One of the things that we’ve been focusing on here at Startup Spokane as the program has grown, matured, and pivoted over the last ten months has been our strategic partnerships to better serve our entrepreneurship community as we interact with them day-to-day. Startup Spokane was designed as a program to be a first step for entrepreneurs – a place where they can go, physically through our coworking space Share Space Spokane, and digitally through StartupSpokane.com, to find the things they need to help their business grow. Our job is to help startups and small businesses to find the resources they need fast, and meet weekly with many of our community’s entrepreneurs to do just that.
For those that follow our blog here at StartupSpokane.com, subscribe to our email newsletter, or follow us on social media, you probably know by now that our coworking community is moving into the ground floor of the Plechner Entrepreneurial Center at 608 W. Second Ave. You also probably know that we’re pretty pumped for this move! The space will give us more room to grow as a coworking community with more workspace, additional meeting rooms and event space for our members, as well as provides us the ability to do some creative things to better assist our startup community that we could never accomplish in the space we’re in now.
One of those things that will be new is the proximity to one of our community partners, the Spokane Entrepreneurial Center. Being in the Plechner Entrepreneurial Center Building signals not just a move to a bigger space, but it also creates a new linkage to one of Spokane’s early and better recognized efforts to help Spokane’s entrepreneurial community. The two Entrepreneurial Buildings, Plechner at 608 W. Second Ave, and the Lorraine Building at 308 W. 1st, were developed with entrepreneurs in mind, providing low-cost, month-to-month office space in the downtown core and geared up with high-speed internet and meeting rooms. As a stand alone program, this is a great offering for our startup community, but together with Share Space Spokane, we have in mind that we can provide a better offering for our entrepreneurial community.
Share Space Spokane’s move to the ground floor of the Plechner building creates a physical linkage between The Entrepreneurial Buildings and our coworking space, which has great synergies for both organizations. Share Space Spokane is gearing up to provide a list of services for its coworking community, and those services will be a compliment to the community that already is using the Entrepreneurial Centers for their workspace. On the flip side, one of the challenges of a coworking community is that many startups may start only needing a desk space, but quickly grow into needing a full office. This is great news for those startups and a signal of growth, but often come with a price – needing to disconnect from the coworking community, and all the events, services, and linkages that it may provide. The linkage to the Entrepreneurial Centers give Share Space Spokane’s coworking community the best of both worlds: the ability to scale and grow as they see fit, and the ability to stay connected to the coworking community they grew up with. We see this as a unique offering for Spokane’s startup scene that provides a lot of benefit for entrepreneurs.
The second thing that the new space will provide is the ability to host new programs with partners that we haven’t had the ability to do in the past. The new space at the Plechner building will have multiple “Mentor Rooms” which will allow one-on-one meetings between individuals. This not only gives us room to expand our mentorship program and start providing things like mentorship and service provider office hours, but we’re also excited to be partnering with programs like Gonzaga New Venture Lab, which will provide businesses with free access to student teams to help them startups with some of their business challenges.
We’re looking forward to some of these new partnerships and many more as we grow into our new space and continue to build programs to help Spokane’s next generation of entrepreneurs grow!