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MIT opens expanded space for entrepreneurs

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The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship this week celebrates its grand reopening, debuting an expanded space influenced by local startup hotspots.

The center closed only briefly during construction. For the most part, the student entrepreneurs, leadership team, and advisor-like entrepreneurs in residence continued to work at the 1 Amherst Street space while its footprint was expanded to about 7,200 square feet from about 4,500 square feet.

Architects and the Trust Center staff visited co-work spaces like WorkBar, accelerators like MassChallenge, and startups like HubSpot for inspiration for the updated space.

“The Garage” is a massive new meeting room. Raise the door at the back and the space opens into the Trust Center’s entryway and kitchen. That means more space for events like the center’s speaker series, roundtable discussions, and workshops for entrepreneurs.

ProtoWorks, the center’s makerspace, has been expanded and now includes an Epilog Fusion M2 40 laser cutter and a Stratasys Fortus 380 3-D printer, in addition to other tools.

"Phone booths” with actual phones (and free international calling), these cubby rooms provide privacy, allowing entrepreneurs to reserve them for important calls.

The center has nine conference rooms students can reserve, all equipped with wireless presentation systems. Outside this room, comfortable workspaces mimic first class airport lounges.

The entire center is equipped with Roomzilla scheduling software on mounted iPad minis. The software, which was created nearby at the Cambridge Innovation Center, allows entrepreneurs to book conference rooms in person or through a mobile app.

The Trust Center’s open workspaces are designed for collaboration and inspiration. Last year, students who work at the center started more than 50 new companies.

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