CoCo comes to Fargo

What would happen if entrepreneurs, techies, creative types and remote workers from different cities could come together in the same space to cowork? Minneapolis-based CoCo (short for “coworking” and “collaborative space”) wants to find out and believes Fargo is the best place for its experiment.

The company currently operates three shared workspace locations in the Twin Cities. Now, through a partnership with Fargo-based Emerging Prairie, it will expand its services to Fargo. The company announced during today’s 1 Million Cups gathering in Fargo that it will open CoCo Fargo in early August. The coworking facility will be located in a 6,000-square-foot space above the King House Buffet at 112 ½ N. Broadway in downtown Fargo, providing space for up to 100 members to collaborate, cowork and create. And because CoCo embraces a “member of one, member of all” concept, Fargo’s CoCo members are welcome at any of its Twin Cities locations, and vice versa.

CoCo’s Fargo coworking space will be located in downtown Fargo.

Company cofounder Don Ball expects it won’t be long before the experiment produces some exciting results. “We’ve found that even in the Twin Cities that people will go to different locations for different reasons and we’ve always imagined that across the region that could happen,” he says. “When some of our members find out the incredible talent pool that’s in Fargo, I think they’re going to come looking for help with their projects. And, I hope the Fargo people will take their show on the road to the Twin Cities.”

CoCo has been entertaining a possible expansion to Fargo for about three years, thanks to a grassroots effort by the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp., the Kilbourne Group and Emerging Prairie. Ball says his company had also explored other markets in the vicinity of Minneapolis for its first expansion, but none impressed like Fargo in terms of energy, enthusiasm and the commitment of people eager to grow the community.

“Fargo just punches above its weight,” he says. … “It’s a town that’s just ready to explode. All you have to do is show up and give all the people with the energy venues where they can be together more often and work on projects more often.”

CoCo will manage the coworking space while Emerging Prairie will host various events and meetups at the facility. The space will particularly support the area’s entrepreneurial system, according to Emerging Prairie cofounder Greg Tehven. “We believe that a collaborative work space improves the work experience for people, especially entrepreneurs.”

Individual membership fees for CoCo Fargo will start at about $70 per month for single-day access each week and increase in cost according to the amount of space access desired. Group memberships will also be available. Details are available at cocomsp.com.

Ball says his company is considering additional expansions throughout the region as the popularity of coworking continues to grow. Look for further coverage on the coworking trend and CoCo’s plans for Fargo in the August issue of Prairie Business.

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