LaunchHouse and the Oberlin Business Partnership are joining forces to open CoWork Oberlin, a coworking space that offers both seasoned and up-and-coming entrepreneurs an area to collaborate on projects in a supportive environment. The workspace, located at 235 Artino Street, will host a grand opening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, Nov. 8.
LaunchHouse is a coworking community that has already established two successful coworking spaces in Cleveland.
“[LaunchHouse was founded with the mission of] bringing people together in one space, and to provide networks, and create a community,” said co-founder of LaunchHouse Todd Goldstein. He hopes this new location will help fulfill that mission.
The space will support the many entrepreneurs, small businesses, freelancers, and remote workers in Oberlin and the surrounding areas of Lorain County who need flexible office space and a collaborative environment to grow their businesses.
“By creating a central space like CoWork Oberlin, it allows people to come together, to see new opportunities,” Goldstein said. “You can activate a community and activate small businesses. In the end, it’s not about the space, it’s about creating community.”
The 4,500 square foot facility will offer small and large private offices, an open shared workspace, a dedicated alcove for quiet work, a garden café, a separate room for training and events, a small conference room, and a large conference room furnished with state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment. Members will also have access to printing services, Wi-Fi, and individual phones and mailboxes.
“Here, you can have a space that is your own, but you can think of it like a university library,” said CoWork Oberlin Community and Operations Manager Sarah Fisher. “In that, you get to work collaboratively. It’s a place for our members to work together and independently,”
At CoWork Oberlin, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of working in an innovative and community-based environment.
“A lot of people do not know about what it is like to be a coworker,” said Goldstein. “It can be like a big family that you get to go to work with every day. You work together for a common goal and for success.”
CoWork Oberlin also hopes to integrate Oberlin students into their working community. Students can benefit from the space by being exposed to local entrepreneurs who can help them establish local contacts in their chosen fields.
“We are hoping to create a mutually beneficial set-up [with the College],” said Fisher. “Networking, and getting these types of experience, is how you get the job.”
College senior Jessica Moskowitz, the liason for the Oberlin Entrepreneurship Club, agrees that CoWork Oberlin could be a helpful networking platform for students.
“[Cowork Oberlin may provide] a lot of opportunities for networking and to form partnerships,” said Moskowitz.
She also hopes that the project will help change the misperception of entrepreneurship on campus by exposing students to successful and impactful entrepreneurs.
“My sense is that students see [entrepreneurs] as evil capitalists,” said Moskowitz. “But at the heart of it, it’s about people taking action to solve a problem. It’s about taking what you are passionate about and turning it into something positive.”