The Nonprofit That Could

By Gabriella Rusk NBC15 Anchor | Photographed by Valerie Tobias

Like all big ideas, 100State started in a small space.

In a train car on West Washington Avenue, a small group of young entrepreneurs and freelancers could be found working in a space they dubbed the “Coworking Caboose.”

Five years later, the nonprofit 100State (which temporarily located at 100 State St.) has a new name and new space but has maintained its original goal: making entrepreneurship accessible throfugh co-working and community-building.

Claudia Seidenberg, 100State’s executive director, says it’s Wisconsin’s largest co-working space.

“If you can work from a computer you can work out of our space,” Seidenberg says. “It’s for anyone under the sun and we’re very industry agnostic.”

While railroad tracks are no longer the foundation of the building, 100State continues to chug along as a working space for anyone from startup founders to remote workers in any field.

“Being a community focused space enables us to be a space that really supports a lot of different types of individuals and types of work styles,” says Seidenberg. “We are really open and accepting and welcoming of everyone.”

Olivia Barrow, a professional copywriter, has taken advantage of the community building. She has even found a long-term business partner through 100State.

“100State has a great community in the sense that there are a lot of people and they really do interact,” Barrow says.

As an extrovert, Barrow says she likes the camaraderie of the community.

“I feel like I’m more productive and happier when I’m working around other people,” she added.

Seidenberg says one of her goals in 2019 is to build up those connections. “We are really focusing inward on the experience of the membership,” Seidenberg says.

Membership rates range from $150 per month to over $500 per month for a more private space at 100State.

“When you are getting companies started on their own or even just jumping into a new space, that’s really hard and that’s really brave and we want to support that,” Seidenberg says.

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