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Coworking Spaces BK Style: Colab Factory

Women working at desk in Colab Factory
Fikriyyah George

If it seems like a new co-working space is opening up every year it’s because they are. Hard pressed to find one five years ago in Brooklyn there is currently almost 30 spread throughout the borough. Colab Factory is one of the newest entries on the scene opening up last year claiming the third floor of a Downtown Brooklyn building across the street from Junior’s Cheesecake.

The space provides the usual amenities for co-working spaces- fast internet, coffee, printing comfortable seating, a free trial day.

The inspiration to open Colab Factory “was absolute misery” working as as a commercial real estate broker according to founder Shane Barbanel. “Everyday I get up and go to work and bang phones. I became pretty miserable and unhappy.” He was inspired by the works of James De La Vega’s “Become Your Dream” scrawled all over Manhattan to transition into a different career. Approached about opening an incubator years earlier the idea stuck with him.

Since opening they have hosted various pitch competitions, holiday parties and weekly classes from General Assembly and other tech organizations. Beyond providing the tools for small business owners they’re also looking to nurture budding businesses evidenced by their recently launched scholarship for women entrepreneurs. Five women were chosen for the Women’s Startup #BuildYourDream Scholarship. It includes free space for four months, mentorship by Lenore Champagne Beirne, investor at 645 Ventures and business coach, and free classes.

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