City and state officials and Dorchester residents celebrated the opening of a new space for entrepreneurs and creative workers Saturday.
The Fairmount Innovation Lab, a co-working space and accelerator program for startups, kicked off with a meet-and-greet at its lab space near Uphams Corner. The lab pitches itself as a resource for new companies in fields such as advertising, music, video game design, and publishing, and 10 companies have been selected to use the space and get lessons in running a business.
Terry Marshall, a co-founder of the company Intelligent Mischief, said he was looking forward to the chance to get advice for his five-person startup. Before being selected for the lab’s mentorship program, he said, he and his co-workers had to meet at each others’ homes or in friends’ offices. On Monday, they start a seven-week class on running a startup.
“As a young social entrepreneur, it’s very hard to find space, or inexpensive space,” said Marshall. “We needed mentorship. We needed some expertise.”
Liora Beer, executive director of the non-profit that runs the space, said about 1,000 square feet of the lab space on Columbia Road was finished. The ultimate goal is to have 13,000 square feet available, she said, which will cost around $3 million.
Several major foundations are supporting the overhaul, including the Boston Foundation, but Beer said he group is still raising money.