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projectY Assists Entrepreneurs

on November 24, 2017 - 12:19pm
LANL Chief Technology Officer Duncan McBranch speaks at projectY cowork Los Alamos about startup companies working with the laboratory. Courtesy photo


projectY cowork is a unique organization that strives to nurture and assist aspiring entrepreneurs.

Director Laura McDaniel said projectY cowork has operated for 1.5 years; it opened in June 2016.

“projectY cowork is a unique private-public collaboration between Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation (LACDC), the County of Los Alamos, the Los Alamos National Laboratory Feynman Center for Innovation, the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), LANS, LLC as well as Central Park Square owner Philip Kunsberg,” she said. “Through a joint effort, these entities wanted to create a hub for Los Alamos entrepreneurial activity and help support aspiring entrepreneurs with space for them to start or grow their business.

“It was intended to serve as a place for remote workers, freelancers and startups to access a supportive network of individuals and nice work environment in lieu of an expensive office space. The goal of projectY cowork is to ultimately spur economic development by offering these individuals affordable workspace that can help serve as a catalyst for their eventual expansion into the community when they are ready for office space and hiring on employees.”

To achieve this, McDaniel said projectY cowork “serves as hub for startups, freelancers and others to be connected to like-minded entrepreneurs, business experts, investors and mentors who will help them achieve their personal and professional goals.

The coworking space offers individuals a variety of ways to get involved: offering day passes, punchcards and different tiers of memberships. In accessing the space, individuals have high-speed, secure WiFi, printing, copying and other office amenities, free coffee, tea and snacks, and a comfortable, flexible work environment in the middle of downtown Los Alamos.

A conference room is also available for rent by the hour, and individuals can also use the event space after-hours. projectY regularly schedules free events and programming to assist entrepreneurs and others with business-related topics, and noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday invites the public to attend TED Talks that are streamed in the space. For more information, visit the projectY website at”

She added providing these services to Los Alamos has been enjoyable.

“Los Alamos traditionally has a reputation for being a town filled with scientists and PhDs who work at the lab, but we also have a huge population of remote workers -- notably trailing partners of those who work at LANL -- as well as people with a desire to pursue entrepreneurial passions.

Over the past few years we’ve seen homegrown businesses start and succeed here in Los Alamos, and projectY would like to help foster that trend even further by giving these individuals affordable, comfortable space in which to work and linking them to a network of supportive influencers and partners.

Bringing people together in a collaborative way through coworking makes people feel more connected to local individuals and the community, and can offer an inspirational, social environment for them to work solo -- but not alone. It’s rewarding to help facilitate these types of interactions,” McDaniel said.

She noted projectY has achieved a lot in a short amount of time.

“projectY has hosted hundreds of events in its first year-and-a-half of operations, all aimed at assisting entrepreneurs and others who work remotely. As such, we have welcomed thousands through our doors,” McDaniel said.

She added, “In general, projectY’s accomplishments are reflected in the accomplishments of our members. Recently, we celebrated one of our first members, ProcessQM, LLC, moving on to a bigger space and opening an office over on DP Road in Los Alamos.

“Lena Isaacs, the president and owner, initially used projectY as her base of operations for growing her company, attending workshops, and hosting client meetings; we’re thrilled she was able to use the space as a stepping stone to branching out into the community and expanding her business. We are very proud of all that she’s achieved, and feel rewarded that projectY was able to support her in her efforts.”

For Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25, McDaniel said projectY will serve as the venue for the Small Business Saturday Kiosk Mall this year.

“That means we will be bringing a lot of home-based and off-the-hill companies into projectY that day to support those that don’t traditionally have a storefront available to them,” McDaniel said.

Participating businesses will include My Easy Nails, Champion Windows, Atomic City Tours, Anthem Financial Services, Agnes & Dora Clothing, LA Monitor, HeardHand, Plunder Design, Paulina Gwaltney Photography, Pampered Chef, SunPower by Positive Energy Solar and others. The public may visit the Kiosk Mall at the location at 150 Central Park Square 10 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25.