Two coworking spaces run by the Purdue Research Foundation are receiving a boost from an Indiana company. Ellettsville-based Smithville Fiber has announced it will provide financial support for the Purdue Railyard in West Lafayette and The Lock & Key at WestGate@Crane Technology Park in Odon.

Purdue says Smithville is investing a total of $50,000 in both coworking spaces. The funding will support the creation of new programs, improve existing amenities and provide more entrepreneurial events at each location.

"Collaborative ecosystems are essential to drive innovation," said Alicia South-Hurt, community manager for the Purdue Railyard. "Though the Purdue Railyard has been open for less than one year, we’ve seen the broad impact a cospace has on the existing high-tech culture at the park. Building these relationships and connections means creating a community and space to foster communication and innovation,” she said. “It doesn’t happen overnight, and Smithville’s support will help enhance an environment where members, tenants, faculty, students and community members can collaborate in meaningful ways."

Purdue says the WestGate coworking space will use the funding to grow its free programming, assist entrepreneurs and innovators with commercializing their technologies, creating startups and enhance the technology and furniture in the space.

"With WestGate’s coworking space included in the Purdue Research Park network, WestGate innovators have more opportunities for success," said Alexandria Hancock, events manager for Purdue@WestGate. "Smithville is providing WestGate with the resources entrepreneurs and startups need in southern Indiana. This funding will establish a truly collaborative space in southern Indiana that innovators can call home."

The Purdue Railyard opened for business last May. The following month, Purdue Research Park Director Greg Napier appeared on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk about the space. You can view the interview by clicking the link below:

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