CoworkBuffalo striding toward financial goals

January 9, 2014 Updated Jan 9, 2014 at 9:27 PM EDT

By Dan Miner, Reporter- Business First


CoworkBuffalo striding toward financial goals

January 9, 2014 Updated Jan 9, 2014 at 9:27 PM EDT

3,000 and counting.

CoworkBuffalo met its Kickstarter goal nearly two weeks before its deadline, which will allow it to outfit a conference room and upgrade its furniture and kitchen amenities, and has outlined a set of goals for the last seven days of the campaign.

Those include "The Chairbler" at $5,000, upgrading the desk chairs in its bullpen; "The Scrivener" at $7,500, to purchase high-quality desks for the bullpen; and "The Producer" at $10,000, which will support the commission of a neon sign out front of CoworkBuffalo's new digs at 653 Main St., across from Shea's Performing Arts Center.

CoworkBuffalo's Kickstarter page can be found here.

CoworkBuffalo moved to that new location in December after a year-and-a-half at an office above Spot Coffee, at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street. It has since nearly doubled in size - from eight initial members to about 16 recurring monthly members, along with some regulars who purchase day passes.

Co-founder Brian Fending said the new ground-floor digs have resulted in an increase in foot traffic, and he's said the expectations will grow higher as the model gains more attention and cars return to that section of Main Street.

"It's going really well," he said. "Existing customers have been very enthusiastic about the change. We've got some new customers that found us fairly recently and we've had a couple of walk-ups as well."

The coworking concept - where professionals without a formal office gather in a professional setting - has exploded across the U.S. over the past decade, but CoworkBuffalo remains unique in Western New York. A day pass is $15 and the monthly charge is $125.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is currently operating "dig" at the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center, though it's a somewhat different concept. "Dig" will screen for admission, offer a variety of training and other services for startup companies and act primarily as a vehicle to develop early-stage companies into the Innovation Center's more advanced business development programs.

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