Coworking movement gains momentum in
A new white paper published by the Vermont Center for Emerging
Technologies (VCET) confirms the existence of a budding coworking
movement underway in Vermont. Coworking in Vermont: A Starter Guide
provides specific recommendations for how to build shared work
places for Vermont's growing creative workforce who increasingly
work remotely and independently.
Written by Lars Hasselblad Torres,
founder of Montpelier's popular coworking cooperative Local 64, the
report offers step-by-step instructions on how to explore, execute
and launch a successful coworking hub, based in part on how Local
64 was developed in Montpelier.
Local 64 launched in June 2012 and now has nearly 40 members
across a range of disciplines. In addition to providing a dynamic
work environment, Local 64 also offers weekly programs for members
and the public that include guest lectures, art openings, social
mixers, and business pitch events like the popular "Pitch Kitchen"
"After years of working out of homes, in coffee shops, and in
rented, often isolated offices, coworking has emerged as a new
workplace model that caters to the habits, culture, and lifestyle
of the independent worker," said VCET President David Bradbury.
"Lars has articulated an excellent, easy to follow model that has
great potential to revitalize Vermont downtowns and community
centers, and create opportunities for real collaboration among
The coworking movement aims to bring together diverse
communities of creatives and entrepreneurs into common workspaces,
providing opportunities to share resources, build partnerships and
peer networks, and break the isolation of working alone.
"What we found is that there is a huge need out there, and an
enormous interest in creating collaborative and dynamic working
environments," said Torres. "After opening less than a year ago, we
have already expanded our space in Montpelier."
"VCET and Local 64 are aware of at least six other Vermont
communities who have expressed an interest in creating coworking
spaces, but they need help and guidance on how to approach it,"
said Bradbury. "We see a real opportunity to share best practices,
share resources and ultimately create a statewide network of
Coworking spaces now number more than 500 in the U.S. and more
than 1,300 around the world. There are currently five coworking
spaces in Vermont: Ofﬁce Squared and The West Collective in
Burlington, Local 64 in Montpelier, The Bridge in Brattleboro, and
Bennington's Print Room.
Given the right set of circumstances, where local cultures of
entrepreneurship and independent artistry thrive, coworking is a
proven business model that can strengthen Vermont communities and
promote economic development. Vermont is ripe for coworking to
expand due to a range of factors including its small communities,
high population of creative and technical workers, and
"These types of spaces are a great way to enable the expansion
of the creative economy statewide," said Pat Moulton Powden of the
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation. "Lars has written an
excellent "how to" guide to help entrepreneurs get these started in
our downtowns. We are pursuing such a center for the Brooks House
in downtown Brattleboro and this document has been very helpful
thus far," she added.
Moulton Powden said that Brattleboro Development would work
with Vermont's Regional Economic Development Corporations to
promote the coworking plan and to help establish more coworking
sites throughout the state.
Coworking in Vermont: A Starter Guide outlines steps:
researching the ideal community, location and types of shared
environments; how to create a coworking business plan; exploring
various membership structures; the importance of branding; and how
to secure startup funding.
The white paper is available for
download at www.local64.com/coworking.
About Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET): VCET is
technology firm incubation program serving all of Vermont to help
create next- generation jobs for this generation of Vermonters.
Select, high-opportunity ﬁrms and entrepreneurs receive substantive
business mentoring, flexible ofﬁce space, shared resources, capital
formation assistance, workshops, and access to VCET's proprietary
"talent cloud" of mentors, executives, venture capital investors,
and economic development partners.
Since 2008, VCET has directly assisted over 500 startups and
entrepreneurs across Vermont. VCET's portfolio companies have
raised over $50 million in capital since then.
About Local 64: Local 64 is a coworking hub and creativity
incubator located on the second floor of 5 State Street in downtown
Montpelier. Local 64 offers a flexible, tiered membership structure
that makes our services accessible and affordable. For more
information visit www.local64.com.