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This Startup Gets You Into Spaces That Instagram Dreams Are Made of Splacer is like Airbnb but for ultra hip event spaces, such as an abandoned church, urban greenhouse or prop studio.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Hosting an event in the basement of a bar or in the back room of a restaurant is terribly 2005. You can be sure that nobody will be eager to Instagram-brag about being in the back of Joe's Pub or in the conference room of a convention center.

But you can be sure that people will eagerly share with their friends and social-media followers their experiences at a party in a photo studio and movie prop house. And this is how your event goes from being just a meeting to becoming a story.

That's the idea behind Splacer.

Whether to host events, parties, photo shoots, meetings or produce movies, "people are always in search of different, unique spaces," says Splacer co-founder, CMO and president Lihi Gerstner.

Think of the New York City-based Splacer as the Airbnb for event spaces. The startup, which initially launched in Tel Aviv, Israel, is going up against other office-space-rental companies such as Breather and Liquidspace. The difference, though, is that Splacer seeks to rent out decidedly hip spaces with cool stories.

Related: Airbnb Co-Founder: If Rejection Slows You Down, Entrepreneurship Isn't For You

For example, you can rent the ACME photo studio and prop rental house in Brooklyn, N.Y., for a party. (Photo above). Here are other examples of the spaces that are available to rent on Splacer:

Image credit: Splacer
A gin and whiskey distillery. In Brooklyn, NY.

Image credit: Splacer
An urban greenhouse. In Brooklyn, NY.

Image credit: Splacer
The Vacant Church. In Brooklyn, NY.

Image credit: Splacer
A fantastically cool gathering space. In Queens, NY.

Image credit: Splacer
A super hipster warehouse. In Brooklyn, NY.

Image credit: Splacer
A penthouse pad. In Midtown Manhattan, NY.

Image credit: Splacer
In a domed yurt. In upstate New York.

More than half of the spaces listed on Splacer are non residential, says Gerstner. While Splacer will host personal parties, the team actively markets the product to creative businesses that it hopes will become repeat customers. For example, the New Orleans-based pop-up supper club Dinner Lab has used Splacer multiple times to find locations to host its events.

To be sure, Splacer is a service for movie producers, event hosts and anyone looking to get access to an otherwise off-limits set for a photo shoot. But like Airbnb the sharing-economy startup allows clients to leverage the space that they already have to make additional money.

"It's really a sustainable thing," Gerstner says. "It is recycling time [and] space."

Image credit: Splacer
Lihi Gerstner, Adi Biran and Lior Ash (L to R)

Splacer is building on the work that companies such as Airbnb and Uber have already done to change consumers' comfort with the idea of sharing spaces.

Listing your space on Splacer is free. The company takes 15 percent commission when a space is rented. One hundred spaces are available for rent in Israel and more than 200 are available in New York, according to Gerstner. There are 12 full-time employees between New York and Israel.

Related: How the Airbnb of Yachting Was Born

In addition to listing spaces available for rent, Splacer has a service called "friends of Splacer," where producers or hosts can find links to recommended caterers, photographers and other equipment rental needs. The "friends of Splacer" service is free for clients who are booking space on the platform. Splacer doesn't make anything off the service, either. If a customer clicks through the "friends of Splacer" tool and books catering with local eatery Dig Inn, for example, Splacer does not take any commission on the order.

It's the memories of magical moments that really drive Splacer. The stories of the buildings, the hosts and, then, ultimately, the guests themselves.

"You come, you enjoy the space, you come into this amazing place" that you would normally never be able to enter, Gerstner says. And then, she says, you make your own story.

Related: The Sharing Economy Is Taking Off: Get On the Rocket or Risk Being Left Behind

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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