LACS aims to create a space where professionals in different creative industries can evolve through exchanging ideas and establishing meaningful contacts with other individuals, companies, and organizations, says the CEO of the co-working platform.
“Our idea is to create an environment where people communicate, cross paths, and exchange ideas. We want to create a place for cross-pollination of ideas,” João Lopes Raimundo, who is also the co-founder of LACS, told Via News in a recent exclusive interview.
LACS, which is based in Portugal, offers co-working spaces and experiences and is dedicated to creative industries such as advertising, architecture, design, art, culture, crafts, fashion, gaming, media, publishing, music, audio-visuals, and technology.
It calls itself a Communitivity of Creators, anchored on three founding pillars: Community, Communication, and Creativity.
LACS is the brainchild of João and three other co-founders who share a vision to create “a unique ecosystem of creators, innovators, and game-changers in Portugal, fostering connection, synergies, and innovation”.
“Our idea is to create an environment where people communicate, cross paths, and exchange ideas. We want to create a place for cross-pollination of ideas.”João Lopes Raimundo, CEO and co-founder of LACS co-working initiative
João, who has years of experience in the banking industry, is a perfect fit for the LACS project given his passion for art and collecting art.
He believes that art can inspire creativity in different fields, including business and technology, and that is why art and cultural events lie at the heart of co-working spaces and experiences offered by LACS. “Art is something very important to us.”
João says they carefully curate their community to ensure that LACS remains an exclusive hub for creative industries.
“There are plenty of people that want to join us, but we do not think [the nature of their work] matches our values or objectives. So we are very strict in that respect. We want the type of businesses and the type of people that are in creative industries.”
The CEO of LACS said this is what makes their concept different than that of similar co-working communities in Portugal. “They’re not as focused as we are on creating a community of creative professionals.”
Art & Technology
On the link between technology and art, João said they are becoming more and more intertwined and people have access to art in a very different manner than they had 50 or 100 years ago thanks to technology.
“Today, you cannot differentiate a piece of art produced by a robot from a work of art created by a human,” he noted, citing paintings, drawings, and sculptures made by Ai-Da, the world’s first ultra-realistic AI robot artist.
João also says technological development has made it easier for artists to discover and target their specific customers and sell their works directly to them without the help of curators.
“And you’re seeing musicians uploading their videos directly to video-sharing websites. The middleman is no longer there.”
LACS’ co-founder added that their community is growing fast and around 3,000 people of different backgrounds and nationalities are using their facilities.
Asked about their unique selling proposition, he said it is the question of “scale” and called LACS “by far the largest co-working initiative” in Portugal, not only in terms of co-working spaces but also studios, events, etc.
LACS carefully curates its community to ensure that it remains an exclusive hub for creative industries.João Lopes Raimundo, CEO and co-founder of LACS co-working initiative
At the moment, LACS provides co-working spaces in three different locations in the Lisbon District of Portugal but plans to expand to other parts of the country in the future.
According to LAC’s website, their space in Conde d’Óbidos is inside a historic 5,000 m² building in the port of Lisbon, which includes co-working areas, private studios, ateliers, an art gallery, a café lounge bar, a barbershop, a tattoo shop, an events room, and a rooftop with a 360-degree view of Lisbon and the river.
LACS Cascais offers co-working areas, meeting rooms, training rooms, an auditorium, a coffee shop, and an outdoor terrace with a surrounding garden, overlooking the Sintra Mountains.
Their 7,000 m2 building in the Anjos area is described by LACS as a “symbol of rejuvenation” as it has been converted from an old labor tribunal to a creative community full of life and vibe. This space includes co-working areas, private studios, an art gallery, a café lounge bar, an events room, and a rooftop with a view over Lisbon.
On the major differences between their three spaces, the CEO of LACS said it is just a matter of preference as some people like to work in a more relaxing environment without traffic jams such as the one in Cascais.
João argues that another factor that makes their platform stand out in the market is their partnerships with other players in the startup and business scene in Portugal, which help enrich the experience of those who work at LACS.
For instance, he says their recently established partnership with Fábrica de Startups, which offers acceleration and incubation programs to startups, is going to add real value to members of LACS community.
The fact that people from national and international companies are working at LACS co-working spaces is a huge opportunity for networking and building new connections, he noted.
Besides, João said the events that are organized at LACS, including government events, are part of a conscious effort to maintain the link between people inside LACS and the outside world.