Derek Bluford to open Coworking spaces throughout the nation

DEREK BLUFORD TO OPEN COWORKING SPACES
THROUGHOUT THE NATION
Owners of Coffee and Coworking said the space will cater to technology
professionals and entrepreneurs, while also serving as a location for young people
to pick up valuable tech skills like coding.
The effort is being spearheaded by local entrepreneur and former CEO Derek
Bluford and Co-founder Gagan Johal.
Bluford, who told the Business Journal that construction crews will begin putting
glass offices in the 4,000-square-foot space on Thursday. He said the co-working
space will open its doors by December.
Bluford said the co-working space will partner with the owner of the adjacent Old
[email protected] Acres coffee shop to offer coffee and pastries to members.
“I am really hopeful that we’re going to build a community here,” Bluford said. “I am
really hopeful that opening this center up, not just the co-working side but the
community, will hopefully cut down on crime and help kids focus more at school.”
Located next to Bastille Barbers, the 3428 Third Ave. space was formerly an art
gallery.
Co-working spaces, which provide shared workspace for professionals and
entrepreneurs without requiring a long-term lease, have expanded significantly in
the Sacramento region recently. While there were only two in 2009, today there
around a dozen.
Bluford said the growth of freelance and startup businesses locally and nationwide
was a factor in his decision to start a co-working space. “It’s a growing, proven
model,” Bluford said. “I definitely think it’s a stable market to be in.”
Johal said the location of the co-working space fits in well with the adjacent coffee
shop and neighborhood businesses. “Spaces like this are only going to grow in the
future,” he said.
Fireside chats and training in areas like app development and videography will also
be offered at the space. Monthly membership rates at Coffee and Coworking are
$350 to $400 for an individual office, $100 for a desk space and $40 for a virtual
office (which includes limited monthly access to desk and conference room spaces).
Coffee and Coworking is a self-funded venture, Bluford said. He and Johal are
spending around $140,000 with the buildout, equipment, furniture and related
costs.
Bluford also said that members can expect the change to compete for up to
$250,000 in funding during the space’s first year. “This will be a vetting process
and we'll most likely partner with some local business owners as judges to help
select and award investments,” he said in an email.
Bluford said the coding classes will be free for high school seniors. He said he’s
also starting co-working spaces in underserved communities in Culver City near
Los Angeles and the New York City borough of the Bronx.
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