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Fargo-Moorhead's shared 'co-working' space for startups is closing

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It's been a business trend embraced by contemporary entrepreneurs and startups. They rent, lease or join so-called "co-working space" in offices, which lowers their costs and allows them to share amenities like conference rooms and business support. The businesses often network with their neighbors to generate opportunities.

The Fargo Forum reports Fargo-Moorhead's first such dedicated real estate – the CoCo collaborative and co-working space – will end its 10-month run in the city on Friday.

CoCo currently operates three locations in the Twin Cities metro – Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Uptown area. The Fargo space was its first expansion outside the Twin Cities.

When CoCo's Fargo foray was announced last June, Fargo's Emerging Prairie, an organization that promotes the entrepreneurial efforts, said the arrival of the space was of "huge consequence to the startup community in the Fargo-Moorhead area." The group called CoCo's presen'ce "a major signal that the Fargo-area startup community has caught national attention."

At the time the expansion was announced, the Business Journal noted the 6,000-square-foot space in the Merchants Bank Building would have room for 100 members.

Ten months after the Fargo CoCo office opened, officials with the company explained that the concept had not attracted enough members to make it viable. CoCo offers individual or group memberships for companies who want to use its space.

Laurie Healy, CoCo's director of marketing and communications, told The Forum in a phone interview over the weekend that the Fargo CoCo site just didn't attract enough members to remain viable.

Other organizations in Fargo-Moorhead are exploring other options to allow the co-working concept to continue in the area.

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