COWORKING IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Eastern Foundry's first North Carolina coworking space will offer opportunities to businesses that work with the government.

Author:Blake, Kathy

For many, Eastern Foundry's opening in downtown Fayetteville's CORE Innovation Center in September is a testament of Cumberland County's pursuit of greater visibility in local and national markets.

Until June, Eastern Foundry's only presence was two Arlington, Va., centers near the Pentagon and U.S. Department of State, key in its mission of providing coworking space for companies whose customer is the federal government. For five years, Eastern Foundry has provided office space, resources and federal agency contacts to contractors associated with that industry.

In June, Eastern Foundry announced it will open a coworking location for established companies and newcomers in cybersecurity, digital human services and other technologies this fall in the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corp.'s CORE center on Hay Street.

"Fort Bragg initially drew us to Fayetteville, but after meeting with the FCEDC, we knew opening in Fayetteville was an opportunity we could not pass up," says Regina Burke, Eastern Foundry's chief of staff. "The CORE office location downtown is great for doing business with the many unique cafes, bistros and local breweries. A lot of changes will be happening in Fayetteville over the next few years, and we want to be here from the start to facilitate the changes."

Fort Bragg is the largest U.S. military installation in terms of population, according to its website, housing more than 52,000 troops. It's only a 20-minute drive away from downtown Fayetteville.

"It started, as many of our projects do, with a connection, just a referral from a conversation," says FCEDC President and CEO Robert Van Geons. "One day, they came to visit with their team. It was a chilly spring morning, and they could sit outside overlooking downtown with a cup of coffee. And when they saw all that was happening, and heard our voices, they said they needed to make it happen. They believe, like us, in the potential of this community."

Eastern Foundry will have two individual offices in the CORE center initially, Burke says, each offering coworking space and access to three conference rooms. "As our clientele grows, so will our space. We will have whiteboards and smart TVs to host meetings, and we will have wireless internet throughout the space," she says.

Eastern Foundry was founded in 2014 by two veterans trying to streamline the way government obtains goods and services. The coworking space is particular about its contractors and...

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