Startups and entrepreneurs in Dubois County will soon be able to gather in a new work setting. Current Blend Inc. will open its collaborative workspace next month in Huntingburg.
April 14, 2015
DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind. – Current Blend, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating new business and attracting talent to the region, will be opening the county’s first co-working collaborative workspace in May.
Collaborative workspaces are designed to bring entrepreneurs with different skillsets under one roof to promote interaction and business development. Current Blend will feature a beautifully designed space plan with modern, open-concept furniture through a partnership with OFS Brands and the Menke family in Huntingburg.
Located on Fourth Street, members of Current Blend will have 24-hour secure access to work, meet and collaborate in the historic Parker House next to the Stellar Community project, Market Street Park. The space will feature high speed WiFi, a copier/printer/fax machine, presentation equipment, meeting spaces and bottomless cups of Indiana-roasted coffee.
Through partnerships with Old National Bank and the City of Huntingburg, larger meeting spaces and training areas will also be available to Current Blend members.
Additionally, Current Blend will host meetups and classes for the continued support and development of new business startups and existing businesses in the region.
This co-working space is the first step by local established entrepreneurs, business-owners, and community leaders that plan to ignite local entrepreneurship and support established businesses.
The process began with a call out from the Dubois County Community Foundation to bring these individuals together. During that meeting regarding the future support of entrepreneurs in our community, an offshoot group began to meet to develop this nonprofit, focusing primarily on a co-working space and support for budding businesses and entrepreneurial ideas.
“This county is a place where tinkerers became corporate global headquarters, and we recognize this same spirit has driven our community to be philanthropic and invest in the best of placemaking,” Brad Ward said. “We convened around the issue of fostering startups because it generates the much needed networks, capital, and professional resources to ensure the next generation is just as successful in accelerating our community.”
As the offshoot group began to formulate their goals and action plans, the Parker House, a building in Huntingburg owned by the Menke family, became available. Cory Menke enthusiastically supported the endeavor by providing access to the Parker House, a historic building on Fourth Street that the Menke family purchased to preserve.
As Menke saw the group’s vision for the first collaborative workspace in the region, he volunteered the use of resources through OFS Brands to renovate and refurbish the space. Additionally, OFS Brands is donating all of the furniture in the space.
“OFS Brands is excited to see this creative type of space being made available for small businesses and young entrepreneurs in Dubois County. We appreciate the opportunity to help facilitate this forward-thinking project to provide for basic office needs in our area,” Menke said.
Jenny Neff, president of In Form Design, brought her group’s talents to the table to create a brand identity and assist in the layout and design of the space. Her group worked with OFS Brands, bringing their design talents and perspectives to create the vision of the space.
Additionally, Grow Dubois County, a nonprofit formed to work in conjunction with Dubois Strong to support economic initiatives in the county, awarded Current Blend a $12,000 grant to assist with the startup costs and ongoing operation of the workspace.
“Current Blend has the right leadership in place to make this collaborative working space an energetic center for new and experienced entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Alan Johnson, dean of VUJC and board member of Grow Dubois County and Dubois Strong. “The board members have great experience in technology and have created a vision that will serve our region well. I expect to see the building pulsing as the members bounce ideas off each other.”
Huntingburg’s recent designation as a Stellar Community was also important in Current Blend’s decision to locate the county’s first co-working space on Fourth Street. Besides the appeal and amenities offered by the historic district, the space is located with a view and direct access to Market Street Park, an exciting Stellar Project to create a public space in downtown Huntingburg.
This creative atmosphere being fostered in the workspace is bolstered by its proximity to such a unique area that will become an even greater community center for the Stellar community.
“The Stellar Communities designation is all about creating a quality of life that attracts new spirit and new ideas to Huntingburg. With the addition of Current Blend to our Fourth Street community, the spirit of entrepreneurship becomes a reality,” said Mayor Denny Spinner. “The City is dedicated to providing an atmosphere that will continue to attract investment and growth. The improvements to Fourth Street and the development of the Market Street Park are great examples of this dedication. We are very excited and pleased to support Current Blend and see it as a natural partnership with the Stellar Communities program.”
Last but not least, this whole endeavor was led by the efforts of individuals who are dedicated to supporting current businesses as well as the creation of the next generation of businesses. Current Blend’s board of directors includes Brenda Stallings, President and CEO of Matrix Integration; Matt Crane, owner of Dubois County Free Press; Jenny Neff, President of In Form Design; Terri Hollinden, Vice-President of Talent at STIMULUS Engineering; Ed Cole, President of Dubois Strong; Ray Niehaus, Director of Vincennes University Campus Center of Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing; and Josh Premuda, owner of Smalley Coffee.
“Current Blend makes it easy for entrepreneurs to leave the confines of their home offices and local coffee shops. By bringing these people together in this new space, entrepreneurs will be able to mingle their ideas and talents to create the next local startup,” Stallings said. “This is where their story can begin and Current Blend will be there to support them.”
To become involved in Current Blend, membership information is available at www.CurrentBlend.org.
This endeavor has also received support from PSCI and STIMULUS Engineering.
Source: Dubois Strong