BURLINGTON - A new co-working space is opening in downtown Burlington this summer, city and state leaders announced Monday morning.
The incubator is conceived as a headquarters for high-tech startup companies, a workspace for other professionals and a technology and business support center for all. Co-working is a model for sharing space and fostering collaboration among creative professionals.
"It's basically designed for the startup, the student, the researcher, the remote working professional," said David Bradbury, president of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies. The nonprofit connects entrepreneurs with the mentorship, venture expertise and financial resources they need to grow businesses in Vermont.
VCET now operates two incubator and co-working spaces at UVM and Middlebury. Soon it also will manage the new VCET @ BTV, to be housed on the second floor of a FairPoint Communications facility at 266 Main St. in Burlington.
FairPoint will provide one-gigabit Internet service to the 11,000-square-foot facility. The phone and data service provider also will cover overhead utility costs for a combined monthly rent of $1, Bradbury said. VCET will furnish the new space, and he hopes to keep rent "as close to zero as possible" for the occupants.
The VCET @ BTV announcement at City Hall drew appearances from Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, who helped establish it, as well as Rep. Peter Welch, Gov. Peter Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. FairPoint Vermont president Beth Fastiggi and UVM provost David Rosowsky also were on hand.
Bradbury said co-working spaces are growing in popularity around the state, with active sites in North Bennington, White River Junction and Montpelier, in addition to VCET's operations in Burlington and Middlebury and the Generator Maker Space in Burlington.