Cowerks, Asbury Park’s technology hub, is proud to announce that they have been selected as the recipient of $240,000 in funding from the NJ Economic Development Authority for their forthcoming expansion project.
This expansion project will take part in 2 phases, the first taking place at their current 619 Lake Avenue location in the Lakehouse Building, where they will acquire additional space to provide more offices, meeting rooms, and classrooms for their rapidly growing community.
The second expansion will provide the Asbury Park and the surrounding urban transit community with additional office & meeting space as well as a Makerspace. This Makerspace will be equipped with 3D printing capabilities, digital fabrication tools such as laser cutters and CNC machines, and a digital workbench for entrepreneurs interested in building and prototyping products involving Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other microcontrollers.
“The timing for this funding is perfect”, co-founder Bret Morgan states, “We’ve been at capacity for quite some time and have (not so) quietly been working on a large expansion project.”
Co-founder, Danny Croak, adds “The addition of a Makerspace to Cowerks will help foster a community of inventors, tinkerers, and hackers.”
Many of the products and ideas that come out of such communities have helped launch new companies such as Nest, the world’s first “Learning Thermostat” and activity tracker, Fitbit.
“We’re just at the dawn of the Internet of Things revolution and Makerspaces are a critical element to this movement.” adds Croak.
In addition to more offices and a Makerspace, Cowerks plans on expanding their offerings into the education realm.
Last year Cowerks hosted close to 50 workshops and events geared towards small business owners, start-up entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts. This year, they plan on increasing that number as well as launch a computer science enrichment program for kids.
As literacy in computer science and programming quickly becomes a basic requirement for tomorrow’s workforce, starting this enrichment while individuals are young is the surest way to ensure this core competency is met.
“We believe this expansion will give us the momentum to quickly become the epicenter for technology and entrepreneurship in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.”, comments Morgan, “It will also allow us to help shape the minds and lives of the next generation of computer engineers and programmers.”
“This is going to be a big year for us here at Cowerks”, states Croak, “and we’re truly grateful for the unique opportunity at hand.”