In February, the larger startup teams in American Underground's Main Street campus in Durham began to move to two upper floors that were renovated into small offices.
Other additions to the new space
include a room for nursing mothers, a Little Library contributed by a startup team, an outdoor fire pit and ping pong table, along with a rooftop patio and adjacent Google-themed bar. There were more call rooms and conference rooms too.
And within weeks, those spaces were full and plans took shape for another expansion. More on that below. But here's the slideshow we created when the space opened, as well as some shots of events on the patio since then.
Also in February, HQ Raleigh announced plans
to build a second building just behind its existing space in downtown Raleigh's warehouse district. But citing a need for more space immediately, it also leased space for an annex building across Harrington Street for some of its growing teams, like WedPics and Vital Plan. Up to 10 companies can operate there while construction continues on the HQ expansion. More on those plans below.
Carrboro's only co-working space more than doubled in size with a June expansion into a building with tenants like Steel String Brewery and the Glasshalfull wine bar. The two-year-old community counted more than 30 members after the expansion, with a tenant list of artists, freelancers, business people, remote workers and more.
Billed as the Southeast's first coworking space that includes childcare, Nido in downtown Durham is focused on working parents who'd like a part-time option for both working and caregiving. The space has Montessori classrooms for infants and toddlers, in addition to clean upscale workspace for adults.
All of the pricing at Nido is for half-days and includes childcare as well as conference room time, yoga classes and happy hours. There's a nominal fee to add a parent too. Nido exemplifies the Triangle's reputation as a place to raise a family and start a company.
A team of eight local entrepreneurs were inspired by the co-working movement and frustrated at the alarming figures that minority-owned businesses fail at faster rates than majority-owned ones. They created a hub of minority entrepreneurship meant to train and nurture businesses so they have a better chance at success. Located on the third floor of 601 Fayetteville Street in downtown Durham, and opened June 30, iNvictus has 6,000 square feet for co-working, classrooms, conference rooms, phonebooths and events.
iNvictus prices start at $25 for a day pass and range from $200 to $825 per month for coworking or an office.
107 Fayetteville opens
As local angel investor and O2 Fitness owner Michael Olander Jr. grew his portfolio of startup investments, he heard a similar refrain from each: There's no affordable office space in downtown Raleigh when companies graduate from campuses like American Underground and HQ Raleigh.
So he began to renovate a five-story building near the Capitol building to house portfolio companies like Photofy and FilterEasy, as well as others, like 6Fusion and Distil Networks. It opened in July 2015.
With help from the Town of Cary, Cofounders Capital marked the launch of its first fund
with the opening of an office space and free lab in the heart of downtown Cary in July. Managing partner David Gardner
, as well as partners Alex Osadzinski
and Whitney Rowe
provide free space and business assistance to entrepreneurs who work in the space. The office is located in the Cary Theater building.
In a move that got the attention of Governor Pat McCrory earlier in 2015, Duke University in August moved its hub of innovation and entrepreneurship off campus and into downtown Durham's emerging Innovation District. Spanning a floor in an old tobacco warehouse, Duke I&E offers space for students to work and meet and off-campus classes and community events to be held. There are offices for the growing Duke I&E staff as well as the new Duke Angel Network and Innovation Fund.
The Duke space is meant to bridge a gap between student and community entrepreneurship, which will take time. But it's within walking distance of American Underground and the American Tobacco Campus, so you can expect there will be an increasing number of community events there over time. The Duke Angel Network has already made several local investments as well.
This move is significant because it marks the first national coworking chain to pay attention to North Carolina's emerging startup scene. Industrious
is a Chicago-based company that is venture-backed and opening co-working spaces in emerging tech hubs across the U.S. The new space in Raleigh, which opened in November in the Charter Square building, marks its ninth space.
During a recent visit to Industrious, about half the offices were occupied, most of the furniture had been delivered and set up, and Panera pastries and coffee was being served. Some of the perks of the space are its more upscale furnishings, free snacks and beverages and special events. It also has an amazing view of downtown Raleigh's Fayetteville Street. Some of the tenants include startups Vital Plan, Totalcast and Exit Intel, as well as creative agency Adena Studios.
Coming in 2016:
Windsor Circle has already moved its 75+ workers
onto the top two floors of a building American Underground is renovating at the corner of Main and Market streets in downtown Durham. Once the tallest tower in North Carolina, the historic Trust building is being converted to a space for growing startup teams as well as a Runaway Clothing retail store and art gallery, Beatmaking Lab and office for the Downtown Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. Construction is on schedule and should be complete for a February opening.
The building is expected to meet a critical need for space for teams of five to 10 workers. There will be 25 offices open to them, as well as access to all the amenities across the street in the Main Street campus.
Holly Springs coworking
The Town of Holly Springs is making space available for coworking in 2016, as long as an operator can be identified to run it. According to The News and Observer, the town south of Cary between Apex and Fuquay Varina has approved the creation of an entity where the police department previously operated. The town will provide up to $50,000 to an operator, who will be responsible for the design and operation of the space. Requirements are that this company or person provide programming for tenants and entrepreneurs in the community, in addition to affordable and flexible rates.
Much anticipated in Raleigh next year is the grand opening of the first space targeted to maker and sustainable entrepreneurs (though its open to anyone). Opening the space is the founder of Murphy's Naturals
, the all-natural mosquito repellent company, who will move to the building and both manufacture and ship products there.
A December tour showed construction underway on two floors of the building, which used to be a distribution facility for Winn-Dixie. Besides the typical kitchen, private offices, coworking space and conference rooms, there will be an outdoor patio, a co-working library and the potential for manufacturing or production space. Loading Dock is recruiting its initial 25 members now. Part-time co-working starts at $99 and full time, at $275 per month.