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Coworking Opportunities And Locations In Minneapolis And St. Paul

There is a really interesting movement going on around the country that has found its way to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and it is called Coworking.

Coworking as a concept is a bit new to me. For all but the last two of my twelve years I have had office space. I am one of those people who know he does not get more done at home and that it can be HIGHLY overrated. It is cool in the beginning or now and again but full time from home, not for this guy.

But when the recession started knocking on the door I dumped my office space to work from home. I had to, it was a business call.

I miss not seeing people and the interaction of office neighbors. Or showering every day. Yeah I said it. There have been 3 day stretches when I have not ventured out of my place. Not that I go 3 days without a shower, anyway, I got off track (again)...

The past couple of month’s three people and a group (that I know of) have been working on ideas to find work space that people can share.

It helps that I am a big fan of all who are working on this. They are really good people and better, they are the kind of folks who take action versus blah, blah, blah something for weeks and months.

You can follow the Twitter conversation by clicking #coworkmsp. Not on Twitter? No worries you can still see by clicking the link. There is also Twin Cities Coworking (the group I mentioned) which has been working on this for some time.

Amy Bryant (@amysbryant) and Zach Steven (@zachsteven) have been heading up Crema Cafe, a coffee shop just south of Uptown on Lyndale Avenue. It’s a nice location for those of us in Minneapolis. I know most of the folks (know as is in real life or through online activity) so it is one part get some work done, one part chat with folks I know and one part bounce ideas off of people waaaayyyyyy smarter than I.

Check out this StarTribune article A creative counter to Wi-Fi 'freeloading'

Here are some pictures:

09-12-15 Crema Cafe 001 09-12-15 Crema Cafe 002

So far it is one day a week (Tuesdays) and the cost is $40 a month. That may change for January and February so ask about hours and days.

Don Ball (@donmball) is opening a much larger (could be huge) space in January 2010. Click CoCo for more information. Don had an open house where I took these pictures:

Don Ball 09-12-14 Coworking St Paul 003

09-12-14 Coworking St Paul 005 09-12-14 Coworking St Paul 008

09-12-14 Coworking St Paul 007 09-12-14 Coworking St Paul 009

09-12-14 Coworking St Paul 006

It’s a really cool space and as it gets built out in the coming weeks will look more like an office away from home. There are many opportunities for shared and dedicated space with different price points that may appeal to some folks looking for something more permanent.

A third space (also in St. Paul) was announced this week by Zach, click the 3rd place for the details. Zach too has flexible plans of 1x, 2x and weekly/monthly (full time) spots.

If you are a freelancer, solo worker, independent consultant and are looking for ways to get out of the home office and into a location that is flexible take a look at these locations and/or reach out to Amy, Zach and Don.


Amybeth Hale

It's not a new concept really - Amit Gupta started Jelly a couple of years ago - similar except that there is not an 'established' location for the gatherings, but rather people congregate at residences & local cafes (& are encouraged to support said business & not just be a table hog!). I started Jelly Cincinnati over a year ago & we met at a local religious facility that opened its doors during the week to the general public & offered free wifi and coffee (two staples for anyone who works remotely!). Jelly Cincy still operates today even though I'm gone because of the interest it generated with the local telecommuting and remote employee community, & I even think they have weekly meetings at multiple locations now.
I think having dedicated space for coworking that can be rented at such a low cost is a great idea, and I love the experiment that Crema Coffee is doing. I too believe in supporting local business, and I would love to see businesses be able to 'rent out' space in these dedicated facilities and offer reduced cost products to the renters - specifically businesses that offer nourishment since we do need to eat while we work :)

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