Written by Samantha Draper for the CIT’s Excite magazine.

You won’t find rows of confined cubicles or any uncomfortable office chairs here. What you will find is a co-working space, a tech incubator and a business accelerator filled with entrepreneurs and their growing businesses. While it may not quite be Silicon Valley, this is where you’ll discover a diverse group of people trying to make a big impact in Canberra (and of course, the world).

The culture of the 9-5 job is changing, and coworking spaces are shaking up the status quo.
Welcome to Level 5, home to Canberra Innovation Network, Entry29, KILN Incubator and the GRIFFIN Accelerator. This is where you will find a community of passionate like-minded entrepreneurs giving it their all to revolutionize the way things are done in a particular industry.

We asked the community about their thoughts on startups, co-working spaces and of course, innovation. Here’s the top 3 answers from each question that we either loved, laughed at or found all too relatable.

Why is it great working in a co-working space/incubator/accelerator?

  • Strong sense of community
  • Exposure to great opportunities
  • Affordable business accommodation (and housing if it all goes bad… just kidding)

What’s your personal definition of a startup?

  • People who want to change the world
  • A group of people fighting against all odds
  • People who don’t want a normal job

What is innovation to you?

  • Solving a problem in a unique and practical way
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Taking what works, doesn’t work or exist and flipping it on its head

Explain what it’s like working in a startup in less than 7 words:

  • Scary as hell but fun too
  • Not a lot of sleep/money
  • Freedom to screw up

In one hand you’ve got a community to support you, and on the other hand you’ve got the opportunity to work on something you are super passionate about. Let’s be honest here, working from home can sometimes get lonely. While your mum or housemate may not fully understand all the hours you’re investing on building your startup, there’s a whole community of people out there who do. Working alongside a group of passionate and ambitious people may just be the trick to kick your butt into gear and smash your goals. If anything, it will really improve your table tennis game.

Do you have a story we should feature?