werk.place is an app that monetizes underutilized spaces of private clubs and  corporate offices for the mutual benefit of the clubs, private corporations and members of select organizations. 

Have you noticed the empty meeting rooms in office buildings and clubs?

The sharing economy has alerted entrepreneurs to reimagine and to monetize such under-utilized or dead space via technology. Vacation Timeshare was an early adopter of this business model, and more recently Airbnb revolutionized empty rooms in homes around the world – putting idle space to work.

As a member of the Harmonie Club in Manhattan, Malcolm Elvey was familiar with its facilities and saw an opportunity that would benefit both members and future guests. Clubs benefit from increased income and business travelers benefit from entree to prestigious private institutions. Via werk.place business travelers can avail themselves of prestigious accommodation, board rooms, meeting rooms and catering.

werk.place is a superlative free platform that helps business travelers identify and reserve appropriate services and accommodations on short notice. It is both an app and a website: It allows users to list or to rent boardrooms, conference rooms, offices and event spaces. It’s the solution for busy professionals, especially those who travel at short notice.

“I knew many travelers would see the benefits of finding a high-end meeting place in an unfamiliar city attractive,” says Elvey. “The flip-side is that clubs, companies and even restaurants have suddenly realized they can make money on space only used occasionally.”

As an entrepreneur, Elvey has always been disruptive and sought new ways of doing things. “You should ask lots of questions, but also learn to listen,” he says. “What excites me is finding a great team with complementary skills and sufficient capital to execute realistic ideas.” Among his characteristics he believes having a curious mind has been the most helpful – it’s what led him to ask probing questions about the costs involved at the institutions he frequented.

Based on Elvey’s knowledge, clubs would surely jump at the opportunity to increase occupancy rates on idle space to compensate for the recurring astronomical overheads each month.

But what about the executive standing on a busy street corner with a make-or-break meeting in a few hours?

“Rather than running a business, I like to think I’m helping to solve a frequent social problem,” commented Elvey. “The app can be used to make an immediate reservation or one that is weeks away; much as you would reserve a car or hotel.”

Those looking for space are given a choice based on their current location or can search a city destination in advance. Room size, occupancy and amenities are shown alongside reviews, comments and rankings from previous users.

For now, Elvey is targeting high-profile groups, such as The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) as trust and confidentiality are essential ingredients of the business plan.

“If you’re interviewing a prospective employee or partner, or working on a confidential deal, you need a safe space where the discussion remains in the room, and no one will reveal who you’ve met with,” explained Elvey.

Another bonus for high-end app users is access to facilities of participating private clubs: tennis, squash, golf and on-site catering. Adding a few bucks to a meeting space reservation can add a day of leisure for you and your clients – instead of forking out thousands for membership. And, of course, access to a prestigious club or office carries the chance of bumping into unexpected people – networking opportunities that are always good for new business.

The werk.place app can be found on the Apple store