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Emergent Campus Announced in Fremont County, Colorado

Fremont Economic Development Corporation, a 501c6 non-profit focused on economic development in Fremont County, Colorado, today announced the launch of a new business campus concept, Emergent Campus, opening in the historic former Florence High School in Florence, Colorado.

The property was acquired by Unbridled Holdings of Denver, in partnership with local investors, to build on the economic development initiatives of Fremont Economic Development Corporation and a four-county innovation sector initiative, the Upper Arkansas Technology Sector Partnership.

In the future, Emergent Campus is envisioned as a "work, live, play" style business campus, with space for incubation, trainings, offices, events, and living quarters. For the near term, the campus will open with a pioneer group of local business tenants who share in the project goals.

Unbridled Solutions CEO Stan Bullis is partnering on Emergent Campus with two Fremont County entrepreneurs, Chris Koehn, founder of Second-61, and Brad Rowland, who worked with FEDC to build the TechSTART co-working community in Canon City. The partners say they share a common vision around the intersection of business, community, and individual development that goes far beyond rural office space.

"The Emergent Campus culture is built on a highly curated and seasoned group of advisors, consultants and executives committed to changing businesses through destiny, authenticity and radical generosity," said Stan Bullis, CEO of Unbridled Solutions. "The goal of Emergent Campus is to create more purposefully driven environments for others to grow and help transform our communities in a positive way."

The partners see Emergent Campus as the next step after several years of successful rural economic development and as part of a larger trend happening in Colorado and across the country. This trend is strongly echoed by many industry leaders like Greater Colorado Venture Fund Director Marc Nager, who is quoted as saying, "the next big thing is small towns," and Beacon Founder Joe Toscano, who highlighted FEDC TechSTART's success in his recent Forbes article, "The Next Wave of Innovation Will Come From America's Forgotten Communities."

"Rural America doesn't need a handout," Koehn said. "Rural America is the greatest untapped business and strategic asset waiting to be discovered by America's business leaders. The men and women in rural areas are innovative, hardworking, and creative and have learned to live through decades of job loss as industry after industry centralized or moved offshore. Technology developments and educational programs are helping to mobilize this strategic workforce to provide a rural talent pipeline that's a fraction of the price of larger markets. Combine that with lower-cost infrastructure, lower turnover, and higher quality of life, and you have all the elements to help our national economy become more prosperous in the coming decades."

"Economic recovery, especially in rural communities, starts when obstacles are removed and the business climate is made conducive for purposeful growth," said Rob Brown, Executive Director, Fremont Economic Development Corporation. "The team driving FEDC TechSTART has cleared the path for technology-focused businesses to benefit from opportunities previously lying dormant in rural communities like Fremont County, Colorado. The Emergent Campus represents the logical continuation of the FEDC TechSTART vision and validates the effort to make rural Colorado relevant in the technology business landscape."

"We were honored to work with the City of Florence and Florence School Board, who share in the vision of maintaining downtown's historic integrity while creating prosperity for Florence residents," said Bullis. "Our hope is that the historic Florence High School building continues to be a positive force at the heart of the community as it has for so many generations before us."

Published Friday, August 16, 2019 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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