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Coralville Colab Open to Entrepreneurs

CORALVILLE, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- Corridor entrepreneurs now have a brand new space to get their businesses off the ground. The Coralville CoLab opened its doors for the first time Tuesday night, to a group from the University of Iowa Alumni Association.

The Coralville CoLab joins with other business incubators like the IC CoLab and The Vault in Cedar Rapids as a part of the movement to grow the Creative Corridor.

"We need more people affiliated with the university, past and present, to consider coming back here and living. We need the people who live here to know what's going on so they can tell other people. We've got to slow down the brain drain," said Iowa City Area Development Group president Mark Nolte.

Despite the brain drain, Nolte said  businesses here are really starting to grow. The IC CoLab is packed to the brim with 15 companies, and has a waiting list of six more looking for the kind of temporary housing the CoLab provides.

This new space takes the Corridor one step  closer to becoming a regional start-up hub, Nolte said.

"The start-up community doesn't care about borders, they don't care about political jurisdictions, they're just trying to grow, so it's a really regional effort," Nolte said.

ICAD has plenty of good examples to draw from, like former Iowa Hawkeye kicker and all-time leading scorer Nate Kaeding. Kaeding and his family came back to Iowa City after living in San Diego during Kaeding's time in the NFL. Now, they own Short's Burgers and Shine.

"The great thing about Iowa is that there are other people who will go that extra step and you can easily jump in your car and drive up to Cedar Rapids and talk to this guy who's connected to this guy and have that face-to-face meeting," Kaeding said.

He's hoping the Coralville CoLab will help foster more of those meetings, and even more growth.

The CoLab has eight open office spaces ranging in rent from $400 to $700 per month.

Find out more at iccolab.com/coralville.
 
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