Madison coworking space 100state announced a new small business membership program at its year-end event on Saturday night.
The space, which is located off the Capitol Square in downtown Madison, currently boasts a roughly 200-member community drawn primarily from the startup scene. The new membership program for small businesses intends to engage more businesspeople in the 100state network.
“We want to make room for some brick-and-mortar businesses,” said Greg St. Fort, executive director of 100state. “We’re really excited about doing this, because there are so many people who could benefit from the ideas, the energy, the diversity and the skill sets (at 100state).”
While many small businesses won’t need the space for traditional workday hours, St. Fort anticipates small brick-and-mortar establishments using the office for meetings, brainstorms and product testing.
He said 100state hopes to add 100 small business members, who will pay a $50 monthly membership fee, in the next year.
The unveiling of the new membership plan took place on Saturday night at 100thanks, 100state’s second annual year end celebration.
The coworking space, which bills itself as the largest coworking community in Wisconsin, also announced a new sponsor, CUNA Mutual, and two new software developments, 100live and a mobile donation tool, at the event.
100live, powered by video management company (and 100state member) Field59, will offer live streaming of 100state events.
St. Fort billed the streaming tool as an opportunity to increase the visibility of Madison startups, nonprofits and artists in communities outside of Madison.
100state hosts a variety of events, including some meetings of Startup Grind, an entrepreneurial education and networking event, and components of the Forward Festival, Madison’s yearly technology and entrepreneurship conference.
The mobile donation tool debuted at the end of 100thanks. According to St. Fort, the tool, which allows individuals to text donations directly to 100state, was developed in-house at the coworking community, and will be offered to interested members to utilize for their own fundraising needs.
The collaborative nature of the community was on display throughout the evening, with more than a dozen presenters taking the stage at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art to share the effect of 100state on their lives and businesses.
“I could not be more proud of this community,” said Michael Fenchel, who presented on his new business project, Breathe for Change, a business that provides wellness support programs for teachers.
“We all talk about 100state being a coworking space, but it’s more than that,” said Willie Hakizimana, founder of Export Abroad, 100state member company.
Hakizimana shared his experience of working at 100state, and connecting with individuals who have become partners and mentors.
“You want to have people that push you,” he said.
James Lloyd and Luke Bonney, co-founders of Redox, a healthcare IT company that recently announced a $3.5 million financing round, also spoke of their experience with the community. Both men were a part of 100state from its earliest days.
Redox recently completed accelerator programs in Maryland, Texas and Utah. Bonney emphasized that none of those communities had a startup network like the one fostered at 100state.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be building a company in Madison,” he said.