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New ag collaboration workspace opens in Edmonton

New ag collaboration workspace opens in Edmonton

Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta opened its Food Central Cowork at the end of January

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

Agri-food entrepreneurs looking for a space to set up shop now have one in Edmonton, Alta. thanks to the Agriculture and Food Council (AFC).

The Food Central Cowork consists of about 50 office spaces and meeting rooms. Businesses can rent part of the space to showcase their products while AFC provides administrative supplies, IT support, marketing support and other services.

The space is targeted to businesses that offer value-added services or products for the ag industry, according to Cassandra Rasko, project coordinator with AFC.

“We’re trying to build a collective community in the agri-food industry that is making food products, beverages or services and technologies,” she told today. “We’re trying to get accountants and other resources here so everything is under one roof for the people who need it.”

Many start-ups often face the same kinds of challenges and the collaborative space gives entrepreneurs a chance to network and exchange ideas with their peers, she said.

“There’s coworking going on in every business, but there’s nothing really specific to agri-food,” she said. “So this is a great opportunity.”

Current occupants of the space have found the experience beneficial, and those waiting for an opening are excited about the possibilities.

Parmiss Mojir Shaibani and her husband own Roshan Water Solutions and are developing a product to test the safety of water and raw food products. The entrepreneurs are currently working out of the University of Alberta.

But having a spot in the Food Central Cowork would be invaluable, she said.

“To have people (in the co-work space) who are focused in agriculture and food, you get experience how to deal with those kinds of businesses (and) how to talk to people who are in the food business,” she told Global News on Sunday.

Top photo: Food Central Cowork
Photo: David Marvin/Twitter

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