A new Pensacola-area coworking space is set to hold a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 31.
WorkBase, spearheaded by local entrepreneur Jibril Sulaiman and programmer Chris Hendricks, officially opened at 7203 Pine Forest Road on May 16. Representatives described the coworking space as “a collaborative effort to provide a place where small business owners, freelancers, and others who normally work from home, can operate in an environment apart from the distractions of the home environment.”
“During the daytime as well as the night, home-based businesses are great,” Hendricks said. “But when you’re at home and have kids running around it can be very distracting.”
Coworking spaces have emerged in recent years as an alternative for teams and individuals who don’t want to commit to leasing dedicated office space. In exchange for a monthly fee, members typically receive access to a desk or other workspace and access to conference rooms, as well as internet access and other office amenities. WorkBase will also provide the opportunity for entrepreneurs to be surrounded by other small business owners, representatives said, noting that mentoring and assistance for those who need guidance in operating a small business will also be available.
Sulaiman and Hendricks are both natives of Pensacola and are self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneurs” with backgrounds in technology. Sulaiman is the founder of the software company Pay Sell Co. (formerly Pay Cell Systems) and its product Cell Pay, a payment facilitation platform for wireless stores. Hendricks, in addition to being an applications developer, also runs an internet radio station. Combined, the duo has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship.
“We are cultivating small business by providing the infrastructure,” said Sulaiman. “It’s not an incubator program, but hopefully by providing some advice and mentorship with the experience I have accumulated over the years, there will be some soft incubation through the interaction with WorkBase members.”
WorkBase co-workers will have access to a range of membership options: free membership with no wifi; $59 per month for 1.5 hours of daily wifi access; $89 per month for 4 hours of daily wifi access; $250 for unlimited access; or $400 per month for a dedicated desk. Membership includes free printing, free coffee/beverages, and an allotment of meeting space credits. Access to a 2, 6, or 8 seat conference/meeting room, as well as a 12-person training room can be used with or without a WorkBase membership.
The grand opening will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31. Special invited guests and organizations include District 1 Commissioner Candidate Karen Sindel, District 2 Commissioner Doug Underhill, and District 3 Commissioner Lumon May, Gulf Coast African American Chamber, Greater Pensacola Chamber, and the Gulf Coast Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.