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Co.Space: A Living Space and Playground for Entrepreneurs

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Students have very few options when it comes to living in State College. There are dorms, apartments, and houses, but they all have one thing in common: Students are their only residents. That changed this year with the opening of “the Co.Space,” which kind of resembles an entrepreneur’s dream frat house — if a frat house was clean, productive, and co-ed.

The Co.Space, located at 244 East Nittany Ave., serves as a home and collaborative work space to Penn State students and young professionals in the State College-area. Spud Marshall, co-founder and “chief catalyst” of the Co.Space, calls the residents of the house “changemakers” — people with a focus on collaboration and innovation. Its residents range from Nicole Kelner, creator of the SmartPurse, to David Curley, a professional musician.

According to Marshall, the home is built around the idea that “the most important conversation in your life happens around a dinner table, a bonfire, out at a bar, but never at a classroom or a board meeting.”

Marshall decided that the best way to facilitate the “most important conversation in your life” was to build a house and to fill it with “awesome people doing awesome things.”

Joe Chen, CEO of "Chinese Facebook".
Joe Chen, CEO of “Chinese Facebook,” making breakfast at the co.space.

The home — previously the International Friends Home for the past 30 years — was completely gutted over the summer to become livable again. It includes features like an outdoor movie screen, a whiteboard coffee table, and even stalactites in the guest shower.

The residents of the Co.Space, who each applied to live in the house, pay a little under $600 per month in rent which includes a $100 program fee that helps pay for speakers or mentors for the residents. The house also hosts community dinners once a week with a “wow” factor for each dinner. For instance, Mongolian throat singers are coming on September 23rd. Anyone can attend the dinners for a small fee.

Also, the Co.Space plans to rent out a room to guests for $100 a night, but not just anyone can stay there. Visitors must show an interest in the program or bring expertise with them to share with the residents of the house. Sorry football visitors, it’s not that easy to get around the exorbitant hotel fees around State College.

For more on the Co.Space, check out its Facebook page for a list of all events and its website for more information.

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About the Author

Ted Hozza

Ted is a senior majoring in Community, the Environment, and Development, or as his friends here at Onward State like to call it, Architecture. You can probably find him at the Phyrst late at night with other Onward Staters if he's not somewhere else editing articles. You can follow him on Twitter @TedHozza or email him at [email protected].

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