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Coworking space opens downtown, brings entrepreneurs together

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A new office space in the heart of downtown opened Thursday, but it's unlike any other space in the Summit City. It's called Atrium and entrepreneurs can sign up for a monthly membership, starting at $50, to get access to the 5,500 square-foot space.

"Got my membership day one," Steve Franks, a coach to entrepreneurs said.

Franks is one of many who have already set up shop in the office located at 111 W. Berry Street.

"We need a place where people get together, meet one another especially the young folks downtown that have all the enthusiasm and just need a little bump and maybe the right guide of me," Franks said.

There are three different membership levels ranging from access during business hours to private offices for up to four people.

It's a new trend popping up in communities working to keep young thinkers from moving to bigger cities to pursue their businesses.

"There are companies all over the country that do office rentals where you can go in and rent an office, but they are not really communities. Co-working is about building a community, having events, getting people to talk to one another and meeting one another," Start Fort Wayne President Dave Sanders said.

Sanders said it's those encounters with other start-ups that create the communities in coworking spaces.

"We like to call it collisions, so when you have people from different backgrounds, different professions meeting one another then you build that network faster and as you build that network faster you have more opportunities that come up," Sanders said.

Opportunities that start in Fort Wayne and have a better chance of staying in Fort Wayne.

"There are people that are going to start businesses here. Right here at one of those tables. They will be cemented, if you will, into the city because that's where they are at and that's where their support team is going to be," Franks said.

To learn more about membership options click here.

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