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.


  1. Megan Tsui said:

    Griff- Thanks for the fantastic photos and the post. The NEC is excited to be exploring this idea for Northfield and welcome community input. As Griff noted, we’re going to be scheduling a community wide, open meeting about what this could look like in Northfield. If you want to be sure to notified, just drop me an email and I’ll add you to the list. Locally Grown is also a great place for discussion and comments, so please use this space as well. The NEC is listening!!!

    Megan Tsui

    December 6, 2011
  2. Megan,

    Make sure I am on the invite list for the next meeting. Thanks!

    December 6, 2011
  3. Megan Tsui said:

    You bet, Hayes!

    December 7, 2011
  4. Kris Hansen said:

    Megan – great to chat with you yesterday re: the vision of NEC for Northfield. Looking fwd to collaborating with you at the next meeting.

    December 8, 2011
  5. Megan Tsui said:

    I just wanted to take a minute to thank Kris for reaching out to the NEC. Kris works at Target Commercial Interiors and worked closely with the owners of CoCo in Mnpls/St. Paul with designing their spaces. He has graciously offered to come to town to discuss resources that he has that we might use when concidering this concept. He has been a speaker at some coworking events all around the country and is fantastic resource! Yay Kris!

    Kris found out about our exploritory work becasause a friend forwarded the Locally Grown blog to him. How cool is that? Yay Griff!

    So, thanks Kris, and we will be in touch!!!

    December 8, 2011
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    Hey Kris, good to have you chime in here and to know that we might see you in Northfield. The new CoCo Mpls space is impressive.

    For those who want to know more about Kris and follow him via various social media services, see:

    December 8, 2011
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Employees of Northfield area corporations and other large local organizations could end up being frequent users of a local coworking space. See this article in GigaOM, courtesy of Kris Hansen’s tweet:

    Coworking: A window into the future of work

    But these days, more and more corporations are leveraging coworking spaces, with motivations ranging all the way from real estate downsizing to perks to increased productivity…

    At coworking spaces, people tend to be more focused, agreed Herman Miller Advanced R&D Projects Lead Consultant Jennifer Magnolfi. “These spaces simply feel more appropriate for the way we work today,” she said, simply because they reflect the tools we use to work today. She added than many coworking spaces follow different design paradigms than your plain old office, inviting people to learn as well as work.

    December 9, 2011
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Coco’s Mpls space in the Grain Exchange is featured on the front page of today’s Strib business section: A trading floor for new ideas: “The historic space at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange is silent no longer. It’s an incubator for 21st-century entrepreneurs.”

    December 28, 2011
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks for that link, Megan.

    I don’t know what Northfield needs the most but I’m looking for a ‘community of practice,’ which is how the author describes coworking.

    I also like this:

    Uniquely, coworking spaces are often organized organically as a community first before a business entity is formed. They tend to be part of a global movement that generally subscribes to core values of community, openness, collaboration, sustainability, and accessibility.

    December 30, 2011

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