Co-Working Community Aims to Transform Duluth's Business Sector

By KBJR News 1

June 29, 2012 Updated Jun 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM CDT

It's an innovative trend that's already picked up speed in major urban areas across the country, and now it's arrived in Duluth. A new Co-working space in Duluth aims to change the face of the Twin Ports business sector.

"It was a perfect arrangement for us because we were looking for something in Canal Park that was flexible enough to handle us for a short period of time before we get our business operating," says President of Twin Ports Brewing Company Paul Kaz.

For Paul and his team at the Canal Park Brewing Company, Co-Lab provided not only a place to hang their hat for a bit, but an opportunity to market and foster ideas.

"We've already made some of the connections with the people here and the people that come in here, so it's having the impact that we were hoping it to have right away."

20 feet away, those connections have already turned into partnerships.

"I actually helped build their site, and we're actually building the actual launch site here, right now," says freelancer David Ellenwood.

So why come to the Co-Lab? Well, to get away from the distractions of your home office, but more so, to collaborate and to meet other entrepreneurs.

Not to mention all the shared amenities that come with a paid membership.

"We provide the coffee, we provide the internet, and the work stations, and all the amenities that go along with having a nice work environment. By us providing that, it allows them to focus on what they do," says Martin Sawenski

Co-working communities tend to attract tech start-ups, and with their establishment in the Twin Ports, the founders of Co-Lab hope to build a tech community in Duluth.

"A single entrepreneur or start-up person working out of their basement can start a business that is netting $1 million a year, but if we can bring all those people together, new ideas tend to happen."

And ultimately, they hope to contribute to and build the local economy.

"We know it's going to bring people here, and provide them opportunities to stay, and feel that they are a part of something greater."

A basic, 3-day a week membership for a single person costs $150 a month, and if you would like a dedicated work space, or private office, prices go up from there.