A panel of experts touted co-working as a groundbreaking trend that enhances collaboration.

“This is something we’re going to see a lot more of,” Tiffany Mark, founder and director of Matrix Coworking and acting director at Horizon Coworking, told a Wisconsin Technology Council Innovation Network gathering in Madison on Tuesday. “Co-working is just the beginning of a completely new system, a new way of doing work. It’s not like another industry—this is really unique.”

According to Tech Council President Tom Still, there are more than 60 co-working spaces across the state already. The uniqueness of these collaborative spaces lies in their ability to provide a flexible, low-cost option to build a collaborative business ecosystem.

“Nationwide, the number one reason why someone joins a co-working space is because of community,” said Greg St. Fort, executive director at 100state, a co-working space located in downtown Madison.

These communal working spaces can be a low-cost alternative to renting a full office space; they provide many often-overlooked amenities that can drive up costs for businesses in traditional office settings.

“Amenities like furniture, phone, all those types of services, you have to take them into consideration when you consider overall expenditure,” said Josh Rikkers, principal at Cresa, a corporate real estate advisory group. “You’re not just looking at base rent, you’re looking at occupancy costs. What at the end of the month am I writing a check for?”

At 100state, which was founded in 2013, companies have the option to pay $75 a month for part of the open space, or $200 a month for a space that is designated for that specific company. Read the full story here.