interest in the sharing economy while studying an MBA at Oxford Saïd. The idea that a venture can create collaboration between different stakeholders and offer a service that meets all of the competing demands of the stakeholders through simple but effective processes made complete sense to me,’ says Julian. ‘I always had a passion for entrepreneurship and I chose to go to Oxford as entrepreneurship is really at the heart of their MBA. Several of my classmates were already entrepreneurs before the MBA, so were able to offer hard earned advice and guidance when we were launching Spacebase. In fact, one of my classmates actually introduced me to our main investor.’

With around 50% growth month-on-month, Spacebase is rapidly growing their customer base and enabling corporate companies to meet the growing demand for innovative and creative thinking that will allow them to stay ahead of fast-moving and flexible start-ups. Julian’s long term goal is to ‘completely transform the way in which people meet, and to become the go-to booking platform for all business events worldwide.’

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