October meet-up brings UA members to new entrepreneurial co-working space

The paint had barely dried on Des Moines’ latest start up community before Urban Ambassadors members lined up for a tour to see what new and exciting things Gravitate  would bring to the community. Located at 6th and Mulberry downtown, Gravitate, which has already attracted 50 members since opening in August, is shared a workspace designed to meet the office needs of Des Moines’ growing startup and entrepreneurial community.

Gravitate offers open desk space which members can pop in and utilize for the day, as well as a limited number of offices and assigned workspaces. Members receive access to high-speed internet, conference rooms, basic office needs such as printers and projectors, mail receiving, fitness center access and unlimited coffee from the café. The main workspace, the Google Bullpen, has stand-up desks and traditional tables to accommodate up to 38 people at one time. 

In addition to conserving resources through shared space, the central Des Moines building is conveniently located near public transportation and offers indoor bike parking. Nearby car parking is available, but the higher cost of parking encourages members to take advantage of alternate forms of transportation. 

Creator Geoff Wood calls Gravitate “an entrepreneurial center of gravity in Des Moines”. The Midland Building has become home to other like-minded businesses such as Girls Rock, a non-profit that teaches music to girls; DEG, a social media marketing group; Men’s Style Lab, a concierge clothing service; and Rocket Referrals, a referral marketing company. “The goal for this whole building – in my mind – is to turn this into a vertical district of startup and entrepreneurial activity so we’re all together, and Gravitate is at the hub of that activity,” said Wood.

Feeling inspired by the co-working atmosphere, Urban Ambassadors members Ralph Chido and Courtney Long took a moment to share an update on their latest collaboration. They shared the momentum gathering for the newest Seed Project they are leading.  

Together they are leading an effort to create an urban orchard in the King-Irving Neighborhood. Ralph hopes to establish the orchard on a donated piece of land, obtained via a connection that came through another UA member, Laura Peters.

The orchard is intended to provide fresh and healthy food for the hungry, educate the community on how to grow fresh produce, and provide jobs and teach work skills for neighborhood people.

As all great Seed Projects, this one will also create a successful model that can be replicated elsewhere within the Des Moines area or beyond.  If you are interested in getting involved, contact Ralph Chiodo via his Forest Avenue Outreach organization.