Coco, the co-working space for tech start-ups, consultants and entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities, will get its first established software company when its new Lake Street location opens later this month.
Coco, which stands for Coworking & Collaborative Space, already has locations in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul that rent space to technical people whose businesses are tiny or just getting started.
But Coco’s first mainstream client, Navitor Inc. of North Mankato, Minn., said Friday it will locate a dozen software developers in the new 15,000 sq. ft. Coco facility at 1010 W. Lake Street. In addition, Navitor hopes to hire another half-dozen workers from the technical people using Coco’s community work space at the site, which is in the basement of a CVS drugstore.
Navitor previously rented Coco space at the downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul locations for another program, called Design Works, that offered a free working area to freelance graphic designers. But the new Navitor software development center in the Uptown Coco facility will be exclusively for the company’s own employees, who are working on a software integration project for Navitor’s parent company, Taylor Corp., a business printing firm.
“We’re not a start-up or a small company that can’t afford space,” said George McGowan, Navitor’s executive vice president of marketing and technology. “We’ve chosen to commit to dedicated space at Coco as a way to attract the type of engineers and software people that we need.”
Navitor hopes to hire half a dozen people in areas such as software engineering, systems architecture, graphic user interface design and business analysis over the next four months, McGowan said.
“Recruiting technical people to work in a light industrial plant is not the way to get the best software talent,” McGowan said. Locating in Coco “is way to attract and retain talent.”