So you’ve got a great idea: a product that will change lives, maybe, or an idea that will change the world. But turning that idea into a viable business is a long road, as anyone who’s ever tried it will tell you. You need to understand a lot more than just your product or service. As an entrepreneur you’re a manufacturer, a marketer, a fundraiser, an accountant and more. Yes, you hope to hire these people one day, but money is tight now. And if you want to run your business well, you need to understand these tasks whether you are doing them yourself or not.
A Place Where Ideas Collide
This is where McKinney’s Collide Village comes in. In partnership with the McKinney Economic Development Corporation, Collide Village offers a collaborative work space for entrepreneurs. They’ve taken the concept of a shared workspace to the next level by creating an environment that fosters entrepreneurial creativity and provides nuts and bolts support for a new business. This part of Collide Village is the build up to the upcoming Accelerator program, and it’s an opportunity for start-ups to receive specialized training and mentoring.
When I visited Collide Village last week, I spoke with Jared Green, the developer of Pest Routes, scheduling software for pest control companies. Jared has a home office, but he finds being in a space with other entrepreneurs in the same situation energizing.
When I arrived, Jared was visiting with Tod Mongan, an attorney who acts as a mentor for the entrepreneurs in Collide Village. Tod answers basic legal questions, such as how to structure the company, for the entrepreneurs. Sometimes they end up becoming clients, but sometimes they just need simple questions answered. Tod is pleased to help.
Adam and Sharon Allard serve as general business mentors for Collide Village. Things like marketing and developing a business plan aren’t always easy the first time out. Adam and Sharon are happy to share their expertise born from years of experience in areas as diverse as green energy and aviation.
Tahir Hussain, CEO of Collide Village, describes the Accelerator program as a milestone driven program. Participants in the program are selected based on specific criteria. Their business must have a certain potential market size and be in the technology space. Tahir explains that they are looking for disruptive technologies – start-ups that are seeking to transform their industry. The Accelerator creates an “Ecosystem of the right mentors, the right talent and the right level of businesses.”
As businesses work through the Accelerator program, they will work toward a defined set of goals. What happens next is what sets the Collide Village apart from other entrepreneurial centers. After a participant graduates from the program, he’s encouraged to stay on at Collide Village in the co-working space. This allows businesses continued access to mentors and other entrepreneurs. Plus, it keeps the companies in McKinney to contribute to and grow the local economy
Collide Village is Not Just for Entrepreneurs!
In addition to the Acclerator program, Collide Village offers a co-working environment for the rest of us. Since Collide Village is located in McKinney’s Cotton Mill, it’s a cool place to work and offers easy access to all the amenities of downtown McKinney. Freelancers and others who work in a home office (ahem) who might enjoy the energy of an entrepreneurial environment will find a place here. Even if they don’t meet the requirements of the Accelerator program, they can still benefit from the co-working, networking space.
The Touchdown area offers an open area with table space for one man teams and freelancers looking for a cool place to work. You can drop in or pay by the month to use this area. The conference room is available to rent for these folks as well.
If you are looking for something a little more permanent, you can rent an open desk space by the month. You’ll be able to use any open desk 24/7 and have free access to the conference room based on availability. You also have a mailbox, the copier and a locker available to you.
Finally, if you really want a place to call home, dedicated desks are available, offering the same benefits as an open desk. However, your desk is yours and yours alone.
Collide Village is a part of the exciting entrepreneurial spirit that helps make McKinney so unique. Whether you’ve got an amazing new idea or just need a desk a couple of days a week, you can be apart of that spirit, too.Collide Village The Cotton Mill 610 Elm St. #800
McKinney, TX 75069
972.884.5830 ext. 16