A co-working space for people under 28-years-old will open its doors in March.
Vibewire, which has run Innovation Lab in the Sydney suburb of Ultimo since 2006, is revamping as Common Room.
While it will cost just $50 a month for a desk in the 200m squared space which has wifi, a 10-seater meeting room and a kitchen, if you’re over 28 you’re not welcome.
“It will be home to a community of do-ers of every type, but exclusive to under 28s,” Vibewire said on its website.
The group said the reason for the cut-off is it wanted to establish a community of people starting out in their twenties.
“We want to bring together a cohort of people who are in the same boat – staring down their 20s, figuring out what’s what, but knowing one thing for sure – that they want to do something that really makes them happy,” Vibewire said.
“Now, don’t get us wrong – there’ll be plenty of opportunities at the Common Room to network with and learn from experts across all industries. But the core of the vision is about connecting young guns with young guns; giving each member a diverse network of up-and-comers.”
As a youth organisation, Vibewire was founded to be a launchpad for young people. Cass Mao, general manager of Vibewire, told Business Insider they’ve copped a bit of flack over the age cutoff but stood by the decision.
She said the organisation wanted to “bring it to the price point that was accessible”.
“We picked 28 for a couple of reasons; we’d like to have kept it at 25 but because uni takes up such a large chunk of people’s life after high school we didn’t really want to limit it to people who were still studying.
“We thought 28 seemed like a good point where you’re at the higher end anyway.”
She said if someone applied for the space and was over 28 years old, at the moment, they would not allow them to use the space.
“We’re working it out, it’s been pretty controversial,” Mao said.
“Our tax concession status has to do with a focus on youth. NSW defines that as under 25, so we’ve already stretched that because we thought that it might be too small a market and not that valuable if you only had people under 25.
“We’ll probably also accept students, no matter how old they are.”
It’s not a huge space, with capacity for just 50 people, so Mao wants to avoid having the same people using it all the time on a full-time basis.
“It’s going to be a lot to do with capacity management,” she said.