Officials with Lafayette’s first coworking space say right now is a great time for entrepreneurship in the Tippecanoe County city. MatchBOX Coworking Studio has grown since launching in 2014 by reaching 300 members. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business, Operations Manager Amanda Findlay says membership continues to grow every month and the total usage of the space has reached high levels in the short time MatchBOX has been in operation.
"We recently calculated usage and found that we’ve had more total users in our space than the entire population of Greater Lafayette," said Findlay. "So we’re seeing that the community is really gravitating toward coworking."
MatchBOX has also made a name for itself by attracting international venture capitalist and entrepreneur Paul Singh, who recently took part in the coworking space’s pitch night. Community Curator Emily Carter says bringing in someone like Singh, who in turn has brought in other entrepreneurs he has invested in, will benefit the members in Lafayette.
"(Singh) sees a lot of interesting startups taking root in the Midwest in particular and what’s different about startups in the Midwest that you can’t find on either cost and particularly in Silicon Valley is startups that are working with a work ethic and a sense of ‘get it done,’ that’s unique to the Midwest," said Carter. "It’s not about who you know in the Midwest; It’s about what you can do and I think that he sees a lot of value in exploring that here with us."
Findlay says working with Purdue University has also contributed to the success of MatchBOX as many startups are being launched out of the university.