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Gangplank workspace pops up at Downtown Phoenix campus

June 01, 2012

Gangplank, an Arizona nonprofit that fosters creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial working environments, has partnered with Arizona State University to provide a popup workspace on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

The workspace, located on the second floor of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will be available from early June through mid-August. It is open to all.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton applauded the partnership as a prime example of creating a culture of urban entrepreneurship.

“This is exactly what our city needs at exactly the right time,” Stanton said. “Phoenix is rising out of this recession, but in order to break that boom-and-bust cycle of the past, we need innovative ideas generated by incubators and startups to drive Arizona’s economy toward future success. Phoenix needs to lead with a diverse and sustainable economy that gets them off the ground.”

Stanton has pushed for fostering public/private partnerships between universities, community colleges, the business community and nonprofit organizations to provide new incubator space for startup companies, where they can access office space, technology and amenities to foster their success.

Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School and university vice provost, said that collaborations such as this create a great sense of community.

“The services Gangplank provides to the Valley are innovative in style and method,” Callahan said. “Their presence in Downtown Phoenix will enable those resources to reach new audiences that range from local businesses to students.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Gangplank will provide a supportive environment for students and the public, providing services such as mentors from the business and startup communities, workshops that build technological and entrepreneurial skills and connections to Gangplank’s network of talent. ASU will provide the space, Internet connectivity and utilities.

“Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus, home to the world-class Cronkite School, is one of Phoenix’s best assets,” said Gangplank co-founder Derek Neighbors. “We’re excited to unite the City of Phoenix, ASU students, nonprofits, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers in new and exciting ways to push the boundaries of possibility when it comes to innovation and civic engagement.”

Gangplank will host an open house on Friday, June 8, at noon to showcase the popup space and discuss plans for summer workshops. Information will be provided to visitors on how the space can be used.

Since 2008, Gangplank has opened spaces in Chandler, Avondale and Tucson as well as Henrico, Va., and Ontario, Canada. The goal of Gangplank’s popup space is to build a collaborative environment that mixes diverse interests and backgrounds to maximize serendipity and create solutions for the surrounding community.