Phoenix entrepreneurs have teamed with Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela to announce the world’s first coworking and entrepreneur cultural exchange program rooted in pro bono service called CO+EXCHANGES.
The CO+EXCHANGES program, which will operate via the CO+HOOTS Foundation, an Arizona nonprofit, is designed to bring together the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and coworkers in various host cities to share knowledge, build community and collaborate to solve global challenges.
“This program gives entrepreneurs, through global collaboration, the opportunity to solve complex problems that directly impact nonprofits and the community,” said Jenny Poon, founder of CO+HOOTS. “It’s a global program with a powerful local impact.”
Poon and CO+HOOTS Foundation Executive Director Kristin Romaine along with Phoenix entrepreneurs Daniel Valencia and Beth Cochran, and Councilman Valenzuela announced the program at a recent international press conference held in Catania, Italy, one of the cities in the Phoenix Sister Cities program.
“We unveiled the program in Catania, not only because they are one of Phoenix’s sister cities, but because they are in the similar position Phoenix was in six years ago in terms of economic conditions and the groundswell of entrepreneurs trying to make change,” Poon said. “We believe there’s a lot we can do to help them overcome challenges and continue to build their entrepreneurial base.”
Entrepreneurs participating in the CO+EXCHANGES program will have the opportunity to visit and cowork in a city of their choice and be provided with lodging; donated, discounted or subsidized airfare; and hosting by the coworking space in the host city. All “CO+EXCHANGErs” will be asked to collaborate with the hosting space to develop a workshop that utilizes his/her expertise to better a local non-profit, community program or issue in the hosting city.
CO+EXCHANGES is currently building relationships around the world with collaborations already established in eight host cities including: Tucson, Ariz.; Calgary, B.C.; Hermosillo, Mexico; San Paulo, Brazil; among others.
Phoenix has established the model for this program with the support of RED DEVELOPMENT, which has provided CO+HOOTS Foundation with access to a downtown apartment suite at Cityscape Residences, which is expected to host 12-15 national and international entrepreneurs by next year.
Learn more at coexchanges.com.