Ariel Lev - The Immense Importance of the Co-working Space to Fostering Entrepreneurship and Growth

Co-working spaces like CoLab Roanoke (and soon to be opened Sp@ce here in Charlottesville) are essential to all entrepreneurial ecosystems. By providing a place for founders and entrepreneurs to work free of the daily distractions of life and collide creatively with others that have the same mentality and goals, co-working spaces become the epicenter of all things innovative in their communities. Additionally, programs like CoLab’s  weekly (X)po Wednesdays provide the necessary mentorship and guidance that insures that the entrepreneurs of the region have the proper tools to develop into exceptional business owners… and spectacular individuals.

Far from being elite clubhouses or inaccessible ivory towers, however, co-working spaces are also an extremely vital part of the business development plans for cities and municipalities of all sizes. The work that occurs between their walls, the creation of firms and companies, impacts workers regionally by both keeping crucial talent within their respective regions as well as creating many jobs per year in the community. As a result, cities where entrepreneurship is promoted gain a vibrant and thriving economy that continues to expand and grow as more and more local companies grow, expand and hire more people. In Roanoke, for example, CoLab, in the words of Director Ariel Lev, has “a large obligation to our community stakeholders, the city, the economic development team here, the region as a whole… was not only provide that space for entrepreneurs to work but also to support them, mentor them and push them out into the community and into the region to then hire people and create a very streamlined economic development option for people that really does create jobs”. In short, the co-working space is a win-win option for both up-and-coming entrepreneurs and the cities that further the programs that support them. 

Bio: Ariel Lev is the Executive Director of the CoLab. A North Carolina native, Ariel fell in love with the Blue Ridge mountains during her undergraduate studies at Appalachian State University, graduating with honors in Communications Broadcasting. Shortly after, Ariel was accepted to Georgetown University to continue her Communications studies, graduating in 2012 with a Masters of Arts in Communications, Culture and Technology.

In 2014, Ariel and her husband Sam (and their two rescue mutts) moved to Roanoke after spending time in Washington, DC and Floyd, VA. Ariel has been working for CitySpace LLC since she moved to Roanoke and has managed and worked on many different projects within the company, from helping to plan the CityWorks (X)po Conference to directing the CoLab.

Ariel is interested in Intellectual Property, social entrepreneurship, eating local and delicious foods, problem solving and making connections. Contact her for more information on the CoLab or just to talk about what's happening in this Valley we call home. 


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