In this interview, we talk to Jana (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jana-ehret-3b5a46130/), who is one of the two ladies who founded CoWork and Play (https://www.co-work-play.de/). CoWork & Play just opened the second floor, doubling their capacity for co-workers in Frankfurt’s Ostend (East End, approx 10 minutes walk from the new European Central Bank). In the interview, we talk about their concept and their announcement to open a second location in the heart of Frankfurt.
Tune in to learn more.
If you like to know what it is like behind the scenes, have a look here:
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[00:00:06] System: Welcome to startuprad.io your podcast and YouTube blog covering the German startup scene. With news, interviews, and live events.
[00:00:20] Joe: Hello and welcome everybody. This is Joe from startuprad.io your startup podcast and YouTube blog from Germany in English. And today I have here the co-founder of Co-work and Play, but you admittedly told me you’re not only the co-founder but also the interior designer here at this place. Congratulations, you did a really good job Yana.
[00:00:42] Yana: Thank you
[00:00:44] And we are here in the Ostend, the most eastern part of Frankfurt and it’s, I think, like a few hundred meters to the new headquarter of the European Central Bank.
[00:00:58] Yana: Yes, the European Central Bank is about ten minutes away from here.
[00:01:03] Joe: Just walking distance, right?
[00:01:05] Yana: Yes
[00:01:05] Joe: Okay and this is the newly built area because there used to be a lot of storage houses and all of this stuff and so they were just torn down and new buildings built. And we are right now here in terms of new building on a new floor because you had your Co-work and Play in the floor above. And now you’re expanding, and can you give us a little idea what Co-work and play are and how much we’re talking about just in terms of square meters here. For the Americans, one square meter approximates 3 square feet.
[00:01:44] Yana: Yes, so the Co-work play is the first family-friendly co-working space in Frankfurt. This means we have an area especially for kids between half a year and three years. Next, to that we also have a big event space, so we have a lot of clients who are not co-worker here but join the space for having wonderful meetings in a very extraordinary space, in a very playful space. Because you also already mentioned I’m the interior designer here as well and we thought about creating a room which is especially, which is special, and which is colourful and it’s thinking out of the box actually.
That`s so you when you come here as a co-worker or an external client you feel like coming home, joining us in our living room.
[00:02:49] Joe: Yeah, pretty much you have some you cannot see this from here the video setting but over there there’s some really big couches also the living room pretty much matches. How much square meters were you talking about on this floor?
[00:03:03] Yana: In the first, we started the first floor when one hundred one thousand and two hundred square meters. Now we have one extra one thousand two hundred square meters so we’re talking about two hundred and four hundred square meters.
[00:03:18] Joe: Two thousand four hundred square meters yeah. For the forty Americans that’s like six, it’s like almost seven half thousand square feet just co-working space, here in prime real estate in Frankfurt not too far away from the European Central Bank and everything else that is here.
[00:03:37] Yana: Right, especially what’s very nice too is the mine. The mine is about two five minutes away from here, so you can spend your lunchtime at the mine.
[00:03:48] Joe: Yeah, it’s very nice at the river and you have a very highly frequented bridge that all the trains take over. You can sit there have your lunch and just watch the trains going back. Plus, there is a cafe that is in a place that used to be a crane to unload the ships, boarding on the riverbanks and so it’s very nice on three floors. It’s very awesome I like it.
[00:04:15] Yana: Yeah and very good food as well. Just one problem, just too good.
[00:04:24] Joe: And there many more special things about Co-work and Play but from what we understand right now, you are here in this location, you are one of the founders. And the other special thing is you have another woman as a co-founder, right?
[00:04:41] Yana: Right, well one of the teams that consist of two female founders, so this is very unique, and the other uniqueness is that we are we have no big investor behind that, so we do it just the two of us. My co-founder Yvonne and me and with a lot of help from our families and friends.
[00:05:04] Joe: Good to have such friends and yet you just today you announce that you not only have this location here, but you’re so also going to expand on to Zile. For everybody who’s not from Frankfurt, Zile is a very busy shopping street where you’re not permitted to drive in your car. And I’ve heard rumours that it’s the street, the shopping street that generates the most revenue in Germany in total.
[00:05:33] Yana: Yes, today at five of five o’clock at night, we open no way use you
[00:05:45] Joe: You signed it?
[00:05:47] Yana: we signed the deal yesterday actually but today, at night at five o’clock in the morning they get fully honk outside
[00:05:58] Joe: The outside sign yeah.
[00:06:01] Yana: So, we are going to open in an autumn Kovach play in Myzeil, which is the biggest shopping center here in Frankfurt and actually the heart of the city.
[00:06:20] Joe: We talked before and the thing you don’t offer there is like caretaking of babies, toddlers, and kids. It’s pure co-working.
[00:06:29] Yana: It’s pure co-working and event but we already have some ideas we can change that.
[00:06:36] Joe: Ah that’s pretty cool. I’ve also seen like we will show you now some video footage of the spaces around here. Keep in mind they’re still under construction. It’s not publicly opened yet this floor so if something, like is lying around, don’t worry about it. Nothing happens and when our viewers see this footage basically you made it very cozy very nice, you have you have what surprised me a really huge meeting room with an amazingly big table. We can have big meetings and stuff like this.
[00:07:14] Yana: Yes, yes, we have a big meeting room for about 30 people sitting around the table it’s called Darjeeling Express. Yes, I’m a big film fan and this is one of my favorites and I really love that room because it makes you it gives you a kind of feeling of Indian. It’s not finished yet so there must come some decoration. But it’s a very nice room having a meeting in Frankfurt but with the feeling of being in India.
[00:07:46] Joe: And I’ve seen many very renown corporate names on your meeting list like digitalization Department of a large bank, a company a beverage company everybody would know is having events here. So, it appears to be going pretty well right?
[00:08:07] Yana: Yes, all of them are coming, I think we did something right. Although also the people who have big conference rooms at their offices coming here and I once asked someone from a big flying company and asked him hey why are we coming here in Hilton? He told me because it’s so beautiful I’m coming here and it’s so cozy, you’re so friendly, and everything works well and the most important thing and no one can disturb you. So, you come here for your off-site. You can stay here no one gets, no one disturbs you, no phone call, no sun, no one’s can come to you to your meeting say hey there is something or someone called.
You have your time to yourself and you’re for your business.
[00:09:02] Joe: And you make all the little babies and kids that are walking around upstairs you make them collect all the cell phones, right?
[00:09:10] Yes, they love the cell phones, but a very nice thing was two days ago we had we had an event and I was working with two-year-old working around the co-working space upstairs. And there were people okay do you know what’s up he goes straight to this room open the cupboard I was like Hello it’s like the people all the people are sitting in it was a big bang and like oh hello how are you and we’re oh okay this is my new event manager this is you know we start very early training them.
So this is very nice too because it shows the people even if you’re totally concentrated doing your business stuff there is more than just business there is a life next to it. And this is how the kids show them, makes them laugh and get them back to normal life and then they have this creative break and come back to the business stuff after that.
[00:10:21] Joe: Like a creative break
[00:10:23] Yana: Right
[00:10:24] Joe: Okay and what I also realize you have a lot of events. Last time I’ve been here I was here at the launch event of the startup at Frankfurt which will be in stores I do believe in December. It will be printed physically and admittedly I’m also working with the startup guide, so I may be a little bit tainted here. So, I do believe that was everything we want to talk about so far is there anything important I forgot?
[00:10:55] Yana: The pencil when it when this video is going to show because we are an opening in September. We’ll have the housewarming party at this wonderful new location. It will be a lot of parties, and good food and music. And the opening of the new area and the Myzeil will be in October I guess.
[00:11:16] Joe: My entire shopping center in the center of Frankfurt like in mind – we will tweet about it as much as we can
[00:11:23] Yana: Right
[00:11:24] Joe: Thank you very much
[00:11:27] Yana: Thank you
[00:11:34] System: That`s all folks. Find more news, streams, events, and interviews at www.startuprad.io Remember sharing is caring.