Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.9 Million for Collaborative Workspaces
Program funds physical infrastructure that will benefit entrepreneurial ventures at thirty-one local organizations
January 9, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WORCESTER — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $1,892,910 in grants to 31 organizations to strengthen community-based innovation and entrepreneurship in 22 communities throughout the Commonwealth. The fourth round of the Collaborative Workspace Program, administered by MassDevelopment, will build physical infrastructure to support new entrepreneurial ventures while spurring innovation and job creation at the local level.
“Massachusetts’ economy thrives when local entrepreneurs, creators, and small business owners have the space and resources they need to be successful,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Collaborative Workspace Program represents an important tool for our Administration to foster innovation and drive job growth in the Commonwealth.”
“I’ve been proud to tour several coworking spaces around the Commonwealth to see firsthand how the Collaborative Workspace Program is supporting job creation and community building,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I was pleased to announce grants today to 31 organizations, which will use funding to improve or expand their coworking spaces, buy needed equipment, or explore opportunities for a coworking space in their city or town.”
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss, Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, and WorcLab Executive Director and Board Chairman Larry Genovesi to announce the awards today at WorcLab in Worcester.
“This funding builds on the Baker-Polito Administration’s first economic development bill and three grant rounds we have supported since 2016,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Coworking spaces are at the epicenter of Massachusetts’ innovation ecosystem, and we are pleased to further invest in these unique facilities in every region of the state.”
“The Collaborative Workspaces Program provides the infrastructure for Massachusetts residents to grow their businesses, advance ideas, and connect to one another with an energy that drives our communities forward,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is proud to administer this forward-thinking program on behalf of the Commonwealth, and we thank the Baker-Polito Administration, the legislature, and the Barr Foundation for their continued support.”
Through its first three rounds of grants, the Collaborative Workspace Program provided over $5 million in 81 awards for the planning, development, and build-out of different types of collaborative workspaces.
MassDevelopment’s continued partnership with the Barr Foundation broadens the reach of the Collaborative Workspace Program to include the creative sector, a critical source of innovation and positive community change.
“It is our privilege to partner with the Commonwealth and MassDevelopment on this investment in artists and creative entrepreneurs to bolster Massachusetts’ innovation economy,” said San San Wong, Arts & Creativity Program Director at the Barr Foundation. “In the supportive environment of these collaborative workspaces, they will develop new ideas, find new partners, launch new enterprises, and grow small businesses that will infuse vibrancy and economic activity in their communities.”
In June 2019, the Baker-Polito Administration and MassDevelopment announced the opening of the fourth round of program grants. Eligible organizations could apply for either seed grants to plan and study the feasibility of new collaborative workspaces, or fit-out grants to develop and expand existing workspaces.
Through the first three rounds of the program, collaborative workspaces have added 3,771 users since implementing their grant-funded projects, and occupy approximately 575,000 square feet in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Many awards have benefited innovation spaces in the state’s Gateway Cities.
"We are really proud of the grassroots innovation that has taken hold here in Worcester, and now has a home right downtown in the Printers Building,” said Representative Mary S. Keefe. “This Fit-Out grant helps to spread the wealth of our Commonwealth and allow for more folks to have opportunity for making and creating."
“Congratulations to WorcLab on today’s announcement and I look forward to great things to come out of this space. We’re seeing coworking and manufacturing organizations like this creating dynamic spaces for everything from entrepreneurs to afterschool programs,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “I want to thank the Baker-Polito administration and the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development for their continued support of Worcester and for subsidizing so generously the cost of discovery in our growing innovation economy.”
"WorcLab is grateful for the continued support of MassDevelopment,” said WorcLab Executive Director and Board Chairman Larry Genovesi. “Our goal is to create entrepreneurial opportunities for Worcester’s diverse community. These grants allow us to continue to improve the WorcLab facility and offer new and innovative programs to our members.”
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth. During FY2019, MassDevelopment financed or managed 316 projects generating investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 9,743 jobs and build or preserve 1,992 housing units.
2019 Collaborative Workspace Program Grant Winners
Old Stone Mill, Adams – $75,000
The Old Stone Mill aims to be a community-accessible space for creative expression, collaboration, innovation, and zero-waste practice and education. The center will use this grant to bring the rehabilitated mill building up to code and allow the center to open to the public by improving the electrical system and completing water sealant projects and accessibility improvements.
Belchertown Cultural Alliance, Inc., Belchertown – $10,000
The Belchertown Cultural Alliance is a proposed coworking space, makerspace, and community incubator kitchen at the former Belchertown State School property, which is currently being redeveloped into a mixed-use neighborhood named Carriage Grove. The organization will use grant funding to conduct a feasibility analysis, undertake strategic planning, and estimate the cost of preliminary designs.
BevArt (Miranda's Hearth), Beverly – $12,910
The nonprofit Miranda’s Hearth is seeking to establish BevArt: The Beverly Arts Community Center, an artist incubator and community art center. This grant will cover consultant costs associated with a feasibility analysis.
Gathr Work, Beverly – $100,000
Gathr is a proposed coworking and event space to be located on the ground floor of a mixed-use building in downtown Beverly. This grant will be used to build out the facility.
Artists for Humanity, Boston – $100,000
Artists for Humanity provides under-resourced teenagers with paid employment opportunities in art and design. The organization will use grant funding to fit out its welding studio and buy equipment.
Midway Artist Studios, Boston – $125,000
Launched in 2005, Midway Artist Studios provides free and public working and convening space for artists, designers, investors, and small business owners, and has affordable live-work studios available for lease. This grant will help the organization fund needed improvements at its existing coworking space and create two new coworking spaces.
The Record Co., Boston – $125,000
The Record Co. is a nonprofit community music workspace established for musicians, producers, engineers, songwriters, and other creatives. Grant funding will allow the organization to build key infrastructure and new recording studios.
The Stationery Factory, Dalton – $100,000
The Stationery Factory is a 100,000-square-foot former manufacturing facility that was redeveloped for event and commercial office space. The building is home to a multifaceted coworking space that includes artist studios, incubator space, a commercial kitchen, and a community emergency resource center. The grant will fund infrastructure investments for code compliance, kitchen renovations, and the expansion of usable space.
Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River – $125,000
Located in a mill building in Fall River’s Transformative Development Initiative district, the Narrows Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization featuring performance space, visual art galleries and studios, a classroom, and a café. This grant funding will allow the organization to renovate the second floor of its building into event, office, and artist studio space with a new HVAC system, flooring, restrooms, and windows, and an improved building entrance.
HUB 35, Fitchburg – $160,000
HUB 35 is a proposed collaborative workplace and commercial kitchen in Fitchburg’s Transformative Development Initiative district. This grant will be used to buy equipment and build out the space.
Wheelhouse Cowork, Gloucester – $23,500
Wheelhouse Cowork is Cape Ann’s first coworking space and provides a venue for individuals and groups to realize their business goals. The grant will fund HVAC improvements and the build-out of private workspaces for members.
Another Castle LLC, Greenfield – $3,500
Another Castle is a coworking space that caters to video game developers, designers, and professionals in Western Massachusetts and beyond. Another Castle will use this grant to further fit out its space with private meeting booths and additional computer equipment.
Greenspace CoWork, Greenfield – $25,000
Greenspace CoWork is a flexible, on-demand coworking space located in the heart of downtown Greenfield. As Greenspace’s current space is reaching capacity, the organization will use grant funds to expand into a nearby building.
The Hive Makerspace, Greenfield – $25,000
The Hive Makerspace is a proposed makerspace that will enable entrepreneurs and artists to develop new products, projects, and works of art with on-site digital fabrication equipment and electronic, metalworking, and woodworking tools. This grant will be used to hire a consultant to provide all aspects of feasibility work.
Loophole Brewing Services (3 Keys Cahoots), Holyoke – $20,200
Loophole Brewing Services is a proposed brewing space aimed at helping small craft breweries meet demand and engage in collaborations, and providing aspiring brewers with an opportunity to use commercial-grade equipment to test their products. The grant will fund architectural design costs to fit out the space.
60 Vibe, Lawrence – $4,800
60 Vibe is a coworking space adjacent to Lawrence’s Transformative Development Initiative district for startups, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and small businesses. This grant will fund the purchase of a private phone booth for 60 Vibe members.
Revolving Test Kitchen/Lawrence Partnership, Lawrence – $125,000
Run by the Lawrence Partnership, the Revolving Test Kitchen is a business incubator adjacent to Lawrence’s Transformative Development Initiative district that provides startup food entrepreneurs with storage, prep, and café space along with technical assistance from area partners. The grant will allow the organization to restructure its single-user café area to accommodate multiple entrepreneurs, and build out its basement into a shared commercial kitchen.
Inc.Ubate Coworking, Lynn – $100,000
Winthrop-based Inc.Ubate CoWorking aims to open a second coworking space, in Lynn, that will include a common work area, conference room, private meeting spaces, and modern amenities. This grant will be used to build out the space.
The Brickyard Collaborative, Lynn – $4,000
The Brickyard Collaborative is a fully equipped makerspace focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) and entrepreneurship. The organization will use this grant to expand its rapid prototyping offerings with an additional 3D printer.
Stockpot Malden, Malden – $108,000
Stock Pot Malden is a shared kitchen incubator space home to approximately 25 start-up food companies. Stock Pot Malden will use this grant to fit out its second shared kitchen where more advanced companies can operate.
BoroBot, Middleboro – $15,000
BoroBot is a makerspace that provides members with equipment and training in an effort to promote entrepreneurship and teach marketable skills. Grant funding will help the organization buy a 3D printer and laser cutter.
The Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts, New Bedford – $15,000
The Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts has partnered with local organizations WHALE and studio2sustain to redevelop the historic Capitol Theater with affordable housing, retail space, and a coworking and small business incubator space. The organization will use this grant to conduct design work associated with the building redevelopment.
Quest Center for Innovation, New Bedford – $125,000
The Quest Center for Innovation is a coworking space that encourages entrepreneurial start-up activity and offers training programs. This grant will support the build-out of unfinished space on the building’s second floor into private offices including partitions and flooring, lighting, mechanical, and technology upgrades.
Lever, Inc., North Adams – $24,000
Lever, Inc. is a coworking space and startup incubator. The organization will use grant funds to create two additional offices and improve efficiency throughout the space.
LaunchSpace, Orange – $100,000
Located within the Orange Innovation Center, LaunchSpace is a makerspace committed to community development, workforce education and development, entrepreneurial support, and business incubation. LaunchSpace will use this grant to replace the building’s roof and heating system.
Framework Pittsfield Coworking, Pittsfield – $7,000
Framework Pittsfield Coworking is a coworking space for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses. Framework will use this grant to buy and install a free-standing private phone booth.
Provincetown Commons, Provincetown – $50,000
The Provincetown Commons supports creative professionals, artists, small enterprises, scientific and technological projects, and community initiatives through coworking space, shared resources, educational programming, and economic development initiatives. The organization will use grant funds to complete the build-out of its remaining unfinished space, including buying materials for sound attenuation, phone booths, and exterior doors.
Make-It Springfield, Springfield – $125,000
Make-It Springfield is a community makerspace providing local makers, artisans, crafters, entrepreneurs, programmers, students, and others with the opportunity to learn new skills and build relationships. The organization is relocating to the Springfield Innovation Center in Springfield’s Transformative Development Initiative district, and will use grant funds to build out the space with HVAC, electrical, life safety, and plumbing systems, workspaces, and ADA-compliance improvements.
Food rEvolution, Stoneham – $20,000
Food rEvolution is a shared commercial kitchen that supports local and sustainable food production. This grant will help Food rEvolution build out its basement for food storage and prep space.
WorcLab (formerly the Worcester CleanTech Incubator), Worcester – $25,000
WorcLab, formerly known as the Worcester CleanTech Incubator, is a coworking space that provides the space, programs, training, and mentoring entrepreneurs need to propel their ideas into the market. The organization will use this grant to remove a wall in its existing space, thereby providing a more open layout, and furnish the fourth floor of the Printers Building with equipment and partitions.
Worcester Public Library Foundation, Worcester – $15,000
The Worcester Public Innovation Center, proposed by the Worcester Public Library Foundation, will be a flexible makerspace providing access to resources, tools, and technology for community-based learning, problem solving, collaboration, and engagement in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics). The organization will use this grant to buy a laser cutter and 3D printer.