Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Innovative space for community opens in old federal building downtown

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Codefi is a new working space and technology incubator located in the old federal building on Broadway. Photo by Derrion Henderson

Students wanting to work together and share ideas in an innovative space would be interested in a new co-working space downtown.

Codefi, a co-working space and technology incubator, opened its doors Nov. 10 to offer space for students and the general public to work together and share resources.

"It's the first co-working space in the Southeast Missouri region and we're extremely excited," Chris Foeste, co-founder of Codefi, said. "This is a place where entrepreneurs can go, and people who are not only working with start ups [companies] but are creative and innovative people can come to help foster and grow their business."

The space, located inside the former federal building, consists of different areas where people can work on their projects and complete business plans. One section of the space is known as the "Get To Work" space with four tables and a television on the wall to allow for people to complete their group work. The space also includes places where people can choose to do work on couches with a Starbucks-like sofa and coffee table. There is also a meeting room, private work spaces with desks and a simulated swing conference table with hanging seating. There is also a full kitchen that is accessible to all members with a kitchen table.

Codefi also features many unique structural pieces created specifically for the company. There is a meeting room that has a black and white dry erase board on the wall, which was made with a special grade of paint so that the ink is erasable. There is also a meeting table created with 18,500 LEGO bricks with the company logo in the middle covered in glass. There is also a receptionist desk made up of old books.

Photo by Derrion Henderson

Foeste believes that his space is essential to the growth of the community and its businesses.

"For entrepreneurs, this now gives them an outlet of space to come to be very open and collaborative with their thoughts and ideas, to really start to work together with other entrepreneurs to help push existing businesses forward," Foeste said.

James Stapleton, executive director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University and co-founder of Codefi, said that he also feels this place is perfect for like-minded people in the Cape Girardeau region who are ready to help one another.

"It's a place where people who often find themselves working alone or independently or that want to be in a space that invokes some creative juices, and I think it is a place that does that," Stapleton said. "It provides a place for people who are like-minded and care about the community and want to build the community and businesses that serve us to have a place to connect."

Planning for this building started when co-founders Foeste and Stapleton saw the need for a creative space and incubator for the "entrepreneur ecosystem" in the Cape Girardeau region. After discussions about how they would make this project work, the duo moved forward with the plan. The former federal building was sold in August to a private owner and space inside the building was then leased.

Codefi currently has more than 50 members who are registered to use the space and offers community gatherings and events. Membership to use this space starts at $15 per day and goes up to $75 monthly or $50 per month annually. The space also has discounts for corporate members and is considering offering student discounts.

Codefi is open 24 hours a day with an on-site receptionist from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about membership call Codefi at (573) 335-WORK (9675) or visit its website online at codefiworks.com.

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