Oxbow co-work facility cuts ribbon
Wednesday, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise officially opened a high tech facility designed to promote economic growth by providing access to a powerful telecommunications infrastructure that will allow information technology workers to perform tasks remotely and will aid entrepreneurs to pursue new business ventures.
The Oxbow Center, located in St. Paul, is the first co-working facility in far Southwest Virginia. High tech start-up companies can begin operations at Oxbow as they grow and become successful enough to find a permanent location.
The Oxbow Center will also include the development of the Clinch River Ecological Education Center, which is expected to open in spring of 2020.
“We are bringing together technologists, entrepreneurs and environmental education under one roof,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “We are looking forward to the synergies that will result.”
The college, through the Oxbow Center, is partnering with the Center for Innovative Technologies, Atomicorp, Mapcom Systems, the Virginia Tobacco Commission and Clinch River State Park.
Ed Albrigo, president and chief executive officer of CIT, has partnered with the college for about four years. CIT invests in start-up companies in high tech fields. The region has an abundance of talent, especially because of the strong education offered at UVa-Wise, he explained.
Scott Shinn, chief technology officer for Atomicorp, praised the partnership with the college. The company develops software that protects businesses that use the cloud for storage. The region’s broadband system and the ability for workers to do tasks remotely are just two reasons it is possible for small businesses to get a start in the area.
Shinn said UVa-Wise has helped with economic development needs and helped the company create a strong relationship with students and graduates.
“UVa-Wise has been the best I’ve ever seen,” Shinn said. “It’s about talent. Where you live does not dictate that so much. We’re here because of the talent.”
The Oxbow Foundation gave the center to the UVa-Wise Foundation in 2016. Soon after, it underwent its first phase of renovations, including the creation of a co-working space, conference room, classroom and private offices.
To learn more, visit www.oxbowcenter.com.
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