New to Oslo? Co-work to network

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

by Sandra Larriva


The Lounge at MESH. Photo MESH.

We’ve all heard it: It’s hard to make friends in Norway. It’s also hard to find a job in Norway. If you are currently in need of either or both, do not despair. There may be a one-size-fits-all solution for you: joining a co-working space. (Yes, even if you are not currently “working” - networking is a full-time job when moving to a new country. And no, not any co-working space. Finding the right fit could turn your entire experience in Norway around - it did for me.)


If you are relatively new to Oslo, you’ll most likely want a place that doesn’t have major membership requirements or fees; a crew that will introduce you to like-minded individuals; a well-lit, uplifting space to motivate you to get up in the morning (trust me. Come winter, you’ll need it); and an open-minded, international atmosphere where English is widely spoken.


With that in mind, I have ploughed through the largest and best-known co-working spaces in the city and picked the two that meet that criteria and offer the best bang for your buck. Give them a call, take a tour and give your favorite one a shot.


Mesh

Take a breather from work and cosy up with a hot cup of coffee. Photo MESH.

Located in the very heart of the city, Mesh is Norway’s first co-working space and, in full disclosure, my home away from home. It started as an innovation hub for tech companies but has now become a 1300-member community of creators from all walks of life (mostly in the for-profit sector). Some notable members are Airbnb, Spotify and Snapchat.


For NOK 790 you get uninterrupted access to a common working area (aka “the lounge”) and a variety of perks (partner discounts, free coffee/tea, on-site kitchenette, access to a printer, meeting rooms, mail handling and more). This is arguably the best deal out there for a solo entrepreneur with a limited budget. For an additional NOK 1.400 you get a flexible desk on an office floor with free meeting room access.


What sets Mesh apart? Their focus on connecting people and fostering collaboration between members.


Location: Tordenskioldsgate 3, 0160 Oslo, Norway

Business Language: English

Hours: 24/7

Food/Socializing Options: The Backyard, where delicious homemade food is prepared daily and served to members at a discounted price. The café turns into a bar in the afternoon/evening. It is also a popular venue for networking opportunities big and small (i.e. Oslo Innovation Week, She Conference and weekly Business for Peace events, to name a few)

Membership process: Fill out this form and wait to be contacted. You’ll have to pay one month’s rent in advance (no deposit required).

Cancellation Policy: One month’s notice


Oslo House of Innovation

Get work done and have fun. Photo OHOI.

Oslo House of Innovation (OHOI) is a pop-up coworking space housing a variety of startups, investors and partners. Staying true to their mission of giving life to empty premises and contributing to positive urban development, OHOI is relocating to a 2,300 square meter space in downtown Oslo in May 2019 (you can find them at Skippergata 22 through the end of April).


1,990 NOK will buy you unlimited access to a flexible desk seven days a week and the possibility to network with 130 members and 33 companies from a wide range of industries (plus free coffee, printer access and a locker for all your innovative ideas). Keep in mind that a lower cost option will be added in the new location. For additional mingling opportunities, you can attend their free monthly members lunch, join other members for afterwork drinks on the premises or ask OHOI’s community manager to connect you to any P.O.I.


What sets OHOI apart? They believe diversity is important and therefore welcome startups and individuals from all industries, helping them raise competency with entrepreneurship.


Current Location: Skippergata 22

New Location: Christian Krohgs Gate 1 (next to Oslo Spektrum)

Business Language: English

Hours: 24/7

Food Options: The new location will have its own canteen, which will serve food daily at a discounted rate.

Membership process: Apply for membership here, book a tour here or contact Community Manager Jyoti Sohal-David here.

Cancellation Policy: One month’s notice


Additionally, if you’re looking for a more down-to-earth, environmentally conscious solution, look no further than Greenhouse Oslo. Got a more flexible budget? check out Nordic Startup Awards winner 657 or the globally connected and aesthetically uber sexy Spaces. And last but not least, if you’re on a mission to save the world, SoCental is your HQ.

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