June 27, 2018
Bloomington, Ind. – As Bloomington’s Trades District comes into focus, the historic Dimension Mill is reinforcing its identity as the project’s anchor with valuable partnerships and exciting physical developments. The historic building that will serve as the centerpiece of Bloomington’s Trades District and Certified Tech Park is currently undergoing adaptive reuse as a business incubator with plentiful co-working space, flexible office space for lease, and a dramatic event venue for networking, professional events, and community use. The transformed building is slated to open in late Autumn 2018.
The nonprofit entity that will operate the facility, Dimension Mill, Inc., has just announced its purchase of Cowork Btown, a Bloomington coworking space that gives entrepreneurs, remote workers, and others the amenities of shared office space and collaborative opportunities. After having been established in 2013 by Forrest Fowler, Tyler Henke, and Aaron White, Cowork has created a community of 100 members, who will be making the transition to the new space at Dimension Mill.
“By spotlighting, galvanizing, and extending Bloomington’s robust knowledge- and tech-based community, the Mill will foster the innovators of the products and systems we’ll rely on in the future,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
The Mill is poised to take the close-knit community and collaborative entrepreneurial spirit that Cowork has been nurturing to the next level. It will be a gathering place to connect the fragmented segments of Bloomington’s innovation economy to learn from each other, collaborate, and thrive together. The Mill will also serve as a crucial tool to recruit and retain talent in Bloomington, evidence of our community’s commitment to embracing a knowledge-based economy and supporting would-be entrepreneurs.
Forrest Fowler, co-founder of Cowork Btown: “Technological innovations in the workplace are making it easier to start a business and reach a global audience from anywhere in the world. Cowork has been thrilled to provide a physical place for professionals of all types to connect and support each other. We’re incredibly excited to work with The Mill to build on this momentum and continue to expand the community of remote workers and entrepreneurs that are choosing Bloomington. More and more people are seeing that our quality of life – our cultural and artistic amenities and cost of living – make it the perfect place for these new kinds of professions to germinate and thrive.”
Among those who will bring the innovative business models they developed within Cowork to Dimension Mill are Ellie Symes, CEO of the Bee Corp, a company that uses advanced data tracking to monitor beehive health; Simon Beverton, owner of Future Wonder, a software development firm that helps startups overcome their tech/software hurdles; and the team behind Garden Tower, a home composting invention that doubles as a decorative planter.
When established at Dimension Mill, Cowork members will join entrepreneurs from software engineers to microbrewers; writers, designers and other creative professionals; and remote employees for companies based around the world in fueling an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Although diverse in terms of the goods and services provided, these 21st-century businesses share an affinity in terms of their basis in expert knowledge and technology and their embrace of innovative business models. Their physical adjacency in the new space will be conducive to creative collaboration and the establishment of key connections within the local tech, innovation, and startup community. In addition to the cross-pollination that happens organically among the members, Dimension Mill will offer programming, workshops, lectures, social events, and other opportunities to consolidate and expand Bloomington’s innovation economy.
Pat East, Executive Director of Dimension Mill: “The Mill is an important piece of our community’s future. While the construction of the original Dimension Mill was a major investment in our community’s past, it’s reactivation marks an inflection point in our future. The world is changing quickly, and it’s critical for Bloomington to create jobs and increase wages. Innovation- and technology-driven jobs are the most effective means of accomplishing those objectives, and the Mill’s mission is to launch and accelerate these high-potential companies.”