Collider Coworking

Join Us for Our June Communication Session on Mental Health for Entrepreneurs

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Join us for our June Communication Session focused on Mental Health and Wellness on Wednesday June 26th at 5:30 PM at Collider 424. This session will be a safe space to communicate mental wellness challenges with the goal to help create a community of support for Rochester entrepreneurs.


The session will be moderated by Jay Franson of JF Coaching. Jay Franson is a Life and Business Coach in Rochester and has been working with business owners and business professionals for the past three years. He has a degree in Counseling Psychology and has worked with company teams to improve communication, collaboration, and connection through education and group events.

Disclaimer: The organizers are not licensed therapists. This event is meant to be an informal, supportive gathering of entrepreneurs to provide peer-to-peer support for mental wellness issues we're facing while running our businesses.

This event will be held in Collider 424 (not Collider Coworking, which is located above Bleu Duck). Collider 424 is located on the Mayo Clinic Campus on the corner of 4th Ave SW and 3rd Street SW. The building is directly north of the Mayo Clinic Opus Building and directly south (and across the street) from the Baldwin Parking Ramp. The building is also marked with the orange "C" Collider logo. There is plenty of street parking available around Collider 424 for parking. The doors to Collider 424 are along the west side of the building off the patient parking lot. Please enter through the door closest to 3rd Street SW.

***All ticket sales go directly toward making this a sustainable event in the community.***

9 Tips to Sharpen Your Sales Skills

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Here are nine sales tips from local business expert Marianne Collins. Professor Collins has over three decades of business development experience. She’s currently a Professor of Marketing, Department Chair, and Director of the Strauss Center for Sales Excellence at Winona State University.

Professor Collins’ “Sharpening Your Sales Skills” talk was part of the Business Expert Series held by the Winona State University College of Business and Collider Coworking.


Nine Tips to Sharpen Your Sales Skills:

  1. Remember that the buying journey has changed, especially with the Internet. Now, a buyer is 2/3rds of the way through the buying process before approaching sellers. But the marketplace is even more complex and often overwhelming to buyers.

  2. Develop long term relationships with potential buyers instead of trying to rapidly close sales.

  3. Selling is a conversation. Make an effort to understand what your buyer needs. Ask questions to help the buyer understand what you can offer.

  4. Think of your interaction with potential buyers more as consulting than selling. Position yourself as an expert in your field and know your competition.

  5. Serve as a “buying Sherpa” and help to guide buyers through the complex marketplace. Become a partner to potential buyers and help navigate alternatives and guide them through the buying process.

  6. Stop cold calling. You need to disqualify leads to buyers for which you cannot provide a solution. Don’t chase buyers for which you aren’t a good fit.

  7. Create buyer personas to understand your customer and what experience they want.

  8. Changing the status quo is your biggest competition as a seller

  9. Shorten the sales cycle by creating your value proposition to clearly understand what value you bring to the table and how you are differentiated from your competition.

Local Young Professionals Group Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

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Last week The Commission, a Rochester-based young professionals’ group, celebrated their five-year anniversary. Launched around a table in 2013, The Commission has undergone many transformations since that point. This nonprofit organization serves as a vital connector for young professionals in Rochester to facilitate community involvement, networking, and collaboration.  

As part of this celebration last week at Pure Rock Studios, The Commission honored four individuals in the community.

Collider Coworking Community Manager Jamie Sundsbak won the “Connector of the Year” award. Jamie has brought knowledge and experience from other entrepreneurial communities to Rochester. He always finds time to meet with individuals to assess their needs and help to connect them to vital resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Leah Joy Bee, Owner at Canvas and Chardonnay, received the “Giver of the Year” Award. Leah hosts weekly events at her downtown business to highlight local talent and frequently donates her studio space for community causes. Leah plays a significant role in the local arts and culture scene and helps to make “dreams become reality for creative souls in our community.”

Kady Olson, owner of Wholistic Family Chiropractic, won the “Startup of the Year” award. As a newcomer to the Rochester community, Kady has built her practice patient by patient. She also invests much of her time to community outreach, education, and networking to grow her business.

Julie Brock, Executive Director at Cradle to Career, received the “I.M.P.A.C.T. Award.” As a workforce development professional and educator, Julie “inspires her students to think critically, write deeply, and give kindness out freely.” Julie is currently leading a brand-new initiative with Cradle to Career to improve educational outcomes in Rochester.

Congrats to The Commission (and all the Awardees) on reaching this milestone. Here’s to year number six!

Five Legal Issues for all Healthcare Entrepreneurs

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A few weeks ago, the Rochester startup community heard from Fredrikson & Byron healthcare attorneys Ryan Johnson and Marguerite Ahmann for “Health Law 101: Key Legal Issues for Health Care Companies.” This event was hosted by the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator and Collider Coworking.  

Here are five key legal issues that Johnson and Ahmann believe all healthcare entrepreneurs should have on their radar.

1.     False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA is the primary mechanism used by the government to combat fraudulent claims to the federal government. The FCA was originally enacted in 1863 to protect against fraudulent suppliers to the Union Army during the Civil War. This statute holds any person liable who knowingly submits false claims to the government and can result in payment of treble damages- or triple the amount of the actual damages- plus a $5,000-10,000 penalty for each false claim. This statute applies to many areas of healthcare, especially billing and coding and off-label marketing of drugs. It does not hold persons or entities liable for mistakes, including coding errors.

2.     Qui Tam Provision. This is a provision included in the FCA, which allows people not affiliated with the government, called “relators,” to file false claim accusations on behalf of the government.

3.     Anti-Kickback Statute. This statute makes it illegal to offer, solicit, or receive any payments intended to induce a referral of a federal healthcare program business. Safe harbor regulations outline financial transactions that would not be regarded as offenses under the statute. These specific allowances involve transactions at fair market value.

4.     Stark Law. These are a set of federal laws originally intended to protect against unnecessary testing and services that could increase healthcare costs. These laws prohibit a physician from self-referring Medicaid/Medicare patients for a Designated Health Service (DHS) to an entity in which the physician or an immediate family member has a financial interest. This is a strict liability statute, meaning proof of intent to violate the law is not necessary. Violation of Stark Law is a civil, not criminal, penalty of up to $15,000 per claim.

5.     Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Enacted in 1996, HIPAA is a federal statute that safeguards Protected Health Information (PHI). PHI broadly refers to any information about the state of health, healthcare treatment, or healthcare payment that can be linked to a specific individual. HIPAA applies to “covered entities” – healthcare providers and health systems- and “business associates” – third parties who are contracted to work with the covered entities and have access to PHI. HIPAA provides patients with certain rights over their PHI and who can access these data. Sometimes state laws are more strict than federal HIPAA regulations. In these cases, the more restrictive law must be followed. This is the case in Minnesota, where the Minnesota Health Records Act places additional obligations on healthcare providers not covered under HIPAA. 

For more information about healthcare law, please check out these web resources:

·      U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

·      Office of Inspector General

·      Minnesota Department of Health

Coworking: What You Should Know About This Global Trend and Where to Cowork in Rochester


Coworking- office space where an individual or small group can rent open or semi-private workspace- is a business trend on the sharp rise. As of 2017, approximately 13,800 coworking facilities exist globally, growing at a 22% rate each year, according to the 2017 Global Coworking Survey. Over 1,180,000 people around the world work out of these types of spaces. With 12,500 square feet of coworking space in operation in this city, we thought it was time to take a deeper dive into this trend and better understand the true coworking value.

The Vault coworking space in Rochester. The Vault is located above Grand Rounds Brew Pub.

The Vault coworking space in Rochester. The Vault is located above Grand Rounds Brew Pub.

On the surface level, coworking spaces are exactly that- places to work. They typically include some sort of open work area, where people can rent individual desks on a monthly, or even daily, basis. Some coworking facilities offer semi-private office space, like the small group “campsites” at COCO Coworking. Most coworking facilities also contain sound-proof areas to take phone calls, meeting room space, snacks, beer, lots of coffee, and a mailing address outside of your home. Some even have in-house bars, lockers, showers, daycare, and discount partnerships with local business (such as WeWork and Lyft in Minneapolis).

Rochester Area Foundation non-profit incubator space.

Rochester Area Foundation non-profit incubator space.

Coworking spaces are not just for the uber-hipster, either. And they’re not just for the solo entrepreneur. Small teams, freelancers, remote workers, startups, and teams from Fortune 500 companies can and do operate from coworking facilities.

The extreme flexibility of coworking spaces is perhaps their biggest value add in today’s dynamic business climate. Coworking rental agreements are typically no longer than one month and are renewed on a monthly basis. This allows businesses to avoid long-term leases and offers the ability to scale up or down both the real estate and team in a financially responsible manner.

Coworking facilities come in a variety of flavors. There are massive, one-size-fits-all, chain entities like WeWork and Industrious, both of which have locations in Minneapolis. WeWork is the giant, for-profit entity in coworking; the business has a $20B valuation (Crunchbase), with 305 office locations in 62 different cities. Industrious, also for-profit, has 25 locations in the US and just raised $80M (Axios).

While all general purpose coworking facilities can’t all be unicorns, they can be francized, even on a smaller scale. The Beauty Shoppe is a prime example. This private-public partnership began as a single entity, in a beauty shop in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood. Now, The Beauty Shoppe has four additional locations around Pittsburgh and one facility in Cleveland.

COCO Coworking, another for-profit business, is a great example in our region. COCO now has four Twin Cities locations and has set up shop in Chicago. COCO recently rebranded to Fueled Collective, where their facilities will blend into a hybrid coworking space and social club, linking this community to other Fueled Collective spaces in New York and Cincinnati.

Coworking spaces can also be targeted to specific demographics, when the community is large enough to support it. Several examples exist in the Los Angeles region including One Roof Women, a space specifically for females; The Hatchery Press, a work area just for writers; and Kleverdog Coworking, a facility for the dog lover.    

While there certainly are a plethora of coworking facilities on the global scale, only 41% of coworking spaces are actually profitable. The bottom line: they just take a lot of money to run and receive little money in return. On a non-financial level, coworking spaces can also fail if they do not create an identity, offer no or poor business programming to their members, are not involved in the local community, and fail to develop an inspiring physical space.

Inside of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.

Inside of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.

“The success of a coworking space depends on the community that you’re in,” explained Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager of Collider Coworking in Rochester.

Some particular standout successes occur when coworking spaces popup in repurposed, old buildings and activate that space. This helps to drive foot traffic, interest, and activity to perhaps otherwise unutilized areas of a city. This was the case with Collider Coworking, which took space in the over 100-year-old Conley-Maass-Downs Building in 2016.

Success also occurs when coworking facilities bring distinct educational value to their tenants, such as The Corner, a Beauty Shoppe location in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. This facility offers a ten-week training program in conjunction with Penn State University to support product commercialization.

The most effective coworking spaces, by far, are those that add value to both the surrounding community and to their tenants. They are useful tools to cluster creative minds together to generate synergy, spur innovation, and fuel collaborations to solve real problems. They also provide cost-effective office space to get emerging companies off the ground.

Rochester's newest coworking space, Collider, located in the Conley-Maass-Downs building.

Rochester's newest coworking space, Collider, located in the Conley-Maass-Downs building.

In a city the size of Rochester, coworking spaces may be more effective as non-profit entities, where they “turn more into an economic development play than a co-working space alone,” explained Sundsbak.

Red Wing Ignite, a non-profit that provides coworking space in Red Wing, Minnesota practiced this concept since 2013. Red Wing Ignite subsidizes rental costs to tenants and keeps the lights running through a variety of private-public partnerships including support from Xcel Energy, Goodhue County, Red Wing Shoes, the City of Red Wing, and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

In Rochester, we have four different co-working spaces, financed in a variety of ways, including: The Vault, Collider Coworking, the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, and Rochester Area Foundation. We are on par with the global coworking trend; most of these facilities in Rochester are at 75-100% capacity.

To learn more about the coworking options and culture in Rochester, check out our Rochester Startup series that we created with Ambient House Productions.    

Market Assessment: Why it's a 'Must' for Any Business

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“Some people are just visionaries and they’re able to come up with new ideas like the next or maybe Bright Health or whatever that can totally disrupt the market,” said Mary MacCarthy, a Twin Cities based Marketing and Project Management Consultant. “But for the majority of us, we’re not quite that much of a visionary. Maybe the product that we’re coming up with is just an incremental improvement over what’s currently out there.”

For those of us not creating the next Uber, it’s in our best interest to thoroughly understand if our product or service could support a sustainable business. This involves executing some market analysis to understand product potential.

MacCarthy, an entrepreneur herself, has performed strategic marketing and consulting services for several major players including Medtronic, Cardiovascular Systems, and 3M Health Care.

“I’ve made so many mistakes in the past. So, I really want to just hand along that information so that people don’t go through the pain that I went through in launching their startup,” she explained.

When MacCarthy was building her company, she says she spent too much time behind a desk working on a business plan and not enough time with “boots on the ground” trying to sell to customers right away and figuring out what they actually wanted to purchase. She instead suggests performing a lean market assessment to obtain answers to strategic questions. This helps for informed decision making to move the business forward.

“Generally, you want to spend a proportional amount of time doing your market assessment as you have to amount of risk you’ve got going in,” MacCarthy explained.

If you are going all in with a large portion of your savings on the line, spend a bit more time on your market assessment. But if you’re not taking as much risk, you don’t have as much to lose.

Identifying a target market is one key component to the lean market assessment.

“You have to know exactly who you’re going after,” MacCarthy explained.

This includes understanding the geography of that target market, the demographics of the decision makers, and comprehending who will influence the ultimate success of the product.

Identifying drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the market is another essential piece of lean market assessment. This includes understanding what satisfies key decision makers in the market and what factors go beyond satisfying them. This process involves comprehending how each of your competitive offerings compare along each of these ‘satisfiers’ and ‘dissatisfiers’, which is also key for marketing and sales of the product.

Market sizing and primary and secondary market research are additional pieces of the lean market assessment puzzle.

“You don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on market research to answer every question,” MacCarthy explained.

Entrepreneurs need to identify their competitors and understand what they are doing in the market. But a lot of this information can be obtained right from a laptop. This data is essential when speaking with investors but is frequently left out of fundraising pitches.

[See what MacCarthy has to say about perfecting a fundraising pitch.]

“You need to at least show the investors that you know who your competitors are and what their weak points are, and then how to apply your offerings to meet those needs and alleviate those 'dissatisfiers',” said MacCarthy.

Join Mary MacCarthy to learn more about market assessment next Tuesday at her Market Assessment 101 Expert Series at Collider Coworking.

The State of the Rochester Entrepreneurial Community- 2018


As we transition into another year, it is a prime opportunity to examine the state of the Rochester entrepreneurial community, take stock of our achievements over the past year, examine our losses, and assess the future direction of this city’s innovation sector.

2017 brought several significant ongoing programs to Rochester. February saw the launch of 1 Million Cups Rochester, a monthly educational program for entrepreneurs that takes place in 163 communities across the United States. This event gave fourteen different Rochester startups the opportunity to share their story and gain input from the community on pressing business issues. November brought Rochester’s first full Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event where teams went from idea to a working prototype over a single weekend. Rochester also participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week for the fifth time this year, attracting over five hundred attendees across eighteen different events. The week was also officially proclaimed Entrepreneurship Week in Rochester by Mayor Brede. 

This year, two Rochester tech companies, Brandhoot and Xylo Technologies, were nominated for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Awards, a significant honor for the community. In 2017 Binding Site, a global immunodiagnostic and instrumentation company, established a facility in northwest Rochester. This summer we also saw the addition of several new flights at Rochester International Airport, creating increased opportunity for business travel out of Rochester and improved connectivity to the global workforce.

In 2017 the entrepreneurial community experienced positive momentum in funding, with hopes to continue this trend in 2018. In August, Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) announced the launch of the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund to provide equity financing for startup development. While the new fund has not yet made any investments, Rochester companies raised over $17.5M in 2017 (according to Crunchbase), which includes a $5.4M Series A funding round by Ambient Clinical Analytics, as well as additional private equity and venture capital raises. RAEDI’s startup seed capital fund, the Economic Development Fund, to date has invested in fifteen local companies, of which eighty-two percent are women or minority owned. On the state-wide level, 2017 saw a record number of investments in Minnesota’s Medical Alley with $735M raised by eighty-five companies. 

Growth in Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square sub-district also occurred over the past year. The district now has six current projects, including the Mortenson Building, the first new construction building in Discovery Square. Groundbreaking at this site occurred in November.

This year also brought a general increased interest in entrepreneurship within Rochester and increased coverage of this community by the city’s traditional news media. We also experienced increased organization of Rochester’s innovation sector with a larger number of local organizations beginning to partner with the city’s entrepreneurial community. One example of this increased connectivity was manifested in June, when Vic Gundotra and Dave Albert, senior leaders of the Silicon Valley healthtech company AliveCor, shared their stories of risk and uncertainty in an open forum with Rochester entrepreneurs.

Our entrepreneurial sector also experienced losses in 2017. Perhaps one of the most significant was the exit of architect Adam Ferrari, a leader in the creative community who designed inspiring spaces like Collider Coworking, Grand Rounds Brew Pub, Forager Brewing, Cube, and Café Steam where people could connect, learn, and build businesses. This year also saw the acquisition of Rochester startup Able, a tech startup that built software for farmers by farmers, which resulted in the dissolution of the startup and loss of four local tech jobs.

Although the community had setbacks this past year, 2018 offers opportunity. We look forward to potential increased international and national interest in Rochester, especially in the Discovery Square sub-district as it continues to grow. We also hope to see increased investment in Rochester-based companies and to experience continued recognition as an emerging biotech hub.

Special thanks to Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager at Collider Coworking, and Xavier Frigola, Director of Entrepreneurship at RAEDI, for their input on the state of the Rochester entrepreneurial community.

#Emerge Episode 9 with Amanda Leightner and Jamie Sundsbak

This week in the #Emerge video series, we sit down with local entrepreneur Jamie Sundsbak and talk about career change, the value of good timing, dealing with fear and uncertainty, and entrepreneurial perserverance.

“I think timing is a huge thing. If I had tried to do something even two or three years earlier, it would have failed drastically and immediately.” –Jamie Sundsbak

Offset Printing and Collider LLC to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester

Join the entrepreneurial and small business community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday, August 2nd from 9-10AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen Event Space. This month we have two entrepreneurs from Rochester telling their story, and both work out of the same historic building in the downtown area: AJ Montpetit with Offset Printing and Jamie Sundsbak with Collider LLC.


About Offset Printing

Offset Printing is a very new business that works with artists and businesses to create and print T-shirts and mugs with both sublimation and screen printing.

Launched in: 2017

Presenter: AJ Montpetit

Industry: Other

About Collider LLC

Collider LLC is a coworking hub for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups in a historic building in downtown Rochester.

Launched: 2016

Presenter: Jamie Sundsbak

Industry: Other/Technology


About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 132 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

The Rochester Startup Part Ten: Perseverance is Key as PayGo Thrives in Collider Coworking Space

PayGo founder Chris Peterson. Photo courtesy of PayGo.

PayGo founder Chris Peterson. Photo courtesy of PayGo.

About the author: Ryan Cardarella is a freelance writer who recently moved to Rochester after spending 12 years in Milwaukee.

This series is in partnership with Ambient House Productions, a Rochester based full service video production company specializing in high quality corporate, commercial, & promotional videos.

After nearly 15 years in the software business, PayGo founder Chris Peterson has proven able to consistently adapt in a market that continues to evolve.

Formed in Buffalo, Minn., PayGo is a point-of-sale (POS) software business that has served independent brick and mortar retailers since 2002. In addition to handling POS payments and many additional services, PayGo offers businesses the ability to track and control their inventory, provides robust data on customer interactions and purchases, and integrates stores with their website via the PayGoCart feature.

Through their diverse service offerings, PayGo built up a strong customer base and grew to employ 20 team members by 2008. However, just as the company introduced a product that addressed the emerging need for cloud-based software solutions, a crippling recession that hit small businesses particularly hard during that period knocked PayGo on its heels.

“Things happen in business and you just need to find a way to persevere,” Peterson said.

He responded by downsizing, as many of his clients were forced to close, and eventually relocated the PayGo office to Rochester, a move that has reinvigorated the organization.

After operating remotely for a time, PayGo joined downtown Rochester’s Collider Coworking space in November 2016, a move that appealed to Peterson as his company was once again ready to grow. Peterson has spent much of the last year updating PayGo’s cloud-based software and exploring additional IT services as the company continues to add staff and expand the breadth of their offerings.

“The flexibility of the space was appealing. It has everything we need,” Peterson said. “We feel like a startup again.”

Collider is an entrepreneurial hub that allows occupants to work, learn, and collaborate in a dynamic office setting. The open workspace includes desk and conference room areas, quiet rooms, and perhaps most importantly, a collaborative environment comprised of innovative, like-minded people that are helping to fuel entrepreneurial growth in Rochester.

“Operating out of Buffalo began to feel a bit isolating and there’s more programming in more relevant areas here,” Peterson said. “It’s been great to be around so many other like-minded people who are experiencing some of the same challenges.”

PayGo currently services a wide variety of clients, primarily independent retailers and owners of boutiques, arts and crafts stores, and consignment shops, which includes companies such as Happy Sleeper, Nina, Everyday Wines, and many more.

Looking ahead, Peterson is focused on developing a mobile app, increasing their customer base and providing additional value to that base, and continuing to improve the customer experience for the small businesses they serve.

“The industry continues to shift and we are exploring new ways for our software to appeal to and improve the customer experience,” he said.

The Rochester Startup Series is sponsored by:

The Rochester Startup Part Eight: Collider Coworking

This series is in partnership with Ambient House Productions, a Rochester based full service video production company specializing in high quality corporate, commercial, & promotional videos.

Today we continue with the “Rochester Startup” series, focusing on the newest coworking space in Rochester, which is ironically housed in one of the oldest buildings in downtown.


Name: Collider Coworking

Location: 14 4th Street SW, Suite #203

Parking Available: No

Contact: Jamie Sundsbak

Social Accounts: Facebook @collidercore; Twitter @collider_mn

Current Tenants: (representatives of over 26 companies) Augeo+Greer,, Biomerics, Chartis, SmugMug, Healthcare Safety, More than an Addict, Paramark Real Estate Services, Mayo Clinic Department of Surgery Innovation Accelerator, Scalar, TrekAnalytics, Recombinetics, Raizlabs, Rochester Rising, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, Tinua, PayGo, Ambient House Productions, TPG, Prevent Products, Rochester MN Moms Blog, and Weichert Realators

Collider Coworking opened its doors in August 2016 on the second floor of the 116-year-old Conley-Maass-Downs building. Community Manager Jamie Sundsbak describes Collider as “a historic place in downtown Rochester which is alive with energy.” The Conley-Maass-Downs building is the first official space in Rochester’s Discovery Square district. The 3,200-square foot Collider Coworking facility is divided into open office space, three quiet rooms, and two conference rooms. Collider houses a combination of startups, small businesses, freelancers, and remote workers spanning all types of industry. Costs to work in the coworking facility range from $100 to $325 per month, which includes internet, snacks, drinks, conference room space, educational opportunities, and professional connections.

Sundsbak says there is a real “resurgence of entrepreneurship” taking place in Rochester right now. “With more and more startups beginning in a relatively small area, I think we are going to see some amazing companies emerging very soon,” he explained.

There is tremendous entrepreneurial growth occurring in Rochester right now. But Sundsbak says the entrepreneurs in the city sometimes hold themselves back. “We rely on others to dictate what we can and cannot do. To be successful, we must realize that we don’t need permission from others to be entrepreneurs,” he explained.

The Rochester Startup Series is Sponsored by:

The Rochester Startup Part One: Rochester Coworking Facilities

In part four of the guide to the Rochester entrepreneurial community, we explore the city’s coworking spaces. Coworking facilities can be great value adds to an entrepreneurial community. They serve as membership-based places where entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers, independent professionals, and small businesses can access cheap office space, expand upon their professional network, and receive motivational support.

Coworking spaces can greatly reduce barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. They typically offer inexpensive desk space and may even have private offices. In some instances, these facilities contain conference rooms and even bring in professional speakers or other educational programs. They also take away internet, heating and cooling, and electric expenses from emerging businesses and provide a mailing address that’s not your home.  

Coworking facilities bring professionals from all different industries and spectrums together, under their own coworking “brand,” and can create distinctly unique communities. Association with a particular coworking space can be a powerful way for an emerging business to increase their validity and name recognition.

While coworking may not be for everyone, these space have proven value. Studies have reported higher levels of thriving in people operating in coworking facilities. These professionals have an overall higher performance level than their regular office counterparts, normally have less burnout, are more satisfied, and take fewer days off.

So why have coworking spaces been so successful?

Camaraderie may be one reason. People working in coworking facilities are from many different companies with greatly varied professional backgrounds. There might not even be two people in a coworking space associated with the same business. This diversity decreases competition and lets people just be…people. In turn, coworking spaces foster a culture of collaboration and giving. They can also make entrepreneurship feel less lonely. Instead of working out of a home office, coworking facilities offer emerging entrepreneurs affordable space outside the home where they can interact and gain support from others.

Coworking spaces also build your professional network. Your next collaborator, who has a completely different skill set than yourself, might be right on the other side of the room.

These facilities also allow for more job control. Most spaces offer 24/7 access, allowing members to work whenever they want. This offers a balance between structure and independence. Members have the freedom work at home when they want or work in the space during quieter hours. Coworking facilities also allow for flexibility as a business grows. Small businesses may only need a single desk when they are first starting out. But quickly afterwards they might require several desks or perhaps a private office. Coworking spaces can typically meet these demands, eliminating the need for relocation.

Motivational support is perhaps one of the largest value adds from a coworking facility. From personal experience, people in these spaces might be working multiple different jobs to support their “main hustle.” They work long hours, odd hours, and sometimes show up in sweatpants and sandals. Nothing is odd or out of the ordinary. Everybody just works really hard.  

As the entrepreneurial and startup community in Rochester continues to grow, collaborative environments like coworking facilities become even more important. We have four distinctly unique coworking spaces here to support this emerging sector of the economy: The Vault, Rochester Area Foundation, Collider Coworking, and the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.

Join us over the next month for a new, multi-part series, called “The Rochester Startup,” as we explore these coworking facilities and speak with the high-density clusters of startups and small businesses operating within them.   

This series is in partnership with Ambient House Productions, a Rochester based full service video production company specializing in high quality corporate, commercial, & promotional videos.

This series is sponsored by: