News | OnlineA collaborative concept coins Cotel, a new term for crowdsourced business hotelThis article was originally published onBy Nick Vivion | February 24, 2014 Crowdsourcing has now reached a surprising vertical, as Prodigy Networks announces the opening of a campaign to crowdsource the world's first 'cotel,' a new term coined for the collaborative hotel they aim to build in New York City's Downtown district.Dubbed "17John," the cotel will be a hotel created through crowd contributions in an effort to design "a space to call home for the modern day business traveler looking to rest, work and network in NYC."The effort is compelling, especially amidst the backdrop of global chains redesigning their entire hotel experiences to be more social to reflect the trend popularized by boutqiues like Ace for social-first hotel experiences. Case in point: Marriott has partnered with boutique pioneer Ian Schrager on the Edition line of hotels, showing that the hotel space is indeed shifting towards a much more collaborative overall experience beyond simply a place to sleep at night.The 17John space is primed to take advantage of the newfound growth deep down the island of Manhattan in the renewed Financial District, driven by the 80,000 new jobs and 300,000 square feet of retail in the new World Trade Center complex.The growth numbers for New York also tell part of the story that the company is leaning on, as evidenced by the following breakdown by the company:While the usage of crowdfunding in this scenario is definitely a savvy marketing move to drum up articles such as this one, the company is tacking away from traditional ways of creating a hotel - and has a very real understanding of how business travelers are changing generationally.By making the hotel a place that is also a core networking opportunity with like-minded individuals, the hope is to be something more than a traditional hotel, forging an emotional and professional connection the reflects changing currents in business travel. From the website: Business travels at the speed of innovation, and despite the changing needs of this next generation traveler, no hotel or extended-stay has accommodated their emerging expectations around work, connectivity, and socialization. As a “living-canvas” the crowd will design the future of hotels and business travel. It will be an interactive space in which the best and brightest ideas for a modern hotel experience will materialize. More than just a place to stay, the 17John will be a center where people gather to connect, innovate, and collaborate in order to promote their business, philanthropic initiatives, and anything else that motivates them.Share this quote The company is offering up a total of $50,000 in prizes for contributions to the crowdfunding campaign, broken down into three distinct competitions: Digital Services/Guest Experience, Private Space/One Bedroom Suite. and Public Space/Shared Collaborative Space. The juried panel:Another clear advantage here is to get multiple perspectives and interpretations at a fixed price - there can only be one winner, and yet the company gets into the minds of multiple designers. The process offers a solid return on investment for a project that hinges on being forward-looking, and able to deliver something altogether new.Prodigy Networks' stated mission show that this is more than just a hotel project, but a new way of approaching the real estate process altogether - a process that is essential to the hospitality business that hinges on a clear understanding of both location and customer. Their mission is to inspire everybody to join the crowd. Through crowdsourcing, Prodigy Network believes that together we can use design and collaboration to find innovative solutions to some of today's most difficult challenges. Prodigy Network uses crowdsourcing, to inspire new ideas and projects online. Prodigy Design Lab invites professionals across the globe to join the first crowdsourcing platform focused on architecture, urban planning, and real estate.Share this quote For this particular project, the team believes the group outweighs the individual: The collective intelligence of the crowd has proven to be much sharper than the one of any individual expert. This crowdsourcing real estate model will examine the patterns of interaction among tens of thousands of people over a period of time, adopting a designer's approach to cutting edge innovation, high efficiency, rapid testing and regular iteration. Committed to structuring and implementing end-to-end operational urban transformation, Prodigy Network gives birth to this brilliant opportunity where profit and creativity meet to change the world.Share this quote Time will tell if the campaign is more marketing ploy or actually able to deliver actionable proposals for a legitimate hotel - something new for the platform. Regardless, the ability to tell a story beyond the traditional realm of real estate is compelling, especially as it applies to an increasingly social experience such as a hotel stay.