Broadband and phone service provider TalkTalk are today opening a new 7-storey office in Soho that is designed to showcase the ISP's services, as well as provide an incubator environment for start-up businesses.
The office - previously the headquarters of Tascali, which was acquired by TalkTalk a year ago - will have a customer experience centre on the first floor, designed to offer free Wi-Fi and internet access to its customers.
The second floor will provide a special members' area for TalkTalk customers, complete with internet access and even bookable meeting rooms.
Other floors in the office property will provide desk space for fledgling businesses from the digital media industry. 150 workstations have been set aside in an open-plan office environment, which were mostly advertised and snapped up through word-of-mouth.
According to The Guardian, one of the entrepreneurs taking advantage of TalkTalk's office space scheme is Rob Evans from the App Business, a former Media Arts Lab employee who worked with Apple on their advertising campaigns.
"The location of the new office is great," says Rob. "We have quite a few clients and other agencies round there with whom we do quite a lot of work, so it's very convenient."
He adds: "It is easier to attract people to work for you if you have a bright new office in the middle of Soho. It feels like you are going places. But we also know the people who we're sharing our floor with: you want to be with businesses that can help you and with which you can partner."
Another start-up taking the office space in Soho is consultancy Qubit Digital, which was founded by three former Google employees.
"We want to be around other innovative startups," commented Ian McCaig, co-founder of Qubit. The company had previously shared office space with online design group mydeco, but as Ian explains, TalkTalk's new Soho offices provides the ideal networking experience.
"One of the reasons we left Google was that we wanted to be part of a startup again. But I think you need to be around other businesses that can help you along the way."
TalkTalk's Soho office is due to be opened by chairman Charles Dunstone, along with chief executive and ex-Sainsbury's executive Dido Harding.
Published by Jo on Monday, 19 April 2010 at 10:04 AM