Connect with Bengaluru’s Startup Community at These Creative and Affordable Hostels
For startups working on tight budgets, a penny saved is a penny earned. Keeping this in mind, people in India’s start-up hub of Bengaluru are investing in a different kind of concept – affordable and comfortable hostels offering accommodation, facilities and events targeted at the local and out-of-town startup community. Not only are startup hostels convenient and cost-effective, they are also a great place to mingle with like-minded individuals in Bengaluru, a city that is often touted as India’s Silicon Valley. The Construkt Startup Hostel is Bengaluru’s first-of-its-kind initiative, offering a start-up boarding facility plus community space. The inspiration for it came to co-founder Shashikaran Rao during a visit to Berlin where he was interacting with the entrepreneurial community. On his return, Rao conducted a small survey to evaluate how much money people in the startup sector were spending on business travel. Based on the responses of 2000 startups, he learned that there was a requirement of at least 18,000 room nights per year across the country for travelling startup entrepreneurs. Convinced that he was on to a good thing, Rao teamed up with Karan Bahadur, a production coordinator at TEDx Bengaluru, to roll out a startup hostel on a bootstrap budget of Rs 22 lakh. The three storied Construkt Hostel is located in the plush neighbourhood of Indiranagar, one of Bengaluru’s biggest startup hubs. Painted in lively orange and white hues, the four-bedroom hostel offers bunk beds in rooms that are shared by two to eight persons. A one night stay comes for only Rs 850 and includes facilities such as a self-catering kitchen, WiFi, lounge space, laundry, meeting spaces, and more. Construkt also hosts a number of startup related events including its yearly startup festival and a radio show on entrepreneurship. Inspired by Europe’s backpacker hostel culture and the needs of the hacker community, the hostel’s tag line says: “Home for the hackpacker in you.” The hostel is creatively furnished with amenities made from upcycled products. For instance, the couch in the lounge area is a remodelled bathtub, while old electric wires have been used to make the stools. Bengaluru has several similar offerings that provide cheap but acceptable accommodations to startups, while connecting them with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the city. At The Meditating Monkeys, the founders have opened up their own homes to travellers who want a calm place to rest and an open-minded community to interact with. Their aim is to have a space where entrepreneurs with interesting ideas and projects can come together under one roof, learn from each other and share positive vibes. The Meditating Monkeys, located in Cooke Town, promises an experience that is more than just a comfy bed. The hostel provides free internet, tea and coffee, a fully equipped community kitchen, washing machines, and a self serve breakfast with a great spread of fruits, yogurt, bread and more. Another hostel called Startup House is located in the heart of Koramangala in Bengaluru. A four-bedroom co-living space, the Startup House is usually buzzing with visiting engineers, entrepreneurs, startup founders, and others who are a part of Bengaluru’s thriving startup world. The breakfast served here is home cooked and the choice of accommodation eclectic – modern private bedrooms or camping on the cosy terrace. This hostel is perfect for people who want to interact with startup folks and just need a place to crash for the night. Startup hostels provide ample opportunities to network, meet more entrepreneurs, be part of events and discussions, explore markets, and expand one’s customer base. They were set up keeping in mind the tight budgets and deadlines most startups have to contend with but are also fast becoming an entrance into Bengaluru’s booming entrepreneurial community.
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