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Bigger space may help Colorado Springs business boost other businesses

August 30, 2014
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photo - People work at their computers in the new space for Epicentral Coworking, pictured on Friday, August 29, 2014. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette
People work at their computers in the new space for Epicentral Coworking, pictured on Friday, August 29, 2014. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette 

To Lisa Tessarowicz, the Colorado Springs entrepreneurial community is disconnected.

The elements of what makes a good startup company, she said, are here: people with skills in coding, finance and operations. But to get them to collaborate or start a company together is not easy.

"The ingredients are here. We're just not mixing them the right way," she said. "Those people are not hanging out in the same rooms in Colorado Springs."

That is what her business, Epicentral Coworking, is trying to address, and she hopes that the larger space it moved into this summer will make it easier to achieve a shift.

Tessarowicz co-founded Epicentral Coworking in 2011 in a suite at 409 N. Tejon St. The business allows entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants, and telecommuters to use conference rooms, desks, and office space for a daily or monthly price. A full-time membership lets a person access the space 24/7.

By bringing people together who are not tethered to a traditional office, she is trying to create a place where people will discuss ideas and possibly work together. Whiteboards, presentation rooms, and movable desks and tables provide an environment that can be molded to the needs of the people working there.

But the company started to grow out of its old space, she said, meaning members weren't staying on as long as she hoped. She bought the building next door, at 415 N. Tejon St., in the spring and moved on July 1.

The business occupies about 7,000 square feet in the new location, about triple the previous space. And instead of having just one private office in the old location, Epicentral Coworking now has 15.

Joe Raso, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Business Alliance, applauds Epicentral Coworking's goals.

"The focus on providing collaborative space that allows for an easier connection of people who are running companies in our region, I think is something that's very much needed," he said. "Epicentral is just one of the pieces to the bigger puzzle, but it's a critical piece."

Tessarowicz said about 45 members and businesses use the space. About one-third are entrepreneurs, one-third freelancers and consultants, and one-third telecommuters.

Darsey Nicklasson, vice president of BDP Development, said Epicentral's welcoming and open environment makes for an appealing place to work. She said she can chat with others about their businesses and host meetings in a place that encourages an "entrepreneurial spirit."

Nicklasson's company, which plans to break ground on an apartment complex at 412 S. Nevada Ave. next week, said she is constantly showing off the space to city leaders and colleagues.

"Everybody lifts each other up here," she said.

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Contact Stephen Hobbs: 636-0275

Twitter @bystephenhobbs

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