Community development is a funny thing. It's exciting, scary, punishing, rewarding, slow and fast all at the same time. It's also multidimensional—often there are multiple entities working towards the same or similar goals.
When we started LAUNCH West CO, it didn't take long before we realized that we weren't the only people in Western Colorado passionate about making our communities better. In the 2014/15 winter season, we saw the formation of the GJ Tech Meetup and Western Colorado Creative Professionals (both now a part of LAUNCH), Proximity Space and LAUNCH.
By October of 2015, several communities in Western Colorado, led by community drivers in Montrose, Mountain Village and Grand Junction, held the first regional Startup Weekend to take place on our side of the state, and it was a huge success. It was also a harbinger of what was to come.
That event brought together Proximity Space and LAUNCH in a new way, and we knew we'd be fast friends. Proximity Space had built a coworking space and was quickly filling it with an amazing community. LAUNCH had built a stunning community of entrepreneurs and it became obvious Grand Junction needed a coworking space—thus the birth of FACTORY in beautiful Downtown GJ. Through it all our paths kept converging.
It would have been easy to strike out separately, each doing our own things, but where's the fun in that? Before FACTORY even opened, it was clear that Proximity had the best solution for managing your coworking space and LAUNCH had the best solution for connecting a diverse and spread-out community. We knew we wanted FACTORY to be built on the Proximity platform, but the more we worked together, the more it became clear that we shouldn't simply partner our companies, we should move forward as one company.
It's 2018 now and since November, Proximity Space, Inc. has been the parent company for Proximity Space, FACTORY & LAUNCH. By merging our companies and our assets, we have secured our ability to drive community growth in Western Colorado and beyond for years to come. It also means that members of FACTORY can go to Proximity Space in Montrose or Ridgway whenever they want, and vice versa.
But it has left us with the question of what to do with LAUNCH? It has been a foundational name within Grand Junction for years and while that is important, we think that LAUNCH has become synonymous with FACTORY and FACTORY is Proximity. It's already a bit of a marketing challenge to own three coworking spaces, two named one thing and one named another. Keeping the LAUNCH brand in the mix is too confusing.
And in reality, FACTORY has become the hub for LAUNCH activity in Grand Junction, so the transition feels natural. And because the Proximity brand reaches throughout Western Colorado and beyond, the LAUNCH network will reach farther than ever before.
So, with that in mind, we are putting the LAUNCH brand to rest as the community builder in Western Colorado, and focusing on our core properties Proximity Space and FACTORY. When you hear either of those names, you can know it is the same community that LAUNCH originally represented, doing the same things—just much bigger now!
In fact, because our network is larger than just the three coworking spaces we own, the Proximity Community represents coworkers in almost 150 spaces across 30 states and three countries! That's a lot of people!
So without further ado, thank you for being a part LAUNCH and welcome to FACTORY — A Proximity Space!
And don't forget to check out our events page to stay up to date with what's going on around here!
Josh Hudnall & Brian Watson & the entire Proximity Team