DETROIT (WWJ) — Co-working is the hottest thing in workspaces — places where freelancers, startups and anybody else can drop in to work and network, for a fee that’s friendly to the tight budgets of freelancers and startups.
Later this month, a federation of Detroit co-working spaces calling itself Co-Lab Detroit will invite the public to learn and explore the concept in a week of open houses — letting everyone check out the available co-working spaces in the downtown-Midtown area.
The event was spawned through a meeting of several co-working spaces held at the tech training and co-working center Grand Circus at the behest of its leadership, as well as Bamboo Detroit, another co-working space. (The unusual name came from Bamboo Detroit co-founder Dave Anderson, an auto engineer by day and a startup supporter by night, in reference to something he read about bamboo being the strongest and fastest-growing plant on the planet, good things for startups to emulate.)
Bamboo Detroit community manager Amanda Lewan is a veteran of startups as well, having worked at a startup ad agency. She’s also author of the blog michipreneur.com. She said the idea behind the weeklong Co-Lab Detroit event is to foster collaboration between co-working spaces, freelancers, startup companies, and local businesses, as well as to introduce each space to the community.
On the last day of the week, Friday, Jan. 24, the participating co-working spaces will offer a day of free co-working.
The schedule for the week of Jan. 20 is as follows:
* Monday, Jan. 20: Bamboo Detroit, 1442 Brush St., open 6 to 9 p.m.
* Tuesday, Jan. 21: Junction440, 440 Burroughs St., open 6 to 9 p.m.
* Wednesday, Jan. 22: An Office in Detroit, 2727 Second Ave., open noon to 1:30 p.m., and Bizdom, 1528 Woodward, open 6 to 9 p.m.
* Thursday, Jan. 23: Practice Space, 2801 14th St., open 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Grand Circus, 1570 Woodward, open 6 to 9 p.m.
* Friday, Jan. 24: All participating Co-Lab Detroit spaces are open for a day of free co-working. Spaces are limited and participants must register in advance.
The event will end with a party from 8 p.m. to midnight at Omnicorp Detroit, 1205 Division St.
The Jan. 21 event is the first public display of Junction440, a membership-based co-working space located at TechTown Detroit.
Starting Wednesday, Jan. 8, entrepreneurs will be able to select from a range of membership options, including day passes, 10-pass punch cards, monthly memberships or dedicated desks. Amenities include access to like-minded peers, educational resources, meeting spaces, bike racks, kitchen with pop-up food options, locally roasted and freshly brewed coffee, lockers for day storage, and free parking, Wi-Fi and printing.
“Co-Lab Detroit is the perfect opportunity for us to unveil our brand-new space to entrepreneurs seeking an affordable, flexible and collaborative work environment in the city,” said Leslie Smith, president and CEO of TechTown Detroit. “The spirit of partnership among the co-working spaces is refreshing and we intend to continue this collaboration as we each work to support a powerful community of engaged and connected entrepreneurs.”
The Co-Lab Detroit weeklong event is sponsored by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.