Did you know that Coco actually started out as COCO, which was Minnesota’s original coworking space?
We opened in early 2010, in Lowertown St. Paul, in the midst of the recession. At that time, pretty much nobody had heard of coworking. But eventually, people started giving coworking a try.
Who showed up? Freelancers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, programmers – generally speaking they were creative and innovative people. They came to be around other folks who were working on something big. Eventually, as coworking became more, er, normal, we began to get members, like small businesses and corporate work teams, who were innovative – but at scale.
In the 8+ years since opening, we’re proud to say that many successful ventures have launched or grown out of COCO/Coco. It’s a Who’s Who of Minnesota innovators. And there have been hundreds of others, who may not be well known, but who made a big contribution to the community. Since the earliest days, our community has been strong because it attracts people who want to accomplish something big – but also help others along the way.
People used to ask us: “What does the COCO name mean?” We’ve never had a precise answer, just that the prefix “co” stood for all the good things we hoped to spark, like, connection, collaboration and communication.
We still love the COCO brand and what it stood for. And so do our members. So, understandably, we get questions, like “Why did you idiots change your name?” (Follow the link for our response).
Some folks think we sold off COCO and that a new, faceless corporation runs our spaces. So, they ask, “Are you guys, like, a big corporation now?”
But mostly, people want to know if things are different, now that the name has changed. So, they ask, “No really, what’s it like now that you’re Coco?”
Although we’ve changed our name, we’re still playing the same game. If anything, with all the new competition that claims to offer coworking and community, we’re doubling down on it. Because coworking – real coworking – is only partially about office space. The big win for our members is not having desks and chairs, but being able to connect with other solopreneurs and business owners, gain new allies, make new friends and see their ventures take off as a result. Regardless of the name on the door, making that happen is the mission. It’s what’s worth getting out of bed for.