Craig Baute of Creative Density

Craig Baute founded Creative Density in 2011 after helping start a co-working community in Toronto. He now sits on the board of the national co-working association, Co-share, founded Denver Co-Works and is a consultant and partner for future co-working spaces.

In 2008 he discovered the benefits of co-working while being a remote market researcher for a Chicago company and living in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he learned about movement.

Prior to opening Creative Density, he was a market researcher and strategist for new products. He has an MBA from Grand Valley State University where he focused on international markets and has recently lived in Australia, Hungary, and Canada. Craig is now focusing on helping the co-working movement grow in a variety of forms. His passion is to help use co-working as a form of economic development in small towns throughout America and internationally.

What made Craig go off on his own? (0:59)

  • Graduating during the height of the recession was the driving factor for Craig, and what motivated the choice to go out on his own.

How did you get to the co-working space (1:19)

  • In Michigan, Craig noticed that there were a large number of manufacturers that supplied 60% of the world's furniture.

  • It was these manufacturers that started their own co-working spaces throughout grand rapids as a way to beta test various pieces of furniture.

  • Craig was remotely working at the time and decided to join one of these co-working spaces.

  • After struggling to get a job, Craig was offered an opportunity to start his own co-working space with an associate out in Toronto.

  • However, running into some issues with the Canadian government about his citizen status, he decided to bring his co-working business plan back to America.

  • After a lot of research, Creative Density was started in Denver Colorado.

Opening up a podcast studio space (6:52)

  • For the first two months, Craig felt like opening up the podcast space was an ideal way to waste two thousand dollars.

  • Craig says that in the last two months, they have experienced real traction, with six podcasters using the space on a regular basis

  • He feels that this has really become an affordable resource for people to stop making excuses and start doing a podcast.

  • Craig expresses how exciting it is for him to listen to shows that were recorded in the very studio that he provides.

What made Craig decide to invest the $2000 in the podcasting space? (7:49)

  • Craig explains that deciding on the podcast studio was not based on a specific strategy or goal.

  • For him, it was more about having the additional money to spend and wanting to do something cool and new that would spark the creativity of the community.

  • Craig also mentioned that he has been an avid podcast listener since 2004, which also played a role in deciding to invest in the studio.

  • His vision for creative density was that it was never meant to be just an office space, he wanted people to come together and create.

What’s next for Creative Density? (12:00)

  • Craig says that there are definite plans for expansion, as they are about to open number three.

  • He also mentions that they are currently going into a operations management contract / quasi- franchise.

  • Craig explains that they will be helping people who want to establish a co-working community.

  • He mentions how the co-working space market has shifted, moving from an average of 10 000 square feet spaces to an an average of 27,000 square feet.

  • So Craig will be helping other space owners by partnering with them, it remains their space, so it’s a “Powered by Creative Density” space.

What do you recommend for somebody in Denver who wants to get into the community of business owners? (24:42)

  • Craig explains that breaking into the community of business owners is much easier if you have done something.

  • He uses recharging scooters as an example, something which people are normally amazed to hear that he does.

  • Craig also tells us about the research he has done related to renting out cars on Turo, which is basically an Airbnb for cars.

  • He states that doing something that makes you interesting to other business owners is his advice for breaking into the community of business owners.

  • Craig says it is key to stop making excuses and start doing something.

    Craig’s recommendations

StartUp is a documentary series about entrepreneurial life. The show has been downloaded tens of millions of times since its launch in 2014. Its first season has been adapted into an ABC sitcom called Alex, Inc. starring Zach Braff. StartUp has won a Gracie Award and the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.

Connect with Craig LinkedIn

Check out Creative Density Website

Craig Thomas