For a young company, an open space that fosters collaboration and creativity is essential. Here is an example one such incubator.
Last summer, when I worked at NYU-Poly's incubator at Varick street, I noticed that something strange was happening. People from different companies were openly talking about what they were doing and how they did it. Rather than inspiring fear of patent infringement and increased competition, the effect was the reverse. The entrepreneurs started helping each other out and launched collaborative efforts.
For example, when one company was researching project management software to implement, they noticed that their neighboring company was actually working on creating a an open source version of a project management software on a service-based business model. By uniting their resources, the first company could have a free software to use while the second one had a reliant beta-testing test market.
I noticed this kind of collaboration during my time there and I realized that the space itself had an important role in the process. Due to the lack of doors and walls, everyone knew what each person did and who to go to. By having a dedicated common space where social gatherings were held, the people who worked there could get to know each other personally, leading to more informal encounters. Most importantly, the space fit the culture, one of openness and innovation.