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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Students with budding business ideas now have another place they can grow their plans.

EnCoSpace, located on East University Avenue, provides rentable office space for Gainesville startups. Customers have the option to work in an open area with other people or in private office spaces.

“They get more of an office environment without it being a typical cubicle-type office,” said 60-year-old owner Pete Carr.

The business charges $10 per person for a half day. A full day costs $20.

Carr came up with the idea while running for Colorado governor in 2010. Carr said he wanted to put a center like this in every county in Colorado.

Carr did not win the governor’s seat, but he stuck with the idea. He chose Gainesville, because he said he lived in the city for seven years and knows the city’s entrepreneurial spirit.

“There are a lot of startups that come directly out of UF,” Carr said.

Jamie Kraft, director of UF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said the concept is like a traditional business incubator with a slightly different model.

“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for individuals to work together to move their ideas forward,” Kraft said.

Alberto Chavez, a 20-year-old accounting senior, said he would be interested in EnCoSpace because he has considered starting a company.

“I think that would really be helpful because I wouldn’t really know how to go about starting my own business,” Chavez said.

Carr said he hopes to open an additional center downtown in the future to give budding entrepreneurs a place to work.

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“We just provide the facility, and it’s like a garden,” he said. “We provide the plot of land, we help you till it and we see what grows.”

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