Launch the 1st rural Iowa Coworking space in Pella to help develop small businesses & entrepreneurs

Dreamer: Joel Bennett     
Dream Location: Pella, IA
Contest Month: October 2010
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Voting Begins: Oct 16 12:00 PM
Dream Rank: #1
Number of Votes: 0
Veel Hoeden- 1) Dutch for “Many Hats”. 2) A reference to a collection of entrepreneurs who work in different fields, have different backgrounds, and as small business people, are required to be experts in many fields (or wear “many hats” ) 3) The co-working location in Pella, Iowa, “where Many Hats meet”.

Veel Hoeden is a co-working space and business community. Co-working is a style of work which involves a shared working environment but with independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those co-working are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Co-working is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the community and synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

Co-working is an emerging trend that offers work-at-home professionals, independent consultants and those who travel frequently, a business-ready alternative to coffee shops and cafes. Co-working also provides a viable solution to the isolation experienced by many telecommuters. Additionally, the social and collaborative nature of such spaces can generate positive synergies not found in independent or home-based offices.

Mission Statement:
To provide a co-working space that:
• helps our members be more productive
• encourages community, collaboration, and idea sharing
• leverages the strengths and experience of our varied backgrounds and skills

Vision Statement:
To have a sustainable and creative active community of individuals, entrepreneurs, and small businesses, working together and sharing space for the purposes of collaboration, innovation and productivity for themselves, their communities, and their industries. This co-working community will represent a range of creative, technical, and operational industries, creating new possibilities for collaboration and partnerships.

Co-Working Principles
1. Community – Creating good social connections for business and personal life benefits our work.
2. Collaboration – We strive to include a diverse group of people with a wide range of knowledge and background.
3. Openness – Transparency is important. We all benefit from sharing ideas.
4. Localism – Working in our downtown helps achieve our principles and contributes to our local economy.
5. Sustainability – Sharing resources and space, collaborating on solutions, and strengthening our businesses is good for our local community and helps insure our long term business health. When we share space, we save money. When we share solutions we
6. Accessibility – Coworking spaces are affordable for a diverse group of people. We’ll use creative solutions to make our space available when members need it. As you'll see in the construction photos below, our space will be handicap and wheelchair accessible to allow those of all physical abilities to be part of the community.

Company Goals:
To become a sustainable resource for the entrepreneurial community through an inviting environment, attractive events and activities, and deeply developed sense of business community.

Offering: Much care was taken in the planning phases to make sure the space met the needs of our identified users. Expected offerings include:
• High speed wireless access
• A quiet space for phones calls or meeting
• Access to conference rooms for reserved meetings
• Access to printer/scanner/copier/fax
• Access to basic business resources and tools (stapler, 3 hole punch, business magazines & books, etc.)
• Some storage space for business materials
• The possibility of other a la carte business services (maildrop, printcopy drop, etc.)
• Availability of both monthly membership that allows access to the space, as well as leasable private office space.

Offerings: What will make Veel Hoeden different from other available workspaces will be its environment. With a focus on building community, the space will provide an inviting and fun environment that provides meaningful interaction between community members. The opportunity for collaboration and business partnerships will be a valuable part of the member experience. Because the community will also help direct the activities and resources available there, members should feel uniquely connected to the space- it will be their work home away from home.

Intended Use of Support: After taking second in September's contest, we went ahead and launched the space "on the cheap" to get the ball rolling. We currently have 4 offices leased and a handful of mobile members who use the coworking space. If we're lucky enough to win Ocotber's contest, we plan to use the support to help with space renovation/upgrade costs, shared coworking tools and resources, and some investment in technology to help the space "run itself", including online tools and "green" technology for temperature and energy usage controls. Since we also initially launched the space with a "start now, spend later" mentality, we'd like to use some of the funds to provide some additional furniture, whiteboards, and business resources.

For updates on how the space is currently being used, how we're partnering in the Pella community, and what we're up to, check out our website blog at


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