Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC)

Making Innovation Central to Rhode Island's Future Gina M. Raimondo, Governor

Newest Incubator in Providence To Provide Creative Space for Arts and Design Entrepreneurs

Published on June 4, 2011

Asher Dunn and Matt Grigsby are two names that are known in their respective furniture design and sustainable design communities for forward thinking and collaboration. Dunn is the founder of Keeseh Studios and Studio Dunn, a local woodworking education and furniture design studio; Grigsby is the founder of Ecolect, a sustainable materials library and ecological design consulting company. The two entrepreneurs have come together to provide a solution to the growing need for small spaces in the design, commercial arts, and architecture community in Providence, Rhode Island.

Dunn and Grigsby's latest project is the renovation of 42 Rice Street, a revitalized 13,000 sf ft building on the West Side attached to the Pearl Street Lofts. Within this development these entrepreneurs have created Providence's newest incubator, aptly named ANCHOR for its mission to be a mainstay in the community and are officially opening the doors on June 11, 2011 from 5-8pm EST. (RSVP to ahoy@anchor.cc or on our Facebook event)

Formerly housing the School Department Warehouse and before that a hinge manufacturing company, the space used to be owned by Warren Buffet during Providence's manufacturing boom. The two entrepreneurs took it over in January of this year and construction has been underway to breathe new life into the interior. The new development, 42 Rice Street, consists of ANCHOR with its converted contemporary office spaces, and Keeseh Studio Community Woodshop. The two businesses co-inhabit 42 Rice Street and share a common lounge, kitchenette, and gallery space. 

The business model for ANCHOR, Providences' new incubator space is what sets it apart, says Grigsby. "We saw a real need to create small, affordable spaces that could foster a vibrant community of people looking to grow connections... ANCHOR allows entrepreneurs, designers and artists to do just that... share resources and constantly be inspired."

The visionaries behind ANCHOR aim to motivate entrepreneurs, artists and designers to stay in the community by offering rents highly competitive to the market. A look at the numbers shows that ANCHOR does offer real, innovative and affordable solution to startups and solopreneurs. Desks start at $150 per month, and most of the 12 available units run approximately $300-$400 per month. All rents include the use of common areas, utilities, office equipment, and of course, access to talent and synergies in the space. As a side note, Dunn and Grigsby pointed out, "ANCHOR is pet friendly" for those who have quiet, trained animals.

As Providence sees more start-ups spring up, "ANCHOR will be a means to keep talent in the area and get the community engaged in collaboration and real projects... we see the space as a beehive of activity," says Dunn. This will contribute to the core of Providence's Creative Capital initiative to keep creative and local talent in the area (see www.providencethecreativecapital.com).

Dunn and Grigsby have proven to be formidable forces in the artistic and design community in their own right; their alliance can only mean milestones for the Providence creative community in the years going forward.

For more information on ANCHOR and latest developments on Providence's entrepreneurial and design community, visit www.anchor.com 

For more information on Dunn and Grigsby, visit  www.keeseh.com   www.studiodunn.com  www.ecolect.net

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