New coworking collaboration space to open in Coralville for entrepreneurs, freelancers

Mark Nolte, the president of the Iowa City Area Development Group, says that Coworking at 808 will be like a smaller version of MERGE with a more modern aesthetic. (CBS2/FOX28)

It's bare right now, but Coworking at 808 will be welcoming its members and new furniture in a few days. During the first week of December, the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) is opening their third collaborative work space. Coworking at 808, on 5th street in Coralville, is modeled after ICAD's successful downtown Iowa City location, MERGE.

For a monthly membership fee, members will enjoy wifi, printing, an office space, and creatively-minded coworkers. Perhaps most importantly, each member receives a support network.

"The space is just the entry," said Mark Nolte, president of ICAD. "It’s really about the mentoring and support and helping get talent, find funding, that’s all the services that some with this."

Entrepreneurs like Connor Early have already reaped the benefits at working at one of these spaces. The 24-year-old software engineer works with a small team, Monarc, based in MERGE. Together, they've designed the first-of-its-kind robotic quarterback.

"It uses a tracking system to figure out where the player is and throw it to him just like a quarterback would," said Early.

The $30,000 robot is already being tested by the Iowa Hawkeye football team. Monarc team members intend to market the device to pro and college football teams to help them train. They say the mentorship they've received at MERGE is invaluable.

"They're really well-connected," said Early. "So if there's anything that we need, they pretty much know someone to meet that need."

To become a member at any of ICAD's three spaces in Coralville, Iowa City, or North Liberty, visit this link.

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