South Africa’s Workshop17 takes honours as best co-working space at global awards 


South Africa’s leading flexible workspace solutions provider, Workshop17 was announced as the winner in the Best Co-working Space category during the 3rd Global Finale of the Global Startup Awards (GSA), the world’s largest independent startup ecosystem competition. The Global Startup Awards Grand Finale took place online on Wednesday, 27 January 2021 with the aim to find and recognize selected future-shapers in various industries that have all shown outstanding achievements in business and service to their respective communities.

As the regional winner of the 2019 season from the Southern Africa Startup Awards (Southern Africa’s Best Co-working Space), Workshop17 went head-to-head with 5 other inspiring ecosystem players and startups in the Best Co-working Space category.

“We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award and to receive recognition for our vision in providing a platform for entrepreneurship and innovation. It is a tribute to the whole South African ecosystem of start-ups and innovators, and we are honoured to have been given the opportunity to compete on a global level with game-changing co-working space providers from across the world.” said Paul Keursten, CEO and Co-Founder of Workshop17. 

“Workshop17 at the Watershed was born from the V&A Waterfront’s desire to invest in people and ideas by creating a space in which like-minded individuals and companies, whether large or small, could interact and inspire innovative and creative solutions to benefit society. We congratulate the management and team of Workshop17 for this achievement. A key measure of success of initiatives at the V&A Waterfront is growing incomes and jobs through fostering enterprise development and promoting startups and Workshop17 creates a fantastic platform for this and we want to see more make use of it.” said David Green, CEO of V&A Waterfront.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde commented on the special win: “I am very proud of Workshop17’s win in the Global Startup Awards. Over the past year, we have seen traditional office spaces having to change and adapt to the new normal, and startups like Workshop17 have provided innovative solutions for remote working. This award comes hot on the heels of Cape Town being named on Big 7 Travel’s list of the 50 best places for remote working in 2021. The Western Cape has positioned itself as Africa’s Tech Capital and offerings that allow digital nomads and major corporations alike the space and flexibility to work from anywhere, further cement our reputation and offering in this industry.”

The global award win comes on the back of Cape Town being recognised (in 42nd position) on the list of 50 Best Places/Cities for Remote Working in 2021.

Pioneer in workspace solutions

Starting in 2012 at in the inner City of Johannesburg as OPEN collaborative Workspace, the company launched the Workshop17 brand in partnership with the V&A Waterfront. From the start Workshop17 has led the movement of providing individuals, teams and organisations with state-of-the-art and innovative workspace solutions that promotes collaboration, networking, and productivity. Over the years, the company has won numerous awards and have continued to expand its footprint across the Western Cape and Gauteng provinces.

Keursten added; “Workshop17 doesn’t just create coworking spaces; we connect people and businesses, offer entrepreneurs and professionals growth through collaboration, serendipity, and more than a little magic. Our members join a thriving hive of insight, a network of opportunities, a melting pot of expert skill-sharing.

In March, Workshop17 is scheduled to open its new The Bank facility in the trendy suburb of Rosebank in Johannesburg. This will be the sixth addition to the company’s existing footprint of central business district and suburban state-of-the-art facilities. The launch of The Bank provides an opportunity for Workshop17 to respond to the growing customer demand for workspaces in suburban areas which have grown in popularity as they are both central, and closer to the homes of many.

New way of working

For Workshop17, the office of the future is no longer a specific space in one building, but a combination of physical spaces and virtual office resources for meetings, planning and collaboration.

Keursten added, “Our vision is to support South Africans to be more productive wherever they are by providing the necessary physical and digital resources. To meet the new normal, our offering physical and virtual offices, boardrooms, hospitality services, as well as enterprise technology solutions and solutions for workspaces in the home.”

Finding and connecting future-shapers from all around the world 

Taking place every 2 years, the GSA was founded in 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark and currently cover over 105 countries from Africa, Asia, and Europe. The latest competition saw 98 global finalists all vying for the top spots in nine categories.

Through the GSA, Workshop17 won the award for Best Co-working Space in South Africa in 2018 and 2019, as well as regional Award for Southern Africa in 2019.