FORT WAYNE – Start Fort Wayne announced the construction of their new coworking facility, Atrium, which will give local entrepreneurs the ability to meet, work and grow their business in downtown Fort Wayne.
The coworking facility, called Atrium, will be located on the second floor of the Hoch Associates building in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne. The 5,500 square foot space will be available to local entrepreneurs through a monthly membership fee and is expected to open in mid to late spring.
According to the founder of Start Fort Wayne, Dave Sanders, in response to ever-changing technology and the ability for businesses to be started directly from a computer, Start Fort Wayne believes that small businesses and entrepreneurship are essentials in the 21st century.
“Start Fort Wayne is here to accelerate the pockets of innovation and entrepreneurship already happening here in our region. We’re seeing more people wanting to step up and create their own businesses and their own ideas,” Sanders said.
Atrium will provide members with conference rooms, desks, offices, wireless Internet, telephones, a kitchen and a stage for presentations.
“We see ourselves as a catalyst for providing resources and services to speed up reactions that are already going on,” Sanders said.
Chad Clabaugh, who works in digital technology, plans on becoming a member once Atrium opens its doors.
“[Atrium] is actually going to cater to the individuals, to people who are just getting started out. Most other places are just like incubators and are designed for, ‘Come in with a business plan, come in with a crew and we will help you if you meet our standards. ‘ Whereas Atrium is more ‘Bring in an idea and we’ll help you,’” Clabaugh explained.
Clabaugh said that many entrepreneurs use coffee shops as an alternative to an office, but that it becomes inconvenient when one needs to make a private phone call or store their extra tools such as computer monitors. Atrium is built as a place where its members have private areas to work and store their work tools, Clabaugh said.
Sanders said that the $300,000 needed to start and sustain Atrium was donated primarily by sponsors including Indiana Tech, the Knight Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, and Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
“This space will be a very exciting space where people will come together and I predict that in the next five, ten or fifteen years some of the best companies will actually come back and their heritage will be out of this space,” CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Eric Doden said.
Potential members have the opportunity to fill out an interest form, find information about memberships and view the floor plans of the facility on the Start Fort Wayne website.