An old bathtub is now a bright blue couch, and on it, two twenty-somethings work on a business plan, hoping that their new resting place will be a metaphor – however literal - for all the cash they will soon bathe in.
We are at the week-old Construkt Hostel, a new co-living space for entrepreneurs by the folks behind Construkt, Asia’s largest startup festival. This house, toothpaste white with Goldspot trimmings, is hidden away in a quiet, tree-lined lane, but still within walking distance from buzzy Indiranagar. “Besides having the highest density of restaurants in Asia, Indiranagar also has the highest number of startups,” says co-founder Shashikiran Rao.
This house, toothpaste white with Goldspot trimmings, is hidden away in a quiet, tree-lined lane, but still within walking distance from buzzy Indiranagar.
Splayed across 3,500 square feet, Construkt Hostel (for short term and long term stay) is anything but boring and business like. Old objects are fashioned into new pieces of furniture: there’s that tub as well as telephone wire bobbins that are turned into stools, and reclaimed wood that is used to craft benches and bookshelves. Most of the walls are painted with black chalkboard paint or tacked with whiteboards for impromptu brainstorming sessions or for those brilliant ideas that only strike in the middle of the night. “We want the hostel to be dynamic, radiate energy and act like a jam pad for entrepreneurs,” says Karan Bahadur, co-founder of the hostel and head of operations.
Girl, You’re My Angel (Investor)
We walk through the three floors, poking our heads into rooms to find beds for 20 (Rs 850 per night); cozy nooks padded with brightly coloured cushions; a well-equipped help-yourself kitchen; clean, fresh linens and towels provided on a daily basis; laundry service and even a small space to throw a party once your start-up gets funded. “We’ve understood that hackpackers are looking to set down their bags, roll up their sleeves and start figuring out the ecosystem. They aren’t all looking for (or can’t afford) five-star hotel treatment, but will make do with a clean, basic living environment,” says Shashikiran.
In addition to providing a place to sleep for weary hackpackers, the Construkt Hostel will also help entrepreneurs plug into the fertile ecosystem of the nation’s startup capital. Shashikiran and Karan are both entrepreneurs; since the age of 19, Shashikiran has worked in various capacities with startups and also acts as accelerator for Airbus and NUMA Bengaluru, while Karan has earned his stripes working in hospitality, retail, media and real estate. “Also, having worked with The Indus Entrepreneurs organisation has allowed us to help disruptors make inroads into accelerator units, get them meetings with venture capitalists, provide them with a list of co-working spaces or any information that they might need to start,” explains Shashikiran. “We will be working out of this space as well, to ensure that everyone who bunks with us has access to this support system,” adds Karan.
The Freemium Model
Imagine this startup hostel to be the upgraded millennial version of the erstwhile garage spaces that gave birth to many a multi-million dollar ideas. “All the services around us are rapidly changing and we think that the way people live in a city is the next frontier. We also understand the benefits of being surrounded by like-minded individuals,” says Karan, contextualising the need for this hostel.
The next time your colleagues fly into Bangalore, book them a bed at Construkt Hostel, and remember to discuss the next order of business on that bathtub for luck. And from across the room, Bangalore’s hottest angel investor looks at you and says: I’ll tap that.
Getting there: Construkt Hostel, 3097A, 6th A Main, 13th Cross, II Stage, Indiranagar, call Elizabeth Riya Roy on 7411090622 for enquiries, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org, Rs 850 per night but long-term stay deals can be worked out.
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