Bridge Space, Lee’s Summit first coworking space and entrepreneur incubator, officially opened Wednesday evening in the former Post Office in Downtown Lee’s Summit. The space, which provides open coworking and private offices, operates through monthly memberships – members will have full access to indoor/outdoor event spaces, conference rooms and a podcast studio.
Designed to accelerate entrepreneurship and economic development in the community, Bridge Space President and Founder Ben Rao said the whole purpose of the building is to bring jobs to Lee’s Summit. “If we can bring entrepreneurs and startups to Lee’s Summit and give them the resources and the physical space that they need, we can make them more successful,” Rao said in a video played during the grand opening. “We can hopefully incubate them out of Bridge Space so that they drop their businesses into Lee’s Summit, hire more employees, and it’s a way for us to grow economic development.”
Drew Erdmann, chief operating officer of the Office of the Governor for the State of Missouri, spoke to the effect businesses like Bridge Space have on the economic development of the entire state. “At the end of the day, economic development is a team sport, but it’s actually a local sport. It’s decided by local communities, local entrepreneurs, educators, innovators, investors, business leaders, that’s where economic growth comes from, that’s where new job creation is made,” Erdmann said. “That’s why we’re trying to be as focused as possible on the businesses in local communities and work back from there and not focus on how we do things in Jefferson City.”