Duluth’s premier co-working space for techies (and then some) officially opened this weekend in Canal Park, complete with a symbolic ribbon cutting on Friday.
Co.Lab offers 3,600 square feet of professionally maintained space for collaboration and cross-pollination amongst independent workers, freelancers and telecommuters. Sprawled across the 5th floor of the historic DeWitt-Seitz building — the hardwood floor, brick and beam structure with harbor views is already filling up fast.
Membership has reached 75% of capacity through variety of options ranging from individual $30/day pass to $2,500/month corporate; Duluth’s hottest tech startup, GeaCom, is officially on board as an anchor member.
Ideologically driven and financially backed by partners Martin Sawinski and Jake Nelson, Co.Lab is literally years in the making. The duo have invested countless hours studying the broader trend of changing workplace dynamics, making connections, and scoping all possible locations before finding what they consider ‘the best possible outcome.’
Friday’s ceremonial grand opening was joined by the mayor of Duluth, Don Ness, a handful of North Shore techies such as David Paul Ellenwood and some not-so-usual suspects like Carmody’s Irish Pub owner Eddie Gleason who supplied beer, cheer, and a vow of community support.
“As a generational immigrant entrepreneur, I’ve always respected those who blaze their own trail in this country. These guys are exactly what we need more of in Duluth,” he proclaims while pouring a round of Agnes Irish Red for all to enjoy.
“I give a lot of inspirational credit to CoCo for proving what’s possible and to the city of Duluth for their support in this initiative,” Sawinski says of the big day.
“We’re merely a catalyst,” Nelson softly added. “The ingredients exist here and Duluth has needed this core resource for some time. We’re already seeing the tech community in the region become closer than ever before and are excited to see what happens as the momentum, reach and impact grow.”
Individual/shared space is available 9am – 5pm Monday through Friday and dedicated members gain access from 5am -11pm daily. From the sounds of it, Co.Lab is already brainstorming around field trips from Duluth to MSP, and vice versa, as a means of expanding this conduit of creativity from the city to the shore.