Ashley Scott was nervous.
“I always stress out before these things,” said Scott, the operations manager at MatchBOX, downtown Lafayette’s new coworking studio. But it was the good kind of stress. Scott took to the podium Wednesday morning to announce that MatchBOX had reached its two-year membership goal in its first 90 days of operations and introduced five new corporate sponsors.
With its $25,000 donation, Wabash National was given naming rights to MatchBOX’s workbench space, now known at the Wabash National Lab. Another new sponsor, Harbor Freight Tools, will donate tools and production equipment of all sizes to the fabrication area, which already sports a MakerBot 3D printer and scanner. Nanshan America and Duke Energy pledged funding of $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. Tipmont REMC also committed financial support.
We’ve written about MatchBOX a few times at Think Lafayette and what it means as a place for incubating startups and the entrepreneurial spirit. What’s so exciting about Wednesday’s announcement is how eagerly the community and local corporations have pledged to support the studio.
A big theme from yesterday’s press conference MatchBOX is a critical tool to retain recent Purdue grads and young professionals in Greater Lafayette. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said that MatchBOX was “being talked about all over the state” and “has put Lafayette on the map.”
With 56 members signed up in 90 days, MatchBOX is well on its way to becoming a professional hub in downtown Lafayette.