The success of iWerx entrepreneurial center is but one part of a major Clay County story.
Extensive renovation and features like 10-gigabit connectivity are creating enhanced opportunities for new startup businesses and independent working space. Other features in the 33,000-square-foot iWerx include meeting and entertaining facilities, a café and think-tank rooms. All this has been accomplished in a former grocery headquarters built nearly 90 years ago, while carefully maintaining the integrity of the original architecture.
iWerx grew from entrepreneurial networking and brainstorming by like-minded, forward-thinking business people. It also represents a major component of the EDC’s Strategic Initiative, which from its start in 2013 stressed development of a business- and entrepreneur-friendly environment. Incubator space like iWerx is part of this, along with available capital from sources such as the EDC’s Northland Angel Investment Network, educational opportunities such as the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) and more.
Another opportunity involves the potential for an expanded incubator campus along the Burlington corridor near iWerx. Space availability and a natural progression have opened the possibility of a manufacturing “incubator” that would be a perfect fit for the area. The December visit by 10 EDC members to Chicago and tours of similar facilities were designed to gather information for just such developments.
Like iWerx itself, the development will be significant on its own merits, but it will also be part of a growing Clay County business environment formally detailed in the 2013 Strategic Initiative.