In April of last year had the opportunity to take a tour of the building and learn the history of Irontek as well. I was sold quickly as it’s a cool space to work and network with other people and the companies they either started or work for. Now that I been a member for year already figured I create a blog post about it.
Had the opportunity as well to get an Interview with Kari the community manager of Irontek.
How did Irontek get started?
Irontek came to be when our CEO, Rob Gerbitz, saw a coworking space in the basement of a hotel while traveling. He knew there was a need for tech based companies and tech talent here in the Beloit/Stateline area and a coworking space was the solution.
What was Irontek building used before being converted into a co-working space?
The space Irontek is located in was the old Beloit Corporation. The Beloit Corp was founded in 1858 as a paper machinery producer. The foundry was in operation until 1999 when the company filed for bankruptcy. It was later purchased by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 2000 and was later redeveloped for office and manufacturing space!
Did you think Irontek would need to expand as fast as it has?
No, we honestly didn’t know if the coworking concept was going to catch on here in Beloit. We did know we needed a space for creatives and entrepreneurs but did not expect there to be this much need.
Do you feel that Irontek has helped bring more tech industry to Beloit?
I feel that Irontek has brought more exposure to the tech industry and entrepreneurs.
How did the pandemic affect Irontek?
The pandemic was nerve-wracking for us. We weren’t sure what the climate of coworking was going to look like moving forward. We made some adjustments to our coworking space, conference rooms and kitchens to allow for our members to feel safe. We had a few members move out of offices/drop their memberships but those members quickly came back realizing how valuable having a space to get away from the house and have reliable internet is. The pandemic brought more remote workers our way who were looking for another office besides their own home.