CoLab is Newest Member of Downtown Innovation District

January 13, 2014

622444_597561620291986_400367070_oTwo of the leading organizations in Tucson’s emerging innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem are merging operations. Startup Tucson and Gangplank Collective today announced their agreement to merge the operations of Gangplank Tucson into Startup Tucson effective January 2014.

Through the move, Gangplank Tucson will become an initiative of Startup Tucson and adopt the name CoLab Workspace. CoLab will continue to occupy the 7,000 square foot space at 17 E. Pennington St., located within the historic Pioneer Building.

As part of the agreement, Startup Tucson will serve as the organizational home for CoLab, work with Holualoa Companies to take over the leased space at the Pioneer office building, and provide for necessary operational support.  The move provides for an increased focus on local collaboration while maintaining a strong regional connection with Gangplank.

CoLab-010“Tucson is a strong and growing community, and having our operations rooted here will enable us to actively respond to the growing needs of the local economy”, said Ryan Flannagan, a CoLab Leader and CEO of Nuanced Media. He added that, “CoLab’s programming, our strong relationships with peer organizations, our culture and the resources we provide to the innovators in our community will have a lasting and create a lasting economic impact on the future of Tucson.”

With CoLab and Gangplank both sharing a common mission to create community through collaboration, the organizations will continue to work together statewide. “We recognize that growing local community is essential to the success of growing Arizona’s economy,” said Jade Meskill, Gangplank’s co-founder. “We are excited to work with CoLab and groups throughout the Arizona to make our home a world class community of innovators.”

Startup Tucson is a natural home for the CoLab community, as the two merging groups share common values of innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and both Startup Tucson and Gangplank Tucson launched during Tucson’s inaugural Startup Weekend in 2011.

1403261_577379405643541_1739966918_o“Both Startup Tucson and CoLab are resources for entrepreneurs and innovators looking to make an impact on Tucson and the world,” said Startup Tucson founder Justin Williams. “Tucson is increasingly being recognized as a hub for entrepreneurs, and this move strengthens the resources our community has to offer locally and enhances our reputation nationally.”

This merger follows the recent move by the organizers of IdeaFunding to make Startup Tucson home for the event as well. “Startup Tucson will continue to grow and evolve to meet the needs of Tucson’s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Curtis Gunn, a Startup Tucson board member and Chairman of the local angel investment group Desert Angels.

CoLab Launch Party
The launch of CoLab Workspace be celebrated with launch party on Tuesday January 21st from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The event will take place at CoLab Workspace in downtown Tucson at 17 E. Pennington St. Attendees can register to attend the event here.

About CoLab Workspace
CoLab is a collaborative workspace housed in the historic Pioneer Building in the heart of downtown Tucson. The community is a home for innovators, technologists, aspiring and growing entrepreneurs, and community leaders. CoLab is home to a range of companies and organizations including Lead Local, Click Magnet, Nuanced Media, STAT, the Pineapple Project, Ufree, Crowd Audio, IFASA, Startup Tucson, Groundwork Promotions, GoForTech and many more. CoLab is host to various events including Code for Tucson, CoLab Hack Night, the Web Developers Meetup, Google Developers Group, the Entrepreneurs Meetup, Lean Launchpad, Arizona Technology Council’s Lunch and Learn, and much more. For more information visit the CoLab Workspace community at 17 E. Pennington St, call (520) 230-5933, email, or visit the website here.

About Startup Tucson
Startup Tucson is working to grow a strong, vibrant startup ecosystem of companies, entrepreneurs, and talent in Tucson. Inspired by the robust scenes in cities such as Silicon Valley, Boulder and Austin, we are helping to spur economic growth by organizing educational events like hackathons, Startup Weekend events and Lean LaunchPad workshops, as well as networking events like Startup Drinks and Co-Founder Speed Dating. We provide strong support for the efforts of partner organizations like the Arizona Center for Innovation, Connect Coworking CoLab Workspace, Desert Angels, Spoke6, Xerocraft, Maker House, UA’s Tech Launch Arizona, Tucson Young Professionals, and many others.  Learn more and get involved by visiting our site here, calling us at (520) 47-START or via email.

About Gangplank Collaborative
Gangplank is a place for creators. When diverse backgrounds and ideas collide, those moments provide the necessary fuel to innovate. Gangplank provides the infrastructure, both physical and social, for this to happen. We serve as a place for people to explore their creativity, then challenge them to build their ideas into a viable startup – forging a vibrant economy in the process. For more information visit their website.