Hypercube Hub now offering paid membership & working space for startups

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Hypercube hub

Part of the working space at Hypercube Hub which was used by one of the teams at Startup Weekend Harare

Earlier today local tech hub and co-working space, Hypercube Hub sent out its first communication for the year to the tech community. Besides the list of the events that the hub has got lined up for the month of February, it also highlighted the new membership options that are available for individuals and startup teams.

Since it opened its doors in the last part of 2013, Hypercube Hub has been offering a host of its services, facilities and access to a number of its events for free. This wasn’t a sustainable model and Hypercube wasn’t keen on making this a long-term arrangement.

Now, as part of its efforts to maintain operational viability, it has opened up its hub as an events and workshop centre. It has also introduced two types of membership plans; namely the basic and the permanent desk option. Details for signing up are available on the Hypercube Hub website.

The basic plan, which is on a first come first serve basis, is pegged at $5 for a one-day access or $50 for a full month’s access. This plan offers access to the hub’s open collaboration space, high-speed broadband access (subject to fair usage policy just to keep the torrenting at bay), six-day access to the hub per week (Hypercube opens from 8am to 8pm) and free or discounted access to the Hypercube Hub events.

The permanent desk plan is pegged at $100 per individual per month and it comes with all the basic plan benefits as well as access to administrative services like printing, permanent desk space and access to a meeting room and conference space. This plan can be extended into a lease of office space priced between $300 and $400 for startup teams of up to 4 individuals.

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These paid for working space options are similar to what is being offered by Area 46, another co-working space in Harare. These are some of the revenue models that hubs and co-working spaces have to explore to remain sustainable.

The advantages for startups signing up to use these spaces include an integration into a community of small enterprises that are also on an aggressive growth tangent, as well as shared ideas and collaboration.

This is all supported by a transfer of certain administrative pains to the curators of the space. A good example is the hassle of issues like rates and power management solutions that trip up local businesses.



18 Comments

  1. Observer says:

    This is rubbish asi donor funding yapera????

  2. #Custom says:

    donor funding inenge yapera apa

  3. Tech Analyst says:

    Seems these guys are now operating like a startup themselves!

  4. TECHNOKRATTI says:

    This is why investors don’t fund Zim initiatives these guys are operating like a kiya kiya, soon panenge pakutengeswa hembe ne maphone kubelgravia ikoko they are grasping at straws . i am beginning to think kuti they just wasted Donor money . They do a disservice to true tech entrepreneurs looking for the same funding .

    1. Observer says:

      So true they probably took the funds and ran for the hills

  5. Jack Siziba says:

    Be wary of anyone offering to “help” when they obviously are still trying to make their stuff come together. Entering into a transaction for mutual benefit sometimes means you are the mark and the guy next to you actually wants what you have. You are the chicken that will and up in the pot. Seriously though, who didn’t see this coming?

  6. Nya B says:

    There is nothing new here and i fail to figure out what the noise in the comments section is all about. Africa has more than 100 hubs and most of them were funded by donors and the model that most of these hubs they do is to first of all open the hub for free to anyone to come and use it for free. One sad truth that has come out of Hypercube story is that Zimbabweans overestimate their ICT skills. Here comes a hub offering free access to anyone and people did not seriously use the hub. People come to hub as if they are coming to an internet cafe. Do you seriously think that donors can fund a hub forever. Surely can survive on donor funding forever. People that are making bad comments are some people who were going to these hub doing absolutely nothing at this hub wasting donor funding by doing nothing at the hub apart from throttling the hub internet bandwidth by downloading torrents. Now that they are now being asked to pay they now crying that he he mari yemadonor yapera here. I have visited both Muzinda and Hypercube looking for developer but its really difficult to find one. Literacy sure doesnt mean intelligence. Just like how hubs elsewhere in africa had been crumbling might be the same way hypercube might be struggling to survive and seems like people are laughing. wouldnt it be better if all that energy is used to proffer solutions.

    1. Ash says:

      I agree with you, 100%. If you pay for using that space, it will push you to be more serious. And the HUB has to sustain itself somehow, so this is a great idea.

    2. Anonymous 2 says:

      I don’t know what this will mean for the hub’s future sustainability, but now that the free lunch is over, we’ll see the chaff get blown away and the serious guys rise to the top (I hope!)

    3. Mutauri says:

      Who forced them to offer it for free in the first place, or where they forced?

  7. TawT says:

    Agree with Nya B. How can serious people be so keen on getting services for free. Its amazing how many of these ever used the hub for anything but tech business. If they think about it, they will see that they contributed absolutely nothing to the industry all the times they have been. Its sad that we have these hubs but the number of indigenous apps is mediocre. Even the apps that exist were mostly not made at the hubs. Time to change our mindset and believe in investing to make a business work. Why always depend on donors and freebies. (African Dependency Syndrome?)

  8. joo says:

    It seems very fair to me
    – Firstly prices are very reasonable, 100 for central address in good condition and maintained for you, backup power and internet access (only 50 if you don’t have a permanent place)
    – They offer daily rates for someone that has to take some meetings but doesn’t want to do it out their kitchen
    – Donor funding is fine but every little bit helps, running such a place cant be cheap and they do bring in a lot of speakers and have events etc. which I am sure they earn very little from.
    – Making some sort of payment makes you commit to your idea and gives you the dignity of knowing you doing things properly. So it keeps out the chancers and guys who just want to play solitaire all day, keeps the hub for people who want to use it properly.
    – Maybe the extra income can be used to provide more services like in house support and training.

    I think its a good move and no one is getting ripped off here.

  9. Entreprenuer says:

    If you come to the hub and seat on the chair (who do you think paid for that chair), switch on the lights (who do you think bought light and paying for electricity) and go on to use their toilet (who do you thinks is paying for those water drops.). You all need to remove that poverty mentality from your stinking brains, do you think the world is just for free. Who do you think should cater for your lazy a***es that you cnt find $5.00 to pay for day access. The likes of Dell, Bill etc started from their garages, if you cnt afford the hub you might as well go to ur fuken homes and do that. There is no room for lazy a***holes in this world. ALL YOU SHOUT IS FREE, FREE, FREE til when…this just pisses me off big time. Do you think those donors are not pple like you, sometimes these monies are raised from the street in the likes of UK etc from kids as young as 10years whilst your grown a** as old as 20years you cnt fork out $5 to use facilities, all you do is spend 24hrs/7days a week on FB, and you think the world will have mercy for you. GROW UP ZIMBABWEANS.

    1. Mutauri says:

      Did anyone force them to provide the service for free? It boggles the mind?

  10. LoveJ says:

    I fully for this new development… If what you wanna do is really worth it, surely you can pay the small fee for access… otherwise we build a dependency syndrome for our start-up community, which may not be sustainable in the end.

  11. Mutauri says:

    Why did you call the people to come for free? I doubt if any developers could waste their time to come for something that did not add value to their careers. I am a serious developer with a big company. With my friends we never found anything that was of interest to us as developers. There were always talk shows and programs brought from outside, e.g Start up weekend.

    At least you guys with donor funding, space and your relationship with the US Embassy you should have come up with initiatives that could have attracted the right people and helped in sustaining the place. Would it have been a problem if I was invited to something for free and I attend? Whose problem is that? Who has the dependent syndrome, the one using people to get donor funds or the one being used as a beneficiary for the donor funds to come? You should have asked for payment in the first place anyway.

    1. Nya B says:

      Matauri, do you understand whats called models, just like anywhere in africa most hubs open their doors to the public for free inorder for people to know what a hub is. mind you its a new concept, people had been going to internet cafes i.e budding developers designers or hustlers. So the hub is a new space for these people to come and do things seriously. The donors have done this in many african countries and the model seem to work. Your argument that the hub was not suppossed to be free from onset is baseless as the idea of most hubs is to first of all build a community and then have the community support the hub. People like you Mutauri must now be aware that its no longer business as usually, people that you are laughing at who were using these free hub services and events you reduce to american concepts are now going to be challenging the status quo in tech. You guys like Mutauri who call youself developers but with not much to show for your talent must now brace for a new breed that will be emerging from these hubs that is young, not biased, forward thinking and ready to put zimbabwe on the global map things people like Mutauri have dismally failed. Lets support these initiatives like hubs in Zim and avoid just making noise for the sake of just wanting to oppose anything that has donor hand. Already Zim is the last country in Souththern Africa to have a hub and the last thing Zimbos must do is to fail to embrace this hub concept as we will be doomed and continue to play second fiddle to next door botswana, namibia SA just as the case in terms of tech yet we have the highest literacy rate which people like Mutauri mistake for intelligence

      1. Mutauri says:

        The way you are attacking Mutauri personally seems like you are bitter somehow, I do not know why. FYI probably you are using most of the products from our big company some which have won big awards internationally. My issue was you guys blaming the free users for your failure to innovate around donor funds. You said these guys were doing nothing and they should be grateful but now you are saying the freemium model was your model and there is nothing wrong with it.

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