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How Coworking Space Collaborate DSM Found Its Niche

Collaborate DSM

June 12, 2018

Everyone wants to go to a place they truly enjoy spending their nine-to-five each day. A place that sparks creativity, supports growth, allows focus and initiates connections, all in a great neighborhood. It seems so simple! But as a Greater Des Moines (DSM) resident of 18 years, Clinton Akerberg was having trouble finding just that. With a knack for entrepreneurship and a passion for innovation, he found most workspaces too uptight, bland and corporate feeling. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, being in wealth management, the office spaces that offered a more fun laid-back feel were a little too raw and lacking the professional environment necessary for meeting with high profile clients. 

That’s when Akerberg had the idea for Collaborate DSM — a place for a meeting of the minds, innovation and collaboration. A place for entrepreneurs, small businesses and members of our growing DSM community to come together and be surrounded by individuals that inspire them. 

How it came to be

The question of where was an easy one to answer. Living on Ingersoll Avenue on the edge of Downtown DSM, Clinton and I knew it was the perfect area for this concept to evolve. While heading out on cruiser bikes to Eatery A one sunny April afternoon, we stopped to chat with some neighborhood friends right in front of the old Lessing Flynn building and were astounded when mid-conversation they noticed the real estate sign in the window.

“It’s perfect,” I remember Clinton saying. 

Finding this seemingly perfect location got the wheels turning faster. Clinton knew they couldn’t do it all on their own. He reached out to his brother, Chris Kelley, an anesthesiologist at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and graduate of nearby Des Moines University, who almost immediately agreed to go down this journey with his big brother. Four months and a long summer of hard work later, Collaborate DSM was born.

Collaborate DSM today

Collaborative Work Space DSMSince opening day on Aug. 1, 2017, we have successfully built everything we hoped for and more. Walk in to Collaborate DSM for a day’s work and you will often be greeted by Brinkley — our friendly English creme golden retriever. Pass through the lobby and you will hear a custom Collaborate DSM playlist. In the lounge you will find Madhouse beer and kombucha on tap, Zanzibar’s coffee freshly brewed and Gong Fu tea. Choose a private suite or shared workspace to take advantage of fast fiber internet, video conferencing, Apple TV, on-site gym, Zen meditation room and private conference rooms. Spend your day working amongst inspiring peers, walls full of local art from Moberg Gallery, high end furnishings from Herman Miller and fresh air flowing through the open windows from our favorite part of DSM and the place we love to live, play and now work.

And like a representation of DSM’s thriving economy, our members consist of social media marketing groups, data storage tech companies, independent business consultants, recycling companies, massage therapists, counselors, nonprofit organizations, attorneys, architects, financial advisors and wholesalers.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a big city. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.