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Factory goes to college

Factory partners with CMU at the Maverick Innovation Center

When it comes to facilitating and encouraging entrepreneurship and creative innovation at CMU, the university has more than a decade’s long track record of delivering on plans and promises. On Dec. 2, CMU begins a new partnership with Factory, a Proximity Space. This is a local tech company that strives to create a future workforce using technology platforms that drive real connections and provides customers confidence in the future, which is a goal shared by the Maverick Innovation Center.

By partnering to promote a coworking space community, Factory with CMU is excited to explore how this partnership will impact the future local workforce.

The partnership is part of an ongoing expanded Maverick Innovation Center, and is among the recent developments that have provided additional student resources in the areas of creativity and entrepreneurial culture. In 2019, the Maverick Innovation Center celebrated a grand opening of a new facility that included the addition of collaborative innovation space as well as the co-location of the CMU Cyber Security Center. During the grand opening event, CMU President Tim Foster communicated that some of the space would be leased to community partners who would in turn help accelerate the mission of the innovation center. On November 21 CMU and Factory delivered on that promise announcing the official relocation of the tech company Proximity to the Maverick Innovation Center. 

“Students might call it collaboration, the private sector might call it coworking space, but in the end the business of Factory and the Proximity network aligns nicely with the mission of the Maverick Innovation Center,” said Maverick Innovation Center Director Tom Benton. “Factory is the right company at the right time to create a culture within our program that is conducive to helping students bring their ideas to life.” 

Allison Blevins is the COO of Proximity and has been working with CMU to explore the benefits to Proximity and to CMU students by their decision to lease the innovation center partnership space. 

“We  are interested in asking and learning as we go about how higher education institutions can engage small businesses and startups and connect them to the future workforce,” said Blevins. "This partnership is a great way for us to do just that."

Blevins also explained that the companies close connection to Downtown Grand Junction will remain a priority to the company.

“Proximity will literally remain very close in proximity to Downtown Grand Junction where additional creative endeavors occur daily. And our clients and collaborators can utilize the Dash transportation system to maintain that important connection between CMU and the greater Downtown Grand Junction creative district," she said. 

The private public partnership between CMU’s Maverick Innovation Center and Factory is another example that reflects the entrepreneurial campus culture at CMU and includes student mentoring, office hours and joint events and initiatives between students, faculty and Factory. 

Factory is expected to move into their new campus location by December 2 and will begin discussions about how their company and their clients will collaborate with university students and faculty to enhance the startup culture and entrepreneurial spirit in the Grand Valley.

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Written by David Ludlam