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ShareDesk Launches Airbnb of Office Space
 

Have an unoccupied cubicle or conference room? A new service can help you rent it out and bring in extra cash.

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If you have some unused space at your office, there's a new platform that just launched you might want to check out. Like an Airbnb for office spaces, ShareDesk.net  can help you rent out a corner, conference room, or entire wing, if you like, of your business space.

It's a great idea for bringing extra cash in the door, but there are plenty of other advantages to co-working (See my story on the subject: 6 Reasons to Build Your Start-up in a Coworking Space).

Serendipitous business opportunities, shared resources, an environment charged by an influx of new energy and ideas--these are just some of the soft benefits of being a vendor on the ShareDesk platform, says Kia Rahmani, the company's CEO and co-founder.

How much can you expect to make by sharing your space? Rahmani says it depends on your location, but spaces in New York and San Francisco are going for about $250 a month and $20 a day, on the lower end. ShareDesk charges vendors 15% of the total value of the booking only--meaning if you get a renter for a week but she decides to stay for three months, ShareDesk only charges a commission on that first booked week.

For users, who aren't charged anything for using the platform, this is a steal--in more ways than one.

"If you're traveling from San Francisco to New York and you need a conference room for a few hours you'll also be able to potentially meet people in that space and create networking and opportunities that extend beyond just the space itself," Rahmani says.

After six months in alpha, ShareDesk is launching in beta today, Rahmani says the site already has thousands of monthly users and 600 properties in 350 cities in more than 50 countries. If you want to try it out as a user you're not likely to find office space in places such as Minneapolis--yet. Rahmani says that as more inventory comes onto the platform ShareDesk will be able to scale quickly.

He's optimistic because Airbnb's model has been tremendously successful, but his version, which focuses only on work spaces can also have a big impact in its respective market. He says ShareDesk's vision is to bring like-minded business professionals together during working hours to share resources; it's a much safer bet.

Users pay up front, whether they want to share a space for a day, or a year. Vendors get paid either via direct deposit to their bank accounts, or with a check. And you can sign in to ShareDesk using LinkedIn, Facebook, or email.

Currently only about 20% of the spaces on ShareDesk are in small businesses versus dedicated coworking spaces, but Rahmani says he expects that number to amp as more SMBs learn about the platform and the benefits of collaborative consumption.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2012

CHRISTINA DESMARAIS is an Inc.com contributor who writes about the tech startup community, covering innovative ideas, news, and trends. Have a tip? Email her at christinadesmarais (at) live (dot) com.
@salubriousdish




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