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New startup 'incubator' coming to L.B.

Will include office space and mentorship opportunities for business

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The City of Long Beach, along with Bridgeworks LLC, announced last week that Bridgeworks will be opening a “co-working” facility this fall designed to provide affordable office space to tech startups and young professionals in Long Beach.

The co-working model will allow for both established companies and individual freelancers to work alongside one another and grow their businesses, said Patricia Bourne, director of economic development. The campus will include free high-speed Internet access; kitchen facilities; Internet telephony, conferencing and mail services; multimedia facilities and networking areas — as well as surfboard storage and bike racks.

“This is a really groundbreaking opportunity to bring jobs to Long Beach and make it easier to be an entrepreneur,” said City Manager Jack Schnirman.

Phase 1 of the Long Beach campus will be located at 780 Long Beach Blvd., on the east side of the Long Beach Bridge. The approximately 8,000-square-foot facility will accommodate more than 120 workers in a combination of work spaces, including co-working and lounge areas, conference rooms and private offices.

According to Graham Beck, Bridgework’s co-founder and community manager, Phase 2 would be an expansion to a second building if the first location proves successful. The Phase 1 location is currently undergoing renovations in preparation to open this fall. Space can be rented by the day, month or longer, depending on a company’s needs, Beck added. “We’re designing the facility to be very flexible,” he said. “The point is to empower people and let you work on your own terms.”

More-established companies can rent office space month to month, which, Beck said, is still more flexible than a real estate deal that would lock them into a longer lease. Freelancers can apply for day passes or sign up for unlimited monthly access, which will allow them to use some of the more casual work areas.

Desks and conference rooms can be rented for $45 a day or $450 a month. No tenants have been announced so far, but around 20 small companies have reportedly expressed interest.

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