LAB•B, Brampton’s first coworking space (located at 57 Mill St. N., Unit 205) hosted its grand opening on August 8th. This initiative, brewing since 2013, was started by co-founders Harpreet Zingh and Harman Grewal, along with recently added founding team member Beverly Bambury. As young entrepreneurs, Zingh and Grewal wanted to bring the community under one roof and help foster collaboration with fellow startups. “It was important to all of us who dreamed up LAB•B to work in an environment that would allow us to flourish as youth entrepreneurs and to also be a part of making Brampton a better place,” says Harpreet Zingh.
The co-founders also believed that Brampton needed an environment that better supported youth entrepreneurs and decided to create one. “After finishing my internship at Western University’s Business Incubator, BizInc, I came back to Brampton looking for an entrepreneurial atmosphere, a place to share ideas and get feedback from like-minded people. LAB•B has since evolved into something vital for freelancers and startups in Brampton, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store.”
When LAB•B started, many typical startup mistakes were made. For this reason, the idea that Brampton needs a coworking space was reinforced. The tipping point for the project was the realization that the LAB•B activities and people were more than just a space; it had become a community. From that point forward, the founders spent a majority of their time building on that community as well as taking a genuine interest in what was happening in the Brampton ecosystem, connecting, and building meaningful relationships with local business people, young entrepreneurs, artists and City Hall. Along the way, they were introduced to mentors that helped motivate them and keep them focused.
Coworking spaces have grown 400% in the last 2 years globally for startups, small businesses, and freelancers. It provides the opportunity to move beyond the traditional work environment into a creative community to push ideas and productivity. These collaborative communities give independent workers the feeling of connectedness. These spaces help reduce distractions and enhance productivity over alternatives such as the home office or client sites, and promote accelerated serendipity through collaboration.
LAB•B’s growth plan is focused on community building. They will continue to engage Brampton through events, art exhibitions, and entrepreneurial programming. “I really believe that there are many brilliant and creative people in this city. With space, we can facilitate people solving issues and meeting needs in an empowering way, and keep these great people in Brampton instead of running further away,” says Zingh.
LAB•B is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week, and there is ample free parking, so interested Brampton residents are invited to come in for a tour.
About LAB•B: We are purpose-driven freelancers, entrepreneurs, creatives, and other digital nomads who find value & meaning in community. We work independently, not alone. Harman Grewal, and Harpreet Zingh came up with the idea for LAB•B while at university. They met Beverly Bambury in Brampton and she became the third of the core startup team members. Learn more at lab-b.ca.
About the Old Shoe Factory: Formerly known as the Hewetson Shoe Factory, this heritage building has been preserved and remodeled and is home to many Brampton businesses and offices. The building’s owner was awarded a Provincial Preservation Award in 2004 for his efforts.