The Coworker is a new weekly series by MTLinTECH that spotlights one Montreal coworking space every Tuesday.
Gabriel Campeau is still looking for clients to fill out his space at Le Tableau Blanc. But my, oh my, is the space enviable.
Just six months old, Le Tableau Blanc sits on a quiet street in St. Henri at 900 rue Lacasse. It’s a large open space with windows covering about 50 per cent of it.
Pieces of modern art created by Campeau’s father and cousin decorate the space while about 20 entrepreneurs and 10 startups buzz away. Their trades range from one company producing a talk-show to translators, programmers, lawyers, travel agencies and animators.,
“The first idea was to try to get visual arts freelancers and startups to join the space, but at the moment I have people from all disciplines,” said Campeau.
Le Tableau Blanc is a classic coworking space in the sense that there’s very little private office space. There are about four dedicated desks near the back of the space but the vast majority of the area is hot working areas and desks. There is one large private office rented to a company that became the first client of Le Tableau Blanc in January, so it is possible in the future that this space could be available.
The space does have a few effective conference rooms and a clean, sizeable kitchen. What really sets Le Tableau Blanc apart is simply how cool the space looks with all the art pieces and hand-crafted furniture.
The current promotion being offered is a membership for $250 per month with a three-month commitment, make Le Tableau Blanc among the least expensive options in the city. And because it’s still relatively small in its member count, a three-month stay here for this price seems like an attractive offer.
Included in the monthly price is unlimited coffee, 200 photocopies, 10 hours in the “reunion room,” five hours in a conference room and 24/7 access to the space. Members are also free to organize events in the space and they get exposure on Le Tableau Blanc’s well-designed website.
All the abundant art living within the space is for sale. If a piece gets sold another one created by Campeau’s family will be added.
“In that way my space is constantly evolving and it doesn’t stay the same. It’s creative and stimulating for our members. People can also make specific requests if they want something made,” he said.
Campeau, 29, worked in several different jobs over the years before he took a course at the SAGE entrepreneurship centre in Montreal and found his opportunity. Prior to finding the space he crisscrossed the city looking for the perfect 5000 square feet for a reasonable price. The space in St. Henri seemed like a perfect fit for a guy who grew up in Ville Emard and who’s lived in the Sud-Ouest all his life.
“I visited at least ten different spaces before I found this one,” Campeau told MTLinTECH. “The big windows were definitely something I wanted and it had to be close to the subway station, it had to be easy for parking and it had to have an artistic touch.”
The space’s founder said he liked the name “Tableau Blanc” because it’s a space where members “throw their ideas into something where everything is possible.”
Frede Rioux is a member at Le Tableau Blanc. The young entrepreneur works on her venture called #Millenya, a live show experience featuring interviews with distinguished guests like Denis Coderre, Jasmin Roy, Martin-Luc Archambault and more.
Rioux joined the space because she found that its members want to help each other.
“It was like a big group of people working together when I first visited,” said Rioux. “I’m a very social person so I wanted to make contacts and work with a lot of people around me. We all want to succeed here so we motivate each other.”
And that, essentially, is what Campeau wanted when he dreamed up this business plan.
“Everyday I’m in contact with entrepreneurs with different backgrounds and different points of views. There’s a lot of people passing through Le Tableau Blanc, so it’s this huge place to learn and build my network. This is really one of the biggest part why I wanted to do this, to keep surrounded by people who want to move forward and are ready to share ideas.”
Have you read the rest of The Coworker series?