La Ruche. A beautiful and earthy incubator space for social innovation.

February 1, 2012 in Random Cool

La Ruche is a Parisian co-working incubator space dedicated to social business and innovation.

The space is designed to foster collaboration and community among the residents, mostly fledgling entreprises composed of no more than one or two employees per entreprise.  In this regard, La Ruche does not have a drop-in option to work for a day or two, as other working spaces do like La Cantine, and instead requires a minimum 1-year commitment.

For newbies and the curious however, they have an open lunch on Fridays called Buzz where visitors can come explore the space and participate in a collaborative project-sharing discussion, while everyone chomps away on their respective home-cooked meals.

And that’s exactly where and how I discovered this beautiful, earthy, and quite friendly space.

La Ruche also organizes a wide range of events often open to the public, like the WiserTuesday event I attended on Lester Brown’s latest book titled The World on the Edge, or “Basculement” in French.

Though the space is not specifically dedicated to energy or recycling, there are more than a handful of green businesses housed at La Ruche, including:

  • BlueEnergy – a social company (that I’ve actually already written about) developing hybrid solar-wind technologies for communities in Nicaragua
  • MyRecycleStuff - an online market for the exchange of “stuff”, without the exchange of money
  • Wattimpact - helping companies reduce their online carbon footprint
  • WattValue – aiding companies increase their renewable energy portfolio
  • WattIsIt – a new payment solution to encourage environmentally-friendly shopping

 

not to mention Gobilab, an innovative water bottle company that had resided at La Ruche until recently when they moved to another Parisian incubator space called PRINE.

And yes, after discovering the plethora of Watt puns at La Ruche, Watt Now is feeling – less alone.

In any case, La Ruche is above all, inspiring.  And if you get a chance to visit, please do.  And if you are social business looking for a workspace, look no further.

All photos in this article were taken by Knowtex.  See the Flickr album here.