The Quad Innovation Partnership will host its grand opening of its Quad Innovation Space next month after months spent renovating the basement space that lies beneath Loyal Coffee (408 S. Nevada Ave.).
“Come celebrate the collective efforts of the four partners and broader Colorado Springs community in launching the Quad and creating a new hub of innovation,” according to the announcement, which was made via social media.
The party is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. April 19 at the innovation space at 408 S. Nevada Ave.
The partnership — a collaboration between Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, UCCS and the U.S. Air Force Academy — was formed in 2014 but made significant headway last year, when it hired local entrepreneur Jacob Eichengreen as the program’s first executive director and began work on a space it’s designating as a future hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in Colorado Springs.
Eichengreen said the event will serve as a standard ribbon cutting and include speeches and keynotes from local leaders.
“It’s a celebration of getting to this point and what it took to do that,” he said. “We’ll also be talking about why we built the space and what we’ll be doing down there.”
He said the “flexible multi-use space will host a variety of different programs,” including workspace, coworking spaces, the Quad’s summer program, as well as some “exploratory and discovery spaces.”
PPCC President Lance Bolton told the Business Journal last year that the college (on behalf of the partnership) signed a lease with property owner Darsey Nicklasson on the 2,000-square-foot commercial space.
The basement, which was originally a bakery, will serve students and recent graduates transitioning out of college and looking to work for themselves locally, Eichengreen told the Business Journal last year. He also said he foresees the space as being one in which entrepreneurs — or those simply interested in entrepreneurship — can gain momentum in the marketplace.
When plans for the partnership were initially announced in May 2014 to create what they then called a “Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurism,” the stakeholders were motivated by trends that showed young people moving to cities with more to offer in terms of non-traditional career opportunities. Rather than remain complacent, they joined together in an attempt to reduce the “brain drain.”
The partnership’s 2015 pilot program was a small “cross-cutting discovery course” composed college students. During the pilot, students listened to lectures from influential speakers and participated in challenges related to business planning, execution and marketing. Last year’s summer program included participants from each of the partner schools and focused more specifically on entrepreneurship, Eichengreen said.