By ROGER BUTTON

BUSINEWS Columnist

VENICE — The first and only co-working center in downtown Venice is up and running.

COLAB CoWorking Venice provides the ideal location for those wanting a start-up or an alternate business location. The new co-working space which is located in the Patterson Building and has been designed by Andre Carrero of the Venice Sign Shop and Ken Wagner of Shine Media.

The pair has created the space to help entrepreneurs. It is unlikely most entrepreneurs can afford their own premises when starting, COLAB is an alternative to renting an office.

The COLAB co-working project resolves the issues — it provides virtually everything needed, from a professional office in a private location, a virtual desk, office equipment, Wi-Fi, a conference room, mailing address, printing and more.

A virtual desk provides the user with access to their desktop via a server, so the work can be accessed from any computer within the space. All of the icons, documents, and other desktop items are stored on a server as opposed to the computer memory.

There is also coffee, a conference room and a business lounge area. The COLAB suite is a shared office for resident members ideally suited for technology businesses.

“Many young professionals try to do it all in Starbucks so many times, but that has its limitations,” said Carrero. “A downtown business location with parking is so important when starting or operating a small business.”

COLAB makes it easy providing several choices at different affordable rates for co-working services.

The COLAB co-working suite offers renting in three hour sessions from only $75 for a virtual desk, chair and Wi-Fi. For creative clients, the collaborators suite provides much more including 24 hour key access and a private conference room for resident businesses.

There are individual suites which occupants can custom design. Memberships can be tailor-made to the business owner’s needs.

COLAB is all about business and providing a platform for networking, as well as collaborating together for success.

Already using the facilities are a home services and an air-conditioning company. With around 2,500 square feet on the second floor of the Patterson Building, Carrero has plans for complete offices to grow start-ups.

He has two individual suites, one currently used by a tea company, others ideal for a recording studio, private office and more.

“Under the COLAB umbrella we are a part of Nokomis Osprey, Venice, North Port Chambers of Commerce, Venice MainStreet and specific memberships provide member participation,” said Carrero. “It worked for me because it is where you network.”

COLAB CoWorking Venice, 250 W. Miami Avenue, office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, call 941-786-1596 or visit www.colabvenice.com for more information.

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