The Spur is hosting a coworking ‘jelly’ on Wednesday, Jan. 16

I blogged about The Spur, the Northfield Enterprise Center‘s new coworking and incubator/accelerator facility, last July when it opened. I’ve been a regular there ever since.  If you’ve not been by yet, considering joining us on Wednesday for our first jelly (PDF flyer).

Griff Wigley, coworking guy at The Spur in NorthfieldJelly at the Spur 
What’s a coworking jelly?

JELLY: a casual coworking event, where freelancers, home workers and people running small businesses meet up in order to get out of their normal space, meet some new people and work together in a social environment.

chat booth at The Spur in Northfieldchat booth at The Spur in NorthfieldErica Zweifel, Amelia Schmelzer, Dale Gehring, Tami Enfield, Mega Tsui,
The latest addition to the facilities at The Spur is what we’re calling a ‘chat booth.’ It’s a small space where you can take/make phone calls without bothering others. And if you need to use your laptop to make calls or otherwise use it for audio, the booth has a flip-down table, too. I find the chat booth to be very handy, especially when some of Northfield’s movers and shakers stop by (right photo above) and keep bothering me and socialize a bit.

And Joe said ‘Let there be tables on Bridge Square.’ And Ross saw the tables and said it was good.

picnic table on Bridge Square, Northfield chained picnic table on Bridge Square, Northfield picnic table on Bridge Square, Northfield 
I was at a meeting of downtown office workers last week, hosted by the NDDC, when the discussion veered towards downtown amenities.  NEC head honcho Megan Tsui brought up the issue of the lack of tables on Bridge Square that would be conducive for both meetings as well as eating.  She said someone from the City once told her that they couldn’t put picnic tables on Bridge Square because pranksters would toss them in the Cannon River.

 Northfield City Engineer/Public Works Director Joe StapfThis little tidbit made its way back to Northfield City Hall and a few days later, NDDC ED Ross Currier told me that two picnic tables magically appeared on Bridge Square, evidently via divine intervention an executive order from City Engineer/Public Works Director Joe Stapf.

Cool. And it makes me hopeful we’ll soon see even better table/bench amenities there that are conducive to meetings, games, socializing, and eating.

(With apologies to the author of the Book of Genesis for my blog post title.)

It’s true. Working alone sometimes stinks. Therefore…

The Spur: Working alone stinks. Let's work together. The Spur: Working alone stinks. Let's work together. Grand Opening: The Spur Jack Hoschouer, Arlen Malecha, Megan Tsui, Mary Schmelzer
The Spur, the Northfield Enterprise Center‘s new coworking and incubator/accelerator facility in downtown Northfield, had its grand opening last Thursday. Among the attending dignitaries (right photo above on the Spur’s back deck): Jack Hoschouer, Arlen Malecha, Megan Tsui, Mary Schmelzer.

The Spur’s sidewalk sandwich board proclaims:

Working alone stinks. Let’s work together.

 Megan Tsui, Shafi Shahriar Megan Tsui, Shafi Shahriar raffle winner
NEC Executive Director Megan Tsui and intern Shafi Shahriar picked the raffle ticket for the Kindle Fire, donated by Community Resource Bank. The winner: Carla Hansen.

Tami Enfield of Brand Yourself Consulting, presenting at the SpurSummer of Social Learning - FacebookTami Enfield of Brand Yourself Consulting, presenting at the Spur

Earlier in the day in the Spur’s conference room,Tami Enfield of Brand Yourself Consulting, hosted a free Lunch ‘n Learn session on ‘Facebook for Business,’ part of the ‘Summer of Social Media’ series sponsored by the NEC and the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Spur coworking center opens this week; win a Kindle Fire at the open house Thursday night

Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Amelia Schmelzer, Shafi Shahriar, CJ James, Megan Tsui, Connor Petersen
I spent a few hours last week at The Spur, the Northfield Enterprise Center‘s new coworking and incubator/accelerator facility at 313 1/2 Division St, (2nd floor above Division St. Dance).  NEC Executive Director Megan Tsui had her interns hard at work getting the place ship-shape (right photo above: Amelia Schmelzer, Shafi Shahriar, CJ James, Megan Tsui, Connor Petersen).

Griff Wigley at Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN  
I’ll be officing here starting this week, mostly in the mornings t 8:30-noonish (yes, I’ll maintain my corner office at GBM 6-8:30am). The main room has plenty of work spaces, plus a fridge, microwave, coffee pot, water cooler, lockers, and a copy machine/network printer. Not visible: fast wi-fi.

Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN Spur Coworking, Northfield, MN
The back (east) room has three areas: a lounge, a big meeting space in the middle (tables, chairs, digital projector), and a smaller conference table in the back. The outdoor deck area (right photo) will have tables and chairs.

The Spur currently has three membership levels, similar to CoCo MSP’s individual membership plans but without the signup fees.

Kindle FireWant to win a Kindle Fire, donated by Community Resource Bank?

See the web version of Megan’s email for details on the July 26 4-7 pm open house.

Photos: the NEC hosts a gathering on coworking

Northfield coworking planning session Megan Tsui, Pat Allen
I attended the Coworking Incubator/Accelerator Community Brainstorming Session yesterday in the Archer House lower level conference room, hosted by the Northfield Enterprise Center.

I don’t have time to summarize what happened (hopefully, ED Megan Tsui will do that!) but I’m guessing there will be a website within a month, as Sean Hayford O’Leary and I volunteered to get that going.

DSC07276 DSC07280 DSC07284

DSC07286 DSC07287 DSC07277

Northfield coworking gathering is Tuesday, Jan. 31

Northfield Coworking gathering

The Northfield Enterprise Center is hosting a Coworking Incubator/Accelerator Community Brainstorming Session on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2-4 pm in the Archer House lower level conference room.

In related news, according to Megan Tsui, NEC’s executive director, "the EDA approved the NEC’s request for $20,000 in matching funds for a grant from SMIF (also $20,000)" for the "design and development of an Incubator/Accelerator (I/A) space in Northfield. The NEC will use a Co-working model with a membership structure to help make the project sustainable for the long-term." See pages 7-14 of last week’s EDA mtg packet.

And last Friday, "Councilwoman Rhonda Pownell and several NEC Board members took a tour of CoCo Minneapolis," according to this post on the NEC Facebook Wall.

If you’re new to coworking, see all the blog posts about it here.

NEC convenes coworking group; photos of CoCo MSP’s new Mpls space show what’s possible

Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 
Yesterday afternoon, Megan Allen Tsui, Executive Director of the Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC), convened a meeting of possible stakeholders and other people interested in creating a coworking/incubator/accelerator space in Northfield (background blog post here). We met in a conference room at the Neuger Communications Group.

Other attendees: Ross Currier (NDDC), Tami Enfield, Rick Estenson (First National Bank Northfield, NEC, Chamber), Kathy Feldbrugge (Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce), Jody Gunderson (City of Northfield), Beth Kallestad (CRWP), Julie Kildahl, Dave Neuger (Neuger Communications Group, Chamber), Rhonda Pownell (Northfield City Council), Donna Rae Scheffert, Mary Schmelzer (Northfield Enterprise Center),  Justin Volling (St. Olaf student), and Erica Zweifel (Northfield City Council).

Tentative next steps include a community awareness meeting in January, as well as a couple of coworking jellies.

After the meeting, I attended an event at CoCo MSP’s new space in the Grain Exchange Building in downtown Minneapolis.

Here are some photos of what it now looks like, with its:

CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis
large event space;

CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis
open tables;

CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis
and dedicated desk and ‘campsite’ spaces.

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