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Senate President Rosenberg Announces $384K Collaborative Workspace Grants in Western Massachusetts

ORANGE, MA – November 1, 2017 – Today, Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) announced $384K Collaborative Workspace grants for two organizations in Greenfield and one in Orange to strengthen community-based innovation and entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth’s cities and towns. The second round of these Collaborative Workspace Program awards, managed by MassDevelopment will build physical infrastructure to support new entrepreneurial ventures while spurring innovation and job creation at the local level.

“By giving entrepreneurs across Massachusetts the tools and support they need to succeed, we are driving innovation that fuels our economy,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “These investments in our communities will ensure that Massachusetts remains at the center of creativity, innovation and job growth.”

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined Senate President Stanley Rosenberg to announce the funds at an event at LaunchSpace Inc. in Orange, the final in a series of announcements for the Collaborative Workspace Program awards. Secretary Ash previously announced a total of $1,600,592 in Collaborative Workspace Program grants, including $343,000 for seven Western Massachusetts organizations and $1,257,592 for 20 organizations in Eastern, Central, Northeastern, and Southeastern Massachusetts. Today’s awards include funding to support fit-out and equipment costs to grow collaborative workspaces in Franklin County.

The Baker-Polito Administration announced this second funding round in May 2017. It includes $1 million from the Baker-Polito Administration’s fiscal year 2018 Capital Investment Plan, $500,000 from MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Fund, and $645,000 from the Barr Foundation, the first installment of a three-year, $1,965,000 grant to the program to expand support for arts-related collaborative workspaces in the Commonwealth.

The Collaborative Workspace Program provides grants for community-based organizations seeking funding to advance locally-based innovation and entrepreneurship. Collaborative spaces often feature open floor plans, community meeting spaces, and shared tools or equipment with emphasis on common and shared spaces. MassDevelopment administers the state’s program, which builds upon its work funding Gateway City collaborative workspaces through TDI’s Cowork program. The first round of Collaborative Workspace Program grants awarded more than $950,000 in grant funding to 23 organizations: 10 fit-out grants to develop and expand  shared workspaces, including innovation centers, incubators, artist spaces, collaborative kitchens, and co-work spaces; and seed grants to fund planning efforts and build the capacity of 13 additional collaborative workspaces.

In August 2016, Governor Baker signed comprehensive economic development legislation, An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development. This legislation created the Community Innovation Infrastructure Fund and capitalized the TDI fund, growing statewide innovation assets and empowering community innovation stakeholders to drive regional job growth. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development’s community-based innovation strategy builds the Commonwealth’s innovation ecosystem and demonstrates the reach of Massachusetts’ innovation economy: 118 communities contain at least one innovation space, program, or organization, with dense innovation hubs in every region. For more information and to access the statewide innovation asset database, please click here.

Greenfield and Orange Collaborative Workspace Program Grant Winners

Greenspace CoWork, Greenfield - $101,782

Greenspace CoWork is Greenfield's first co-working space, and provides a comfortable, connected, and secure environment for entrepreneurs to work independently, meet with clients and partners, and collaborate with others. The organization is currently funding and implementing the first phase of its build out. This grant will allow Greenspace CoWork to fund and implement the project's second and final phase of design and construction work, including interior construction, office furniture, AV equipment, and other furnishings.

LaunchSpace Inc., Orange - $250,000

LaunchSpace is a makerspace with workforce training and support spaces for local entrepreneurs and artists. The organization is collaborating with Greenfield Community College to offer other classes in making-related topics. This grant will allow LaunchSpace to re-purpose an otherwise empty industrial space and to upgrade its insulation, HVAC system, windows, and electric system.

Pioneer Valley Game Developers Co-Dev Space, Greenfield - $33,000

The Pioneer Valley Game Developer co-working space (The Dev) is designed specifically for small and independent game studios looking to share a space with other game developers. The Dev will use grant funds for additional equipment that has been specifically requested by its members.  

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