Detroit Startup Week Interview: Karen Burton, Making and Taking Space in Detroit

Tash Moore, head blogger for Detroit Startup Week and founder of Catch-313 social media agency interview SpaceLab’s CEO Karen Burton on Medium.

Tash Moore: Thank you so much for chatting with me? You run SpaceLab Detroit, the coworking space downtown geared toward architecture, community development, and like-minded firms. How did you discover coworking?

Karen Burton: Thanks for the opportunity, Tash. I opened my first design and drafting business years ago in Flint. I started in a 70 square foot office in an incubator just north of downtown called the Oak Business Center, which is still operating today. There were a variety of businesses there — professional services and retail with a conference room to share — but at the time everyone seemed pretty disconnected. I thought there could be a better way for businesses to share resources and collaborate.

I see [Detroit] as a top-tier entrepreneurial hub for the country. There are so many resources available and a wealth of opportunities for innovation. – Karen Burton

Freelancing as an architectural designer, the traditional “third places” like coffee shops and libraries didn’t always fit my needs or my colleagues’. We’d need a place to print construction documents and large tables to lay them out for review when meeting with clients. There were many of us solopreneurs who wanted to collaborate on larger projects, and we needed somewhere to come together. The idea for our design and construction-focused coworking space began to develop some time ago, but the timing was perfect in 2015 after I left a job. The following year, my husband Bobby left his, and we decided to pursue the SpaceLab concept together.

TM: With associated partnerships with NOMA Detroit and AIA Detroit, your space really highlights inclusion in a field that doesn’t showcase as much diversity nationally. Besides our majority-black population, what else do you believe makes Detroit special?

KB: I’m proud of my connections with those organizations, as well as with NAWIC and NABWIC, the women in construction groups. We want to highlight that professionals of color and women working in these fields that are so-called non-traditional for us are just as educated and qualified and can lead and work alongside majority companies to get the projects done. SpaceLab is a diverse shared office space with members of all backgrounds and age groups. We’re thankful that people choose to grow their businesses with us.

Women are leading the way in entrepreneurship and startups… Read the entire article on Medium >>>

SpaceLab Detroit offers a low $40 desk rental rate

Karen Burton
SpaceLab Detroit

For Immediate Release

Coworking office SpaceLab Detroit offers a low desk rental rate through January 2019 EXTENDED
Get a desk membership with 24/7 access for $40 per month

DETROIT, September 2018 – SpaceLab Detroit, a coworking and shared office community, is offering new and expanding businesses low-cost entry to prime downtown office space. Entrepreneurs can get a Flex Space (desk) membership for only $40 per month for their first three months, an 80% reduction of the monthly Flex Space rate.

“We want to give small business owners an opportunity to grow their businesses near some of the city’s most influential corporations and organizations. Being downtown, in the heart of the city’s business activity, can give a competitive advantage. And, our members have organically formed a supportive community, and are collaborating on projects and bringing each other new business,” says Bobby Burton, SpaceLab’s co-owner and COO.
Those signing up with the special rate receive all of the same amenities as regularly priced Flex Space membership: 24/7 secure keycard access to the coworking space; seating at any open desk or café’ table or counter; monthly conference room credits; all utilities and Rocket Fiber internet; a receptionist to greet guests; free beverages; and more.
To receive the special pricing, individuals will have to sign up by the end of October and commit to a total one-year Flex Space or higher membership.
For more information about SpaceLab Detroit membership, see


ABOUT SPACELAB DETROIT: SpaceLab opened in June 2017 and occupies one-and-a-half floors of The 607 building in downtown Detroit’s Financial District. The coworking and shared office community is home to professional services firms, consultants, and non-profit organizations, with many companies providing services related to the built environment. The company is a Motor City Match Space awardee and cash grant winner.


SpaceLab Detroit to open coworking space in the Financial District [Curbed Detroit]

A new collaborative work space is opening up in a historic building, this time in Detroit’s Financial District. SpaceLab Detroit will open later this spring for small business professionals, entrepreneurs, and those who just need an office downtown. The 5,200-square-foot space will include a design library… read more on Curbed Detroit


SpaceLab Detroit in Model D Development News

Opening downtown is SpaceLab Detroit, a new co-working space geared more toward building industry professionals… With a design library, conference rooms, project display areas, a community kitchen, large-format plotters, and education and networking events, president and managing partner Karen Burton is designing SpaceLab to appeal to a range of building industry professionals, from architects to community development organizations, real estate agents to interior designers. Read more at Model D Media

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