It has been 15 years since our first members stepped through the doors of CSI to begin their workday in our space! So we are having an anniversary party and you’re invited!
The last fifteen years have given us literally thousands of things to celebrate! To get a crash course on what we’ve accomplished (and how we did it!) check out these 15 things you might not know about CSI!
- Incorporated in 2004, we were Canada’s (and maybe the world’s!) first coworking space.
- Canadian Alternative Investment Cooperative gave us our first loan in 2007, which was secured against our phone system – which we never replaced because cell phones did the job for us in the end.
- Turned a $572 surplus in our first quarter but didn’t break even for another four years.
- It took six weeks for banks to agree to let us open an account. Tonya was walking around with a handful of cheques we couldn’t cash. In the end, Alterna Savings came through!
- In eight years, over 800 people have been through our DECA program. One of our first DECA’s is now our Chief Community Officer!
- We have over 5,000 alumni organizations including Spacing Magazine, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Pembina Institute, and Well.ca.
- In Toronto alone the CSI Community is home to nearly 1,000 non-profits, charities, and social ventures. Our membership employs over 2,700 people and generates combined annual revenues of $270 million.
- We presently have four locations – CSI Spadina, CSI Annex, CSI Regent Park, and CSI New York City – with another affiliate location in London, Ontario. Every location is dog-friendly!
- Many CSI members were early adopters of the concept of online community. So we also offer Online Community Memberships to folks looking to be part of our dynamic network but who don’t need a physical workspace.
- CSI has been specializing in social entrepreneurship since 2007. We offer acceleration programs, microloans, and free consultations with legal, design, and business development experts.
- We make connections: 85% of our members say they have collaborated with other members.
- We own two of our four locations, thanks in large part to having invented the Community Bond, an innovation in social finance that allowed us to raise $6.3 million dollars.
- Accessibility is hugely important to us. In addition to our own wheelchair accessible spaces, we helped accelerate both The StopGap Foundation (which offers free removable wheelchair ramps to business owners), and the Access Now app. We’re also the home of Accessibility Ontario.
- In 2007, CSI helped establish TechSoup Canada, which has resulted in 21,000 Canadian non-profits, charities, and libraries receiving over $273 million worth of software and hardware donations.
- Our definition of “social innovation” is: the creation, development, adoption, and integration of new and renewed concepts, systems, and practices that put people and planet first.
In so many ways, we feel like we’re just getting started. If you want to be among first to find out what’s next, be sure to come to BLOOM, and be part of shaping our future!