New Work Junction, the brainchild of entrepeneur Tom O’Neill, has just opened its doors at the old AIB Bank on the Dublin Road offering a new way for budding entrepenurs, start ups and those who basically work on the move to do their business.
O’Neill, a native of Carlow who returned to Ireland from South Africa and now lives in Kilkenny, came up with the idea of providing not only work spaces and terminals for people to work from, but to provide a form of business community, an incubation of local business, where people can come to work, to meet others, swap ideas and help each other and much, much more.
“You could call it a digital hub, an incubator for local business,” said Tom who noted the Co-Worker movement which began in 2005 as his starting point for the idea. That movement has grown and grown, and Tom feels that Kilkenny, and the old bank premises he owns, is an ideal place to ‘incubate’ young business talent.
“Nowadays people work very differently, some are freelance, some have set-length contracts, others are starting their own business. And there are those with the opportunity to work from home. New Work Junction is ideal for all these. Even people who work from home with steady jobs, say you do it two days a week. There are positives, but there are negatives. When do you switch on, and more importantly switch off the work at home. The company of others, the distracti0ns that working from home brings.
“And for those setting up a business, we are just metres from the local train station to Dublin. So for important meetings, you could work from here, and just get the train up to Dublin.”
His hope for the business - “My hope is that it encourages people to work smarter. The lifestyle in Kilkenny is great, there is no need to sacrifice anything by choosing to live in Kilkenny and bring up a family here. The quality of life in the city is exceptional, but we have cutting edge technology here. Our motto is ‘Work here instead’ and already we have success stories, and that creates a great atmosphere.”
The doors are open a couple of weeks, and business is good. So good that already two start ups are in and going well, and one of those is now employing four people with the promises of further job announcements. Many others have signed up as individuals, and with the strong early response Tom is planning seminars in the coming weeks, bringing expertise in to the group and also using the expertise within the group to offer ideas.
“One of the big things, whether you work from home or just if you are working alone, is adult company, bouncing ideas off each other. New Work Junction encourages collaboration, we have a members website where all the news of what’s happening is going on, where people are posting opportunites and questions for others.”
The first month is free to try it out, and then there are scales depending on the level of membership you want. You can have a monthly social membership availing of the minimum of the facilities or a full on membership which includes varying sizes of workspaces, business address, digital hub and secure access to the premises day or night, 24/7 which after all was a former bank.
“Kilkenny attracts many types of people in business, from those who work in multinationals to those who work in the Arts and craft industruies. There is a great mix here in Kilkenny, and I suppose the city benefitted from not being part of the commuter belt. It punches above its wieght, and its not soulless.”
New Work Junction is on the Dublin Road, Kilkenny, check out their website at www.newworkjunction.com/