Nine killer coworking spaces in Oslo
ooking for a cool place to work in Oslo? You’re in luck, as coworking spaces have been blossoming in the Norwegian capital.
Right in the center of town lies MESH, a coworking space that was set up in 2012. One of its original cofounders, Kriszti Toth, described it as the first of its kind in Oslo which has become “the leading independent initiatives for Norwegian entrepreneurs.”
Here are eight other coworking spots to choose from in Oslo, each with its own niche and personality, which are featured in our Startup Guide Oslo book.
1 – Oslo House of Innovation (OHOI)
📍Skippergata 22, 0154 Oslo
One of OHOI’s co-founders, Knut Wien, says the space may be “for the first-time entrepreneur, but it’s not for the first-day entrepreneur.” This means that while desks are available on a fixed or flex basis, and applicant startups can come from almost any sector, they must have already secured some funding from investors before being able to qualify for membership.
OHOI was founded in late 2016 by three major players in Norway’s startup scene: Startup Norway, Angel Challenge and Kjeller Innovasjon.
2 - MESH
📍Tordenskioldsgate 3, 0160 Oslo
At a time when the local entrepreneurial ecosystem was rather bureaucratic, MESH started in 2012, becoming one of the first of its kind in Norway.
MESH is centrally located in Oslo’s gallery district, has hundreds of members, and its focus goes beyond growing startups in the tech field. The space welcomes businesses from all spectrums and members can lease desks on a fixed or flex basis, as well as offices from one person to thirty people.
3 – Bitraf
📍 Pløens Gate 4, 0181 Oslo
Bitraf was founded by a group of five friends in 2012 after graduating. Their aim was to establish the same sort of environment that they had in their uni programs, where they had access to hackerspace.
Located in bustling Youngstorget, Bitraf is spread across three floors, each with a different emphasis: one for electronics, one for a workshop and one for standard offices. Anyone can drop in and visit Bitraf for free, as long as at least one member is present. But only members can use the major equipment, including 3D printers, laser cutters, a lathe and a CNC milling machine.
4 – SoCentral
📍 Sentralen, Øvre Slottsgate 3, 0157 Oslo
Located in two of the top floors at culture and social innovation house Sentralen, SoCentral is a unique coworking environment with spacious and modern work areas. A significant chunk of SoCentral’s members are entrepreneurs, and some of them are intrapreneurs: people that work on innovative projects from within established companies, the public sector and the volunteer sector.
SoCentral is designed to connect people, and according to its community manager, Marie Harbo, “there are a lot of complex issues in the world today, but if we connect people from different perspectives, the problems are more likely to be solved.”
5 – Oslo International Hub
📍 Oscars Gate 27, 0352 Oslo
Oslo International Hub was originally created to tackle the old issue of a glass ceiling effect that was keeping non-Norwegians out of the startup circle. Nowadays the hub’s location is in a marvelous 150-year-old mansion in Oslo’s posh Frogner neighborhood.
It offers offices as well as fixed and flex desks which can be used in a unique style of membership arrangement. Desk space can be rented by the hour, the half day or evenings only. Current members cover a wide range of disciplines: from tech startups to import businesses and publishing companies.
6- 657 Oslo
📍 Fredensborgveien 24 D, 0177 Oslo
657 Oslo is located on one of the city’s well known streets: Fredensborgveien. Its co-founders, Anniken Fjelberg and Joachim Levin wanted to merge their branding and advertising backgrounds as well as meet the needs of the community in creating their coworking space.
Now nearly 200 creative professionals occupy the offices on the second and third floors. This is hardly surprising, what with the variety of work space on offer, a uniquely beautiful event space and multiple 3D printers available for use throughout the building.
7 – Sentralen
📍 Øvre Slottsgate 3, 0157 Oslo
Housed in downtown’s old Christiania Savings Bank, Sentralen exploded onto the Oslo startup scene in early 2016. Its founders wanted first and foremost to create a home for culture. Sentralen was also the result of their interest in solving the local need for flexible coworking spaces.
In the building there are several unique event spaces, including the Marble Hall as well as The Vault. The space’s current customer base includes social entrepreneurs and cultural producers that present a range of artistic experiences for live audiences (e.g. performances by ensemble orchestras and dance companies).
8 – Fellesverkstedet
📍 Urtegata 11, 0187 Oslo
Behind a large set of graffitied factory doors in Oslo’s Grønland neighborhood is a two-storey warehouse – home to a large shared workshop called Fellesverkstedet. Here you’ll find equipment like laser cutters and woodshop tools. Aside from a coffee pot on a counter, and a couple of tables with chairs – some designed and constructed on site – there is no lounge area. People come here to work.
Fellesverkstedet is proud of its democratic philosophy: use good equipment, make access cheap, and help people build what they’ve so far only imagined. To add to their egalitarian principles, there is an open door policy, so anyone can come in and book time with the tools.
9 – TheFactory
📍 Nedre Vollgate 3, 0158 Oslo
Established in April 2016, TheFactory responded to the need for a coworking space focused on fintech. “We are vertical-focused and ready to provide a solid foundation for future tech companies”, founder Ingar Bentsen said.
The environment in TheFactory gives local fintech entrepreneurs the perfect opportunity to meet experts in banking and law as well as other potential mentors in order to get insider knowledge for their budding company.
Just so you’re aware of how we selected the spaces for the Oslo guide, we sorted through hundreds of nominations from the community before a local advisory board helped us curate the final list.
All photos: Startup Guide
*This article was originally published on October 17th, 2018 and updated on December 10th, 2018.