Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance offers co-working space once a month

Center offers conference rooms, single work spaces and group projects, networking bays

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A new Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance program will kick off Aug 22 that will offer free co-working space to small-business entrepreneurs on the third Thursday of each month.

The space is in the Economic Alliance's Innovation Center, on the second floor of 501 First St. SE. The 2,800-square-foot center offers conference room space, individual work space and bays for group projects as well as networking areas, said Doug Neumann, vice president of the economic development agency.

Based on demand, the program could be offered more frequently throughout each month, Neumann said.

"Once we understand what the needs are, we'll respond and make changes," he said.

The Innovation Center serves mostly as overflow space for staff and external groups, Neumann said.

"It's being minimally used," he added. "We're happy to accelerate the use of (the Innovation Center)."

Neumann said the Economic Alliance always planned to use the Innovation Center to play an active role in fostering entrepreneurial activity and small business growth.

However, the organization had other more pressing issues to work out since it began in January 2012, which was the result of a merger among the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Rapids Downtown District and Priority One.

"We needed to put the work and time into it," he said.

The space also is available for rent, but prices have not been set, Neumann said .

"We want to test the market interest, see what amenities people are looking for," he added.

Event Information:

Time: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Date: Thursday, Aug. 22

Place: Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE

To register: http://www.cedarrapids.org/events/event-detail.aspx?eventid=2127

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