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Scottsdale Coworking Loft Taps Library Experts

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Scottsdale is getting into the coworking office space groove. The Alexandria Co-working Network just opened up shop at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library – and it’s offering a book worm twist to the traditional coworking model.

ASU Venture Catalyst, the startup arm of Arizona State University (ASU), partnered with the Scottsdale Public Library system to found the Alexandria Co-working Network. The initiative aims to bring together inventors, problem-solvers, entrepreneurs and small businesses in collaboration spaces in community libraries across Arizona.

“The Alexandria Network promotes enhanced utilization of our library assets and is an innovative way to encourage entrepreneurialism, eventually leading to better opportunities for our community,” says Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane.

The Alexandria Co-working Network’s collaboration spaces combine elements of coworking with expert library fact-finding services and ASU startup resources. The collaboration spaces are free and open to the public during normal library hours. You can go there to connect, collaborate and network.

“This is the role of the library in a new economic, social and learning landscape,” says Carol Damaso, Director of the Scottsdale Public Library. “We are partnering on this innovative concept to provide a cooperative learning space and programming that combines the proven success of ASU entrepreneurship programs with the library as a known space for continuing education for all people.”

The Eureka Loft at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library will be the first of many co-working locations that hopes to help grow the innovation economy in Arizona. Each library that joins the Alexandria Co-working Network can create its own space designed to meet the specific needs of the community it serves.

The network provides access to resources that people can use to move their ideas forward, including experienced mentors from ASU’s mentor network, live-streamed “pracademic” classes from ASU’s Rapid Startup School, and physical and digital assets from the libraries. This will ultimately spur economic development and create new products, businesses and jobs in Scottsdale and across the state.

“The Alexandria Co-working Network leverages the many entrepreneurship resources of ASU, including the vast mentor network we have built at ASU SkySong, to support innovators outside of the traditional startup spaces in Arizona,” said Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “Our vision is to build on the successful launch of our first space and expand the network to provide vital startup support to communities throughout Arizona and eventually further afield.”

The Alexandria Co-working Network is rapidly expanding, with several additional locations already planned to launch this year. ASU is working with the cities of Phoenix and Tempe regarding the expansion of the Alexandria Network.

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Jennifer LeClaire

Jennifer LeClaire is a veteran business journalist, editor and new media entrepreneur with a strong niche in real estate and technology. She works from a home office on the beach in South Florida. You can reach her through LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/jleclaire

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