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Local entrepreneurs propose co-working space

Local entrepreneurs propose co-working space

August 2nd, 2018 by Philip Joens in Local News

A pair of local entrepreneurs plan to open a new co-working space by next spring.

Local entrepreneurs Missy Creed and Sarah Bohl made the announcement Wednesday morning at August's 1 Million Cups Jefferson City event at the Linc Wellness Center. The pair are still raising money, but hope to start construction on the project this fall. If built, they hope it will become a place for the city's budding entrepreneurial community to congregate.

Creed and Bohl plan to build the company, Campus Co-working, and are leasing space in the old JCD Building near U.S. 50 and U.S. 54. If built, the space will have conference rooms, offices and community areas. Bohl told the crowd they see this as a venture that will benefit the community and allow entrepreneurs to work and brainstorm together.

"We want it to be more than a desk," Bohl said. "It's an environment that's engaging and really building that sense of community."

Bohl said Campus Co-working will offer members access to a 70-80 person conference room that can be used for events. A fitness studio and coffee shop will also be built.

Offices will be able to be rented for $600 per month. Offices without doors, but with desks and lockable file cabinets, will be available for $400 per month. Single desks will be available for $200 per month. Members will also have access to Wi-Fi.

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Creed, owner of digital marketing startup Dogwood Social, told the News Tribune she thought of the idea in November and things are now well into the planning stages. Bohl, a former teacher who now works for Creed at Dogwood Social, said construction is expected to start this fall and they hope to open the space in April.

"We have our bids in," Creed said. "We've been working heavily on this for a couple months now.

Like many co-working spaces that attempt to open, funding in the early stages of development remains a challenge. Creed said among other funding sources, they hope to rely on sponsorships from local businesses.

Co-working spaces may be new to Jefferson City, but the idea also previously gained traction in Mid-Missouri. In Columbia, The Hatchery rents out access to desks under plans ranging from $20 per day to $299 per month. The Hatchery mainly targets female clients, unlike the space proposed by Bohl and Creed.

Late last year, a pair of entrepreneurs proposed building a maker space lab. That venture since turned into Mid-M0 Maker Labs, a similar idea that gives entrepreneurs access to technologies and tools they otherwise would not be able to access.

Similar co-working spaces also exist already in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield.

Entrepreneurs at the meeting said they would find the co-working space useful. Local tech entrepreneur David Frahm said he grew up here and often wants to do things he feels incapable of doing in Jefferson City.

Many entrepreneurs in the community feel the same way, so they often move away. For entrepreneurs like Frahm, a modern co-working space like this could change the way they work and whether they stay or leave Jefferson City.

"A place like this is going to change my life," Frahm said. "This is going to bring so much richness to my life and other people's lives.

"Instead of going away, maybe they'll stay."