West Tennessee’s latest effort to inspire entrepreneurship has taken the form of theCO, a space for artists, creatives and small business owners alike to collaborate and build community.
Located at 541 Wiley Parker Road in Jackson, the building has gone under serious renovations since the leaders of theCO received the key in June. With the building’s last use being a Coyote Blues, it is hardly recognizable as an old restaurant.
Now filled with computers, meeting spaces, a coffee bar, a 3D printer and many more perks open to members, theCO has received an overall positive response, especially within the art community.
Along with offering a workspace, theCO holds several events, courses and workshops every month. One of the more popular events, A.M. Creative, takes place once a month for “creative thinkers and artisans,” membership not required.
Luke Pennington, a digital media studies major at Union University, uses the resources at theCO for his job at Sodium Halogen, a design firm in Jackson. Pennington was recently hired as a “pixel-entologist” at Sodium Halogen and has experienced the creative community firsthand.
“theCo is all about collaboration no matter what your tools are,” Pennington said. “You may have a designer here and a developer here that says ‘Hey, let’s make something awesome.’”
William Donnell, Chief Technology Officer at theCO and founder of Sodium Halogen, reinforced theCO’s mission of collaboration by “bringing together entrepreneurs, makers, coders, and creatives, giving them a space to build companies and make stuff.”
Union alumna Lisa Garner is currently the director at theCO. Garner, one of the first to graduate from the university with a digital media studies degree, organizes events, creates posters and runs social media for theCO.
The Union community continues to find opportunities to partner with theCO, with students Brady Heyen and Joseph Smith recently starting internships.
Learn more about theCO at their website. Keep your eye out for a video about theCO they are currently working on.