Kyle Coolbroth & Don Ball, co-founders of COCO

Minnesota-based COCO Recognized for Startup Support

Annual Impact Report from Google for Entrepreneurs praises local co-working hub

By Kevyn Burger
Fri, 2017-02-03 14:24

Forget Abracadabra or Presto-Change-o.

Today’s magic word for businesses is often Google.

Companies are eager to align themselves with the billion dollar Silicon Valley tech leader; often a little of its proven magic rubs off.

Such is the case for COCO, the coworking and collaborative space that has become home to scores of Minnesota teams, entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.

COCO in downtown Minneapolis, housed in the Grain Exchange Building, was one of ten North American tech hubs selected to partner with Google for Entrepreneurs, which provides financial support and Google's resources to the venues. The partnership sponsors activities, events, and educational programs to COCO members. (The other Google tech hubs are located in Chicago; Waterloo, Ontario; Nashville; Durham, N.C.; Denver; Detroit; Montreal; San Francisco and Austin, Tex.)

The recent Google for Entrepreneurs Impact Report included information about successes in the startup scene of the tech hubs it supports, including the one in Minneapolis.

You can view the report here. 

“We now have numbers that are beyond the anecdotal,” said Kyle Coolbroth, CEO and co-founder of COCO. “We’ve been at this work now for seven years. We created a home and a community where startups can get together and we’re seeing some interesting results.”

Coolbroth acknowledges that the Google brand has lent credibility to the COCO efforts.

“Google’s implicit endorsement is a sign that we have good stuff going on. Google has an amazing way of convening business and entrepreneur leadership and technology,” he says.

He points to a recent survey of COCO’s active members in the Twin Cities, which now number more than one thousand. One of the biggest surprises to Coolbroth was the sheer number of hires generated by the startup businesses and mircobusinesses.

“We found that 497 jobs were created within our space; that’s really a stunning number,” he says. “We have a focused community of entrepreneurs who are putting everything they have on the line and they’re finding opportunities. We see a lot of confidence among them.”