CoCo Mpls: Grain Exchange Converted to Coworking Space


The Twin Cities are in the heart of Midwestern America, associated by many with agriculture over architecture or technology. How fitting it is, then, that this new combination of hot-desking, co-working, micro-office and incubator space was a working farm commodities exchange less than a decade past.

The multi-floor main space is wrapped in ornate decor and features real working buildings from when the room was used as an actual day-trading zone. These are programmable, too, and can be used for both art and announcements.

The antique wooden floors now house modern desks and portable partition walls, sectioning off group and individual spaces dedicated to different purposes (e.g. solo walk-ins, extant small businesses and so forth). Dedicated meeting and storage spaces sit through side doors as well as on opera-like boxes cantilevered above. Old desks pictured here have largely been moved to ancillary areas, making room for up-to-date, data-and-power-ready workstations (as shown in the plans).

Tonight, this editor (a local) attended their kickoff celebration for Project Skyway, a parallel venture that co-habitates with CoCo and has brought together startup founders from around the United States for a crash course in entrepreneurship and development support. “Project Skyway is a tech accelerator for motivated software entrepreneurs launch[ed] Summer 2011. We are helping 10 early-stage software companies to start smart by offering them seed money, mentorship, co-working space and connections.”


The CoCo space itself is the second of its kind, sibling to a St. Paul space launched last year. Together, these arguably represent the most thoroughly thought-out and broadly-accessible options for Twin Cities freelancers, entrepreneurs, founders and others who want to share space in order to network (and save funds in the process). “CoCo is a place where independent workers, small businesses and corporate workgroups can gather to share ideas, team up on projects and get some work done. We’re a business center that gives you an alternative to working from home or meeting at the local coffee shop.” If you happen to be in the area, don’t be surprised to see your friendly neighborhood Dornob editor dropping by!

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