Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of nights and weekends at my favorite co-working place working on a few different side projects.
My favorite coworking place has a great location in central DC, they have private rooms, they have a wide selection of drink options, and they have great internet and friendly people.
No, it isn’t WeWork.
It isn’t even a more niche co-working space like Mindspace, HIVE, or cove.
My favorite coworking place is the Capital One Cafe located in Chinatown in downtown Washington, D.C.
The best part of it all? It’s completely free.
* Disclaimer: I don’t work for Capital One (never have) and I’m not receiving anything from them to write this post, I really just love the space!
The History of Capital One Cafes
Capital One acquired ING Direct in 2012 and as part of that acquisition, began building on the existing “unbanks” ING had. These are banks that look very different than the line of tellers we’ve been used to for decades.
These spaces were bright, open, and featured amenities like completely free ATMs (even for non-customers), half-price Peet’s coffee for Capital One customers, and meeting room space that’s free for anyone.
Most importantly, employees were there to help but were explicitly trained NOT to push Capital One products and services. A high-pressure sales atmosphere is the complete opposite of what Capital One strived to create.
Over the last 7 years since acquiring ING Direct, Capital One has built 34 Captial One Cafes in high profile locations around the country.
Why I Love Capital One Cafe
- Free (!): I can’t repeat this one enough! Instead of paying hundreds of $$$ / month for your co-working space, you can get at least 80% of the experience for free at Capital One Cafe. While you’re still in the early days of your startup, choose free.
- Meeting Rooms: At the location I go to, there are 3…