by Melissa Chipman
Vickie Yates Brown, president and CEO of Nucleus kicked off the opening ceremony of the new iHub co-working space on South Floyd Street.
The 2400-square-foot facility is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth, so the opening attracted movers and shakers from all across the state, including Governor Steve Beshear, Mayor Greg Fischer, and Congressman John Yarmuth
Part of the Nucleus Innovation Park initiative, the iHub was inspired by a visit University of Louisville President James Ramsey, made to the famous WorkBar co-working space in Boston. “This is an exciting day at the University of Louisville,” said Ramsey. “This is what our job is.”
Brown welcomed Beshear as someone who has made “new jobs a cornerstone of his administration.” Beshear touted the iHub as a place to “work, network, and form relationships.”
“It’s not a big deal because we’re here,” Beshear said of himself, Yarmuth, and Fischer. “We’re here because this is a big deal”
Fischer introduced himself as an “entrepreneur who just happens to be mayor right now” and reminded the audience that you don’t have to be young to start a business. “Entrepreneurship can be lonely,” he said. And in a co-working space, there will always be someone around to help pick you up. Pulling people together in a space like the iHub, said Fischer, can help cultivate the “can do” spirit that the city is always touting.
Brown told the audience that iHub had already signed fourteen licenses from “seasoned serial entrepreneurs and young folk alike,” she said.
Lease signers span the “seasoned” and “young” entrepreneur demographics:
- Jason D’Mello, Idea Morning
- Stacey Servo, New 2 Lou
- Joanna Cruz, Kentucky Chia
- Phoebe Wood, former CFO of Brown-Foreman
- Fred Durham, founder Cafe Press
Durham, Brown noted, paid six months worth of rent in advance.
Brown also announced a new iHub initiative called “E + I”– “entrepreneurs meet innovators.” On a once a month basis, entrepreneurs and innovators in Louisville will be invited to an informal Q&A with some of the best-known company-founders in our community. Founders already lined up on the schedule include Humana founder David Jones, Sr. and Kent Taylor of Texas Roadhouse.
The iHub facility offers co-working space, meeting facilities, conference phones, a photocopier for just $80 a month, well below the national average for co-working leases. Most lessees are expected to only work part time out of the space.
“It’s happening here at the iHub” said Brown.