Partnerships Archive

Top CoCo startup to demo at Google

Top CoCo startup to demo at Google

3374813066_74a4827ca6_mMarch 3, 2014 – Update

Both Docalytics and Kidizen have won the opportunity to demo at Google. Congratulations! More info here.

Feb. 14, 2014 – Update

We’re pleased to announce the lineup for CoCo Pitch Night!

The startups that will pitch are:

  • OMG Transit
  • Apruve
  • Nexting
  • Docalytics
  • Itizen

Our esteemed panel of judges for the competition will include:

  • Dan Kinsella, General Manager - JAMF Software
  • Justin Kaufenberg, Founder & CEO – Sport Ngin
  • Erin Newkirk, Founder & CEO – Red Stamp
  • Anna Love-Mikelson, Founder – Stoke.d


We’re excited to announce that CoCo® has the opportunity to send one of our startups to a Google-hosted Demo Day in Silicon Valley this April! As you know, we are members of the Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network and this Demo Day is part of a series of programs Google is hosting for this network. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time Google has hosted their own Demo Day for startups, and we’re excited to be part of this unique opportunity.

Startups that participate in the Demo Day will have the chance to:

  • Pitch their companies to and receive product feedback from a panel of investor judges, including Steve Case.
  • Interact and learn from Google product experts in small group sessions during their visit.
  • Spend time with other startups from similar sized markets across North America.
  • Load up on Google schwag, and enjoy the Bay Area.

Qualifying startups to be determined at CoCo Pitch Night, Feb. 21
To determine which startup gets to go to Demo Day, CoCo is going to host it’s own pitch competition on Feb. 21, at a member appreciation event. Five startups will make their pitches that night. The winner, as chosen by a panel of judges, will go on to the Google Demo Day event. To prepare them for the competition, they will receive training from CoCo’s own pitch doctor, Chris Carlson.

A runner-up will also be chosen as a backup and for a possible wildcard round.

A member-only opportunity
This opportunity will be available to CoCo members only. You can become a member by registering online before Feb. 21. However, please note that any company signing up to take advantage of this opportunity will need to have all founders join, with a minimum 6-month commitment.

Apply now!
If you’re interested, please apply for CoCo Pitch Night.

To qualify for the Google Demo Day event, your startup:

  • Should have a live product that is getting customer traction.
  • Should actively be seeking investment, or strongly considering it in the near future.
  • Should be willing to travel to California for two days to succinctly explain their company; co-founders’ backgrounds; product; and market fit to investors, Google product experts and others in the Silicon Valley technology community.
  • May come from any industry, but should be growth (not lifestyle) businesses, and understand that most Demo Day investors and product experts will have technology backgrounds.
  • May be at any stage of fundraising.

Photo Credit: Marcin Wichary via Compfight cc

Comcast brings 1GB fiber Internet to CoCo

Comcast brings 1GB fiber Internet to CoCo

comcastThere are two non-negotiables for our members: coffee and Internet. And starting soon, CoCo members will have access to an unprecedented level of Internet access, thanks to a partnership between CoCo and Comcast Business.

Comcast is supporting CoCo’s entrepreneurial community by providing CoCo with its 1Gbps (gigabit per second) fiber service – a vastly better grade of service than we’ve had in the past. In addition to the high speed fiber connectivity offers some distinct advantages:

  • It’s synchronous, which means data flows at the same speed up and down.
  • It’s a more reliable, dedicated circuit, which results in greater uptime.
  • It’s future-proofed: we will be able to expand network capacity over time, ahead of member usage.

But we’ll let one of our esteemed members describe the advantage of 1GB fiber for our more high-tech startups:

“The high-bandwidth, low-latency connection goes a long way to even the playing field with much larger businesses and tech centers with huge resources,” says David Middlecamp, a software engineer at Spark . “The symmetric bandwidth supports creators of content and services, rather than just content consumption, and facilitates working remotely across the globe, or collaborating across millions of connected devices.”

The service will begin immediately at CoCo Uptown and mid-month at CoCo Minneapolis.




CoCo joins with Google to launch Tech Hub Network

CoCo joins with Google to launch Tech Hub Network

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Greater access to Google and other tech hubs across North America will spur innovation, boost local economies

This morning, CoCo announced it will become part of an exclusive Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network. Comprised of seven hubs throughout North America, the network will support entrepreneurs and provide a stimulus for the economy in local communities.

“Not too long ago, entrepreneurs in Minnesota had to work and develop their ideas in isolation, without collaboration and support from mentors. CoCo has helped change that situation and as a result, we’re seeing more successes among our startups,” said cofounder Kyle Coolbroth.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 3.26.34 PM

Google treated CoCo members to schwag and free food truck lunch to celebrate the launch of the Tech Hubs network.

Google will support CoCo and the other hubs in the network, both financially and technologically. Hubs will have greater access to Google experts and products, and will participate in a number of Google events each year. Most importantly, hubs in the network will have access to each other, with Google facilitating quarterly calls and bringing hub partners together in-person to share lessons learned and best practices for entrepreneurs.

“For CoCo, today’s announcement represents an enhancement of our partnership with Google, which was launched in February. This partnership has allowed us to host nearly 50 free-of-charge entrepreneur- and tech-focused events with more than 4,000 attendees,” Coolbroth said.

It is now easier than ever to start a high-growth company from almost anywhere, not just major coastal cities. CoCo helps startups capitalize on this development by providing desks for entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams, educational opportunities for talented developers, and a vibrant community for innovative startups.

Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network is the first formal network of this kind in the world. “Google heard consistently from tech hubs that they wanted to be part of a larger network, to learn from each other and collaborate together on ideas. We are happy to facilitate that,” said John Lyman, Head of Partnerships for Google for Entrepreneurs. “Our team has been incredibly impressed with the great work these hubs have done in their cities, and are excited to partner with them to do even more.”

The other six hubs in the network include: 1871 in Chicago, IL; Communitech in Waterloo, Ontario; Nashville Entrepreneur Center in Nashville, TN; American Underground in Durham, NC; Galvanize in Denver, CO; and Grand Circus in Detroit, MI.

CoCo teams up with Carlson Ventures Enterprise

CoCo teams up with Carlson Ventures Enterprise

CoCo is working with the Carlson Ventures Enterprise (CVE) at the University of Minnesota to launch the Carlson Resource Desk at CoCo Minneapolis!

The Carlson Resource Desk will be staffed by full-time MBA students from Carlson School of Management, who will offer a wide variety of services in-person and via email to CoCo members , with a turnaround time of approximately one week. Some examples of services include:

  • Market sizing
  • Demographic information
  • Consumer insights
  • Market segmentation
  • Competitor analysis
  • Assistance with financial models
  • Assessment of tax incentives and policy influences on business

The Carlson Resource Desk Associates will hold roundtable conversations at CoCo Minneapolis to field questions regarding projects and learn more about what services CoCo members will need. Roundtable dates/times:

  • Tuesday, April 9: 12 – 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 10: 9 – 11 a.m.

A four-week long pilot program will begin on April 9, in which services will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis for a limited number of projects. During this launch period, each CoCo member will have access to three hours, sponsored by Carlson and CoCo, after which members will be charged $20/hour.

Carlson Resource Desk hours of operation:

  • Tuesdays  12 – 3 p.m.
  • Wednesdays  9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Fridays  9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

> Request project services online

Email questions and project request forms to:

Design Works™ Studio: A place for designers to cowork and collaborate

Design Works™ Studio: A place for designers to cowork and collaborate

CoCo coworking and collaborative space and Navitor have teamed up to launch Design Works™ Studio, a free coworking program just for graphic designers.

Design Works™ Studio will give freelance designers the ability to join the coworking movement and do great work by providing them with a state-of-the-art studio in the middle of a vibrant coworking space. The first two Design Works™ Studios are being opened at CoCo in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Navitor hopes to expand the concept into coworking spaces nationwide.

Design Works studio at CoCo St. Paul

The first Design Works studio will open at CoCo St. Paul, with a Minneapolis studio to open in the near future.

This design studio coworking program at CoCo is one benefit of Navitor’s Design Works™ membership program launching in early 2013 with the goal of enabling freelance and independent designers to grow and manage their business while still focusing their time and passion on their craft. Additional benefits will include access to color, print and production expertise at Navitor, exclusive training and education programs as well as exclusive offers on world-class design resources, software and products from Navitor’s partners.

As Design Works™ Studio members, graphic designers will have access to special amenities, including:

  • A large monitor to connect their laptop
  • Wi-fi internet access
  • Access to a high-quality printer
  • A designer’s reference library
  • Access to professional meeting facilities to host client presentations
  • A P.O. Box for their business

“Our freelance design customers tell us that, like any small business, one of their biggest challenges is lack of time and resources,” said George McGowan, CoCo member and Senior Vice President of Marketing at Navitor. “We want to find new ways to help our customers grow. Enabling them to participate in the coworking movement, connect with prospective clients and collaborate with other creative professionals is a great way for us to help their businesses grow and succeed.”

In addition to providing great amenities, the Design Works™ Studio will connect designers to potential clients, within the CoCo community and beyond. Navitor will actively promote Design Works™ members to its larger network of customers and employees. Design Works™ members will be invited to exclusive networking and social events.

“Launching Design Works™ Studio is a great development for our community,” said Kyle Coolbroth a founding partner at CoCo. “Many of our members need the help of good designers to build their own brands. Also, we have had a lot of interest in CoCo from the local design community and the Design Works Studio program eliminates the barriers they’ve had to joining.”

Prospective Design Works™ members can apply for membership at the Navitor site.

Navitor and CoCo will host an open house and offer tours of the Design Works™ Studio on Dec. 13, 2012 from 1 to 5 p.m., at  CoCo St. Paul, 213 4th St. E., 4th floor, St. Paul, MN 55101. (map)

About Navitor
Navitor, Inc., a subsidiary of the Taylor Corporation, is one of North America’s largest trade-only commercial printers and is headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota. Offering an extensive assortment of custom print and personalized products at wholesale prices, Navitor supports a broad network of print resellers who are experts in design, marketing, communication and print. With a national manufacturing footprint, online print management via and expert customer support staff, Navitor is designed to serve graphic communications professionals who need a strategic business partner rather than another vendor. For more information: and

About CoCo
CoCo is a place where freelance professionals, small businesses and corporate workgroups can gather to share ideas, team up on projects and get work done. For many professionals, CoCo is an alternative to working from home or meeting at the local coffee shop. CoCo has locations in Lowertown St. Paul and in downtown Minneapolis, on the former trading floor of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. More information:

George McGowan
Navitor, Inc