Coworking Start Up School

So you’re ready to start a coworking space? Owning a coworking space can be extremely rewarding. But you likely are feeling a bit overwhelmed and have a LOT of questions. How do I get started? How do I find a space? What size should my space be? How many offices should I have? What technology do I use to run the space? What does a Community Manager do all day and how do I hire a good one?

In the Coworking Startup School™ I take you step-by-step through a proven process to help you create a successful coworking space that you design to match your goals. Through modules that are a combination of videos, slides, activities, and plenty of examples, stories and checklists, I will guide you through the Coworking Space Business Validation System™.

If you are ready to realize your dream of opening a coworking space, read on.

Cheers to you for taking the first step to starting your own Coworking Space!

Cheers to you for taking the first step to starting your own Coworking Space!


Hi, I’m Jamie Russo. I founded two coworking spaces - one in Chicago, one in Palo Alto, California. I was the President of the League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces, I am the Executive Director of the Global Workspace Association and I host the Everything Coworking Podcast.

Through this combination of roles, I have deep, first-hand experience in coworking as well as unparalleled access to industry knowledge, best practices, experience and leadership.

Through my Coworking Startup School™ and Coworking Flight Group™ program, I have helped dozens of people just like you realize their dream of launching a successful coworking space.

I created the Coworking Startup School™ because my super power is breaking the complex into manageable chunks, I have a very strong operations orientation and I am also very comfortable with spreadsheets (I have a MBA from the University of Chicago in finance and entrepreneurship). Our industry is exploding and if you want to be a part of it, I want you to have tools and support you need to be successful.

How the Coworking Startup School Works


Work at your own pace

Each step of this process may take you less or more time than someone else starting their own space. Take as long or as little time as you need to go through each phase of the Validation Process.


Use my structured worksheets

to stay disciplined. Each part of the Validation Process feeds into your business model and pro-forma.


Get access to live humans when you need it

Get access to a Slack Group to engage with other operators and get input when you need it.


Office hours with Jamie

During your first month to ask questions and get advice.

What you’ll learn


How to design and launch a sustainable coworking space that aligns with your goals.

Through 12 step-by-step modules, you’ll learn get the information and tools you need to:

  • Know who you serve: You’ll be so clear on your customer that by the time you open your doors, attracting members feels like hitting the Easy button.

  • Get the real estate piece right: By learning how to work with the right broker, set requirements to get the right location and sign a favorable lease, you’ll lay the groundwork for long-term success.

  • Design your business: Determine your product mix, your culture and your financial goals for the space to make sure you grow a business that works with your life.

  • Get the full suite of technology needed to handle billing, door access, wireless access points, marketing campaigns and more.

  • Get marketing systems in place to attract members


Who this Course is For?

Coworking Space Owners that want to Save Time, Limit Mistakes and Have More fun on the Journey

This course is for you if you’re committed to opening a coworking space and you want to leverage a proven process to ensure that you design a successful coworking business from the start. Coworking spaces, if done well, can change your life and those of your members. Let’s make sure we do this right.

The Coworking Space Startup School modules

  1. Create your Target Member: Knowing who you serve is the foundation of all of your business decisions. Our first activity is getting super detailed on who you’re serving, and how you’re serving them.

  2. Building Your Team of Qualified Professionals: Learn all about who you need on your team, how to find them, how to qualify them and how to budget for them.

  3. Validate your Location: Learn how to get the data to determine potential locations. This business is real estate and baby, it’s all about location, location, location. Gotta get this part right!

  4. Determine your Product Mix: Based on your target, member, you’ll develop a product mix worksheet that you will use to build your pro-forma and design your space.

  5. Choose Your Space Size: We’ll go through a process to help you determine what size coworking space you will create and help you to choose a path to finance the startup costs.

  6. Draft Your Pro-Forma: Let’s make sure that the decisions we’ve made so far create a pro-forma that matches our business goals.

  7. Conduct your Space Search: Learn how to evaluate potential sites for your space to ensure they align with your target member and pro-forma.

  8. Get a Test-Fit, Validate Build-Out Costs and Determine your FFE Budget: Time to pull in your team to get the estimates you need to ensure you’re still on track with serving your member and your financial goals for the space.

  9. Determine pricing and Validate your Pro-Forma

  10. Sign that Lease! Get the ins and outs of negotiating and working with a real estate attorney to sign your lease.

  11. Kick-Start your Marketing Success: Nail the basics and setup your sales funnel.

  12. Determine your Coworking Tech Stack: I will hold your hand all the way through this! It won’t be too scary, I promise!

  13. Setup for Hiring Success: When to hire, what a community manager does, and how to find a good one.


Discovering the Everything Coworking podcast was a revelation; a fantastic introduction into the mysterious and largely undocumented new world of coworking that we’d decided to enter. We quickly followed up with the Coworking Startup School, which took things deeper and allowed us to ask specific questions related to our model. Equally importantly that investment includes a lot of follow-up options for before and after opening the space.
— Richard from Australia
Jamie has an amazing breadth of knowledge. She is an incredible resource for both information and connections with other folks in the coworking space. She’s also super articulate and makes information digestible into bite-sized chunks ;-).
— Ellen from Oakland

What are you waiting for? Join the Coworking Start up School!