updated: 3/13/2013 12:47:13 PM

Lafayette Plans Co-working Site

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The city of Lafayette has announced plans to open a co-working site this fall. The effort aims to allow entrepreneurs and others pursuing new ideas to work together.

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March 12, 2013

News Release

Lafayette, Ind. -- Plans for a 10,000-square-foot Greater Lafayette coworking site are under way, principals involved in organizing and launching the 21st century venture announced today. Plans are to form a nonprofit corporation, lease facility space and draw together creative people pursuing new ideas.

Background Information, Preliminary Plans

About Coworking
A 21st century movement, coworking brings together a community of people who independently and collaboratively pursue creative concepts and activities, share facility space and benefit from access to and interaction with others interested in new ideas and entrepreneurialism.

The Plan
The plan is to bring coworking to Greater Lafayette—to draw together creative people pursuing new ideas; refurbish space in an existing building following the coworking model; form a nonprofit corporation to operate a multilevel, membership-based community; and hire a staff person to oversee the organization and facility. Details are currently tentative as planning continues.

The Space
Plans are to lease 10,000 square feet of a single-story building at Nine South Sixth Street, Lafayette, currently owned by Tippecanoe County Public Library, which uses about 4,000 square feet in the building.

Space will be configured similarly to successful coworking facilities operating elsewhere. It is anticipated that the space will include a large, open area, conducive for working as well as interactions and exchanges, and also offer dedicated desks and small offices.

The City of Lafayette will fund the interior renovation and build out of the site.

Plans are to open the coworking community in the fall of 2013.

First Step

The Lafayette Board of Works is being asked to approve a short-term consulting agreement with Jason Tennenhouse, a Purdue industrial design graduate, entrepreneur and West Lafayette resident, who will develop a design and strategy for the coworking space.

“I believe place-making leads to relationships, those relationships lead to ideas, and when those ideas begin to have impact, they can make a real difference in our community. I’m eager to work alongside the visionaries supporting a startup culture throughout Greater Lafayette, and this project itself already exemplifies a spirit of entrepreneurship and collaboration.”

-- Jason Tennenhouse, director, Campus House church; founder and executive director, GreyMob, a nonprofit idea accelerator and design studio; and founder and executive director of Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.


The group planning Greater Lafayette’s coworking community includes representatives from:

Public sector/government - City of Lafayette
Business/private sector - Greater Lafayette Commerce
Higher education - Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation
Public sector/information – Tippecanoe County Public Library
Nonprofit/technology/entrepreneurship - Lafayettech

“Coworking is a unique concept that generates bold ideas and helps to bring them to fruition in a community of collaboration. It’s an environment where one idea sparks another, then another and another. Before long, the synergy of brainstorming and asking ‘What if?’ and ‘How about this?’ lead to unique, doable new ventures and solutions. And with this, we have another link in the chain from those that are now working from home, coffee shops, labs, dorm rooms and the like, giving them an option for working space. After they grow they can move to facilities within the community or places like the Purdue Research Park.”
-- Dennis Carson, director of economic development, City of Lafayette.

“The ideas, the brains to develop them, and today’s creative class are all right here in our community. They’re ready for the opportunity to explore, develop, expand and launch innovations. I believe facilitating creation of this coworking community and a dynamic space where the creative class can come together will lead to hugely successful homegrown ventures.”
-- Tony Roswarski, mayor, Lafayette

“Whatever we can do to facilitate new ventures and help them succeed will certainly help both our economy and quality of life. Greater Lafayette Commerce is fully committed to tapping into local talent and helping these idea people define and refine their businesses, technologies and services.”
-- Joseph Seaman, president and chief executive office, Greater Lafayette Commerce

“The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is delighted to be a founding partner in Lafayette's premier coworking community. We have the pieces to the puzzle already: a great research university, highly capable and motivated entrepreneurs, a visionary public sector/government and a progressive business development entity in Greater Lafayette Commerce. This new coworking space will make a strong statement that Greater Lafayette is the place to be for entrepreneurs and innovators.”
-- Rick Cosier, Avrum and Joyce Gray Director, The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Leeds Professor of Management, Purdue University

“I am excited to be contributing to the Greater Lafayette coworking facility. The Purdue Innovation and Commercialization Center works with faculty members, students and people from our community, and this facility gives all of us a place to work at our own speed and to collaborate and learn from others. The coworking facility is going to help startups make the jump to the next level.”
-- Diana Hancock, director of business development, Purdue Innovation & Commercialization Center, Information Technology

“As a partner in the creation of this co-working space, the Tippecanoe County Public Library anxiously anticipates this unique, collaborative project that will benefit the creative entrepreneurial spirits in Greater Lafayette. Partnering with the city of Lafayette to build out the Don and Lois Stein Building is a ‘win-win’ for the library and the entire community.
-- Brandon Hawkins, board president, Tippecanoe County Public Library

“As president of Lafayettech, we foster startup communities through information, education and activities centered on emerging technology. I’m a proponent for this endeavor. My role and that of Lafayettech’s will be advising, offering opinions and connecting people, and working on behalf of current and future startup founders that will benefit from the coworking space.”
-- Mikel Berger, president, Lafayettech, a creative-class, nonprofit organization; partner, DelMar Software Development LLC

Other Coworking Communities

Principals for the Greater Lafayette coworking community visited and/or studied other facilities, such as:

1776 DC, Washington D.C., www.1776DC.com
Providing coworking space for startups and the innovation community.

1871, Chicago, Ill., www.1871.com
A 50,000-square-foot coworking center for digital startups in the Merchandise Mart.

Launch Fishers, Fishers, Indiana, www.LaunchFishers.com
A home for entrepreneurs and service providers who need a greater degree of privacy, guaranteed accessibility and professional amenities not found at espresso bars; collaborative coworking space for high-impact entrepreneurs in technology, health information, life sciences, biotech, consumer products, agri-tech, etc.

Indy Hall, Philadelphia, Penn., www.IndyHall.org
Dubbed “the intersection” of designers, developers, writers, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, educators, small business owners, telecommuters, marketers, videographers, game developers and others.

Source: City of Lafayette

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