A new collaborative work space for early-stage startups is now open Downtown.
With the St. Louis startup community growing exponentially, coworking establishments and incubators have popped up all over the city to provide entrepreneurs with space and resources to meet their needs. Now a new facility has entered the mix with a unique angle. Lab 1500—part co-working space, part educational center and part meeting and event space—aims to attract entrepreneurs at the very early idea stages of forming their businesses. President and co-founder Jan Christian Andersen calls it an “idea factory for people who don’t want to sit around Starbucks designing a business.”
The concept is an off-shoot of Ignition Tank, a company Andersen and business partner Dan Lohman founded to provide back-office support for startups and small businesses. Lab 1500 is more of an entrepreneur center, featuring a co-working area, a fully equipped conference room, wireless internet, printers and a coffee bar, as well as space to be used for meetings, classes, workshops and events. Dedicated desks or private offices are not offered as at some of the other incubators in town. Instead, members can choose to work individually or in groups at communal tables, in breakout areas equipped with whiteboards and monitors, or in a lounge area featuring a resource library—all options that aim to foster a collaborative spirit. Events, free for members, will include panel discussions, demos and classes covering topics such as how to pitch ideas to investors.
The rehabbed 120-year-old space features the original brickwork, hardwood floors and decorative ceiling tiles, giving it an old-world feel with modern fixtures. Rates are available by the year, month, week or day. “Lab 1500 is for entrepreneurs before they form their company,” Andersen says. “Before they [can] spend a lot of money.”
For more information, stop by 1500 Washington Ave., Suite 100, or visit lab1500.com.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Lab 1500