There has been a spattering of coworking spaces all over Rochester for the last few years. Some have gone and some remain—each one is different and caters to different types of people and businesses.

A few years ago I was a member of a local space that closed and I observed, first hand, how and why it went away. Amazingly, the same day that space closed an opportunity arose for me to prove my theories by participating in creating a coworking community from the ground up.

In 2014, I sat around a table with six other co-founders, and Carlson Cowork was born. This project was the first cowork in Rochester that put people first. We built the formula, culture and community as a grand experiment. I shared my cowork experience alongside the resources and knowledge of the other co-founders to launch a successful, 65-plus-person-strong cowork. The space is a place for people to collaborate, form relationships, and build businesses.

Carlson Cowork has successfully provided a space for business owners who normally wouldn’t connect to have a common platform where creative collisions happen. Another important piece of instigating these collisions is a partnership that we formed with RocGrowth. The collaboration between these two organizations is the nature of coworking, to encourage people to interact and acknowledge that the only way to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs is to work together. When we support one another we support the growth of this region.

This is the second in a three-part series on coworking. Click here to see Part 1.

Chris Cooley is a TEDx speaker, writer and cowork consultant. As a social entrepreneur who calls Rochester home, he is finding, more than ever, that true coworking provides the critical resources and atmosphere for entrepreneurial success and continues to explore the model and its effectiveness here and abroad.