CoWork Bozeman

CoWork Bozeman owner Mary Carroll prepares to open a new co-working space on Main Street next week.

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Sitting above the Treasure State Hostel on Main Street, the space looks like a nondescript office, full of new desks, conference rooms and a fully stocked kitchen.

The building is a blank slate, and that’s the point.

Cowork Bozeman, the area’s newest coworking space, is designed to be a bit of a chameleon, a rentable office for up-and-coming entrepreneurs or individuals looking for a workplace more formal than a coffee shop.

The space, at 27 E. Main St., has a capacity of roughly 40 people, and users can pay $297 a month for a full-time “lease,” $197 a month for part-time or $25 for a single drop-in session, according to owner Mary Carroll.

Carroll moved to Bozeman in December to work alongside her soon-to-be-husband, Alan Moore. The two have several ongoing ventures, including a payment processing startup for financial advisers.

For a time, Carroll worked in the pair’s 800-square-foot apartment. But that, she said, couldn’t last long.

“As a solopreneur, it can get really lonely,” the 23-year-old said.

Carroll joined several entrepreneur groups, among them Bozeman Business and Professional Women, as well as the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, but working at home and out of coffee shops left something to be desired. Securing the Main Street space not only gave Carroll and Moore the office they wanted, but also offered the opportunity to build a network of friends and business connections, the Illinois native said.

“I got a sense that people really want a community,” Carroll said. “It’s really hard as a business owner to find space to grow as you scale your company.”

“There are lots of entrepreneurs around here, and I definitely felt there was a need for it,” she added.

There are thousands of coworking spaces around the world, and several in Bozeman — including The Foundry, Blue Ocean Innovation Center and Redbrain Media. But in an area where high levels of entrepreneurship often clash with increasing rent, any shot at cheap office space — even temporary — can be a boon for budding businesspeople.

“Bozeman real estate is expensive, so (coworking) makes it affordable if you’re starting your own business,” Carroll said.

Carroll said she plans to have Cowork Bozeman open by next week.

“We’ve met so many people who are getting started,” she said. “And that’s the thing about Bozeman, everyone is willing to help each other out.”

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Kendall can be reached at lkendall@dailychronicle.com. Kendall is on Twitter at @lewdak

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