In Business: “LaunchPad” Helping Start-Up Companies Succeed
LaunchPad offers startup companies, entrepreneurs, and freelancers a professional work environment with a number of opportunities to be successful. It’s located in the Mayflower Building in downtown Bemidji.
“The whole Launchpad program really came about when we, Greater Bemidji, purchased this building and renovated it to be the hub for economic development for the region. And looking around the space we realized there was some space that was not going to be fully utilized, and this opportunity to try a co-working space and adding some of those support features for entrepreneurs really made a lot of sense,” said Tiffany Fettig, Launchpad Director of Business Development.
The co-working space opened its doors a couple of years ago to support entrepreneurs in the Bemidji region and to create a strong start-up culture.
“What the LaunchPad really is, is a one-stop shop for people that are looking to get into business or are in business looking for resources. We have a variety of different resources on-site and have connections within the community to get them the assistance they need to make their business successful,” Fettig said.
Some of the resources offered at LaunchPad include mentors to help and give guidance throughout the business start-up process, business consultants, financial sources, and networking opportunities. Fettig says networking is one of the most important things for someone getting into business.
“Networking with others and understanding the challenges around being an entrepreneur. And so we have opportunities every week that encourages people to network with each other and peer-mentoring as well as mentoring with experts in the fields,” Fettig said.
LaunchPad has numerous works and meeting space areas. There are flexible work spaces that people can come in and get their work done and leave. Others are permanent dedicated work spaces called campsites where people can customize their work space by bringing in their own material and furniture. There is a total of nine campsites available at launchpad.
“It gives you access to space at a much-reduced rate then if you had to go get the overhead of lease space and downtown or build your own building. Usually in those early stages of business, that becomes real difficult and can sometimes be what causes a business to fail, just too much overhead; here’s an opportunity to reduce that up front and get yourself established before you go out on your own,” Fettig said.
LaunchPad offers entrepreneurial meetups every Wednesday morning for people to network and learn from one another.