By Sally Bell, Vice President and Executive Director, Technology Association of Oregon, Southern Willamette Valley
Eugene’s downtown tech scene is stronger than ever, thanks to a variety of spaces that offer coworking, collaboration, innovation and the ability to leverage the lightning speed fiber internet.
The landscape of tech and innovation is changing in our community. Eugene has been highlighted as an ideal location for remote workers in a variety of national publications thanks to a local presence from global tech-enabled companies like Netflix and Airbnb. Spaces matter in this community, and we have five outstanding downtown spaces giving rise to the new environment of scaling companies, training future leaders and weaving remote workers into the local business scene.
The District Coworking
The District Coworking at the new 5th Street Market alley opened in Spring 2021 and offers a slick contemporary aesthetic with a number of private offices, flex desks and meeting spaces. Proximity to new restaurants and retail and flexibility of the space offers an ideal location for members. For that reason the Technology Association of Oregon has relocated its office to District Coworking alongside an impressive set of companies and remote workers: Twenty Ideas, Quip and a number of remote developers, engineers, ecommerce platforms in addition to local attorneys, finance experts and creatives. The District boasts one of the most appealing rentable zoom enabled board rooms with a killer view.
Eugene Mindworks, located at the prime location of 5th and Pearl and owned by local tech entrepreneurs, Aloma and Shaylor Murray, offers an impressive 14,000 square feet of affordable coworking space, 37 private offices, three meeting rooms, two lunch rooms and free parking. Mindworks also hosts a number of local tech companies like OnlineADA, Limelight Department, over 80 members and exclusive access to free seminars, classes, workshops and networking.
CodeChops, located inside the Broadway Commerce Building, has endured the pandemic thanks to strong sustaining members. It reopened in January 2021 with a full revamp for the space. Current tenants are a mixture of self-employed and remote workers ranging from computer engineers and AI experts to cartographers and self defense specialists.
“CodeChops has always welcomed more than just coders” says Ren Isen, co-manager alongside OpenEugene and longtime local technologist, Mark Davis.
They said they look forward to times when they can fully reopen to events like hackathons, game jams and seminar meetups.
Sparklab is Connected Lane County’s new space where community, education and industry come together to support Lane County youth for invention, education and career-connected learning. Providing extended out-of-school education and training opportunities for STEM and much more, youth can grow their skills, become confident problem-solvers, and gain hands-on experience. Sparklab has hosted a number of tech industry partners and collaborations including Trifoia, CodeNinjas, Palo Alto Software, XS Media, Pronoia Tools
The Innovation Hub
The Innovation Hub at 942 Olive St., run in partnership between Onward Eugene and University of Oregon, has taken one more step forward to formally reopening to the public by way of monthly startup coffee meetups, as well as hosting the ID8 Pre-accelerator and the EUG Launchpad startup accelerator; applications are now being accepted.