State Senator Justin Alfond, center, speaks at Think Tank Coworking’s grand opening in Biddeford Thursday night. To the left of Alfond is Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry Executive Director Craig Pendleton, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant and to the right of him is Bonnie Pothier, York County representative for U.S. Senator Angus King’s office.

State Senator Justin Alfond, center, speaks at Think Tank Coworking’s grand opening in Biddeford Thursday night. To the left of Alfond is Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry Executive Director Craig Pendleton, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant and to the right of him is Bonnie Pothier, York County representative for U.S. Senator Angus King’s office.

BIDDEFORD — Recent Florida transplants Karen and Ken Rinehimer are members of the new Think Tank Biddeford, the newest location of Think Tank Coworking space.

 

 

She runs a virtual executive assistant business, he is an independent sales consultant. The two can work remotely from anywhere, and recently chose to set up office at the new coworking space at the former Pepperell Mill.

Think Tank Biddeford provides remote workers, freelancers and start-up companies a place to base their operations. The facility offers 11 private offices of varying sizes, eight dedicated desks and work stations. There are also conference rooms, phone booths and lounges. Members have access to wireless Internet and printer and scanner services.

“We love it,” said Ken Rinehimer. The couple said not only is it good to get out of the house and among other people, but the space will bring opportunities to collaborate and share experiences with others.

Above: Local officials are seen at a ribbon cutting at Think Tank Coworking’s grand opening in Biddeford Thursday evening. From left: Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry Executive Director Craig Pendleton, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant, State Senator Justin Alfond, Marc Feldman, director of Think Tank Biddeford, Think Tank Founder Patrick Roche and Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry Business Development coordinator James Jasper. Below: People mix, mingle and tour the new Think Tank Coworking space in Biddeford Thursday evening.

Above: Local officials are seen at a ribbon cutting at Think Tank Coworking’s grand opening in Biddeford Thursday evening. From left: Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry Executive Director Craig Pendleton, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant, State Senator Justin Alfond, Marc Feldman, director of Think Tank Biddeford, Think Tank Founder Patrick Roche and Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry Business Development coordinator James Jasper. Below: People mix, mingle and tour the new Think Tank Coworking space in Biddeford Thursday evening.

Marc Feldman, director of Think Tank Biddeford, said he envisions a small start-up first using space at one of the work stations, then moving to a dedicated desk, then to an office, then becoming big enough to move out of Think Tank into its own office downtown.

“It just becomes a growing ecosystem.” he said.

Think Tank’s other locations are Portland and Yarmouth.

Think Tank founder Patrick Roche said Biddeford had the right combination of demographics, facilities, location and people, and now was the time to “grow Biddeford back to where it was many years ago.”

“We think Biddeford is a great place to do business,” he said.

Roche worked with state Sen. Justin Alfond, a Portland Democrat, to craft a bill to create a state coworking development fund. Beginning January, developers of coworking space can apply for matching fund grants of up to $25,000.

“We’re a small business state,” said Alfond, noting that the building is now very different from when it was an operating mill, and people needed to take calculated risks and redefine the future.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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