KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo and the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance unveiled Kokomo’s first-ever co-worker space, The Shared Drive, at Inventrek Technology Park on Monday (October 26).
IU Kokomo secured a $25,000 grant from the Innovate Indiana initiative for the project. Created by IU President Michael A. McRobbie early in his tenure, the Innovate Indiana is the university’s collective effort to channel its vast intellectual and creative resources through strategic partnerships and collaborations that strengthen the state’s economy and improve the quality of life for all Hoosiers.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said partnering to initiate the co-worker space fits with President McRobbie’s bicentennial priorities of building a prosperous and innovative Indiana, and creating a culture of building and making.
“Today is another step in promoting the economic vitality of our region,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “Part of the regional campus mission is to be a good steward of place.”
As a regional campus, IU Kokomo is charged with “holding our region in trust,” not just providing world-class education, but assisting in economic development efforts.
The space benefits a business owner who requires a more professional environment than a home office, but who is not ready for dedicated office space. It provides shared office space for a low monthly or yearly membership fee, with reduced cost memberships available to students.
David Gard, assistant vice president for economic development for IU’s Office of the Vice President for Engagement, said the co-worker space provides an opportunity for collaboration.
“This is going to be a resource for students and the community alike to share best practices, in a collaboration that will ultimately build the region’s economy,” he said.
IU Kokomo has been involved with Inventrek since its inception, when Chancellor Emerita Ruth Person helped secure a $1 million federal grant to renovate the building for use as a business incubator. It has successfully launched many thriving businesses in the last decade, and the co-worker space is the next step in promoting economic development in north central Indiana.
Mike McCool, Inventrek manager of economic development, said the co-worker space complements the services already offered by the business incubator. It currently has 28 businesses renting dedicated office space.
“We have many entrepreneurs who can’t afford dedicated workspace, but they need access to Wi-Fi, access to a printer, a copier, a conference room, and a professional mail slot,” he said. “Our vision is for them to grow into one of our dedicated workspaces, and then graduate out of Inventrek as a thriving business.”
The 3,000 square-foot co-worker space provides entrepreneurs and owners of start-up and high-growth enterprises work and meeting areas, desks, lounges, private conference areas, solid fiber and Wi-Fi connections, copy/print/scan equipment, a mailroom with personalized mail slots, storage lockers, and a CAD lab, among other amenities.
For more information on the co-worker space and to sign up for a membership, contact the Greater Kokomo Alliance at (765) 457-2000 or www.GreaterKokomo.com.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.