Story and Photos by Stefanie Jackson – The Eastern Shore’s first coworking space – for business professionals on-the-go and entrepreneurs who want to grow – is now open on Main Street in Exmore.
The GIG – Gather, Innovate, Grow – offers access to all the cutting-edge technology needed to compete in a fast-paced business world, in a shared work environment balanced by the comforts of home.
The business incubator was developed by Joe Betit, Pat Coady, Kerry Kobe, and Ron Matthews, as part of the Eastern Shore’s economic development plan written by the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission.
An $85,000 GO Virginia grant, administered by the Eastern Shore Foundation, helped get the project off the ground, along with help from other area businesses and organizations.
The Northampton County Joint Industrial Development Authority collaborated with the Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority to enable the GIG to offer full commercial, 1 gigabyte, high-speed internet.
Josh Lattimore, of Northampton Lumber, donated the paint, and the interior signs were made by Waterford Printing.
The GIG features a semi-open office area where clients bring their laptops and access high-speed internet at one of the “hotdesks.”
The hotdesks are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
There is one dedicated office that can be locked, which is available for rent by the day, week, or month.
The meeting room features glass whiteboards and a high-speed, flatscreen web TV that can be used to display computer-aided design drawings or conduct video conference calls.
There is also a kitchen area with a refrigerator, microwave, and complimentary coffee, tea, water, and snacks.
Clients will have access to a printer and fax machine and a 3D printer that will be able to use information collected by drones to create 3D maps modeling both elevation and depth.
The GIG plans to hold both public events that generate interest in business and technology and private events to provide clients mentoring opportunities.
A day pass ($20) gives a client access to the GIG from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and a monthly pass ($110) provides 24/7 access with a key card.
Monthly pass holders get four meeting room credits per month, or the meeting room can be rented separately.
The GIG expects to hold an open house in February, with an official grand opening to follow in March. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit thegigva.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with the GIG on Facebook or Instagram.