Carmel gets first co-working space with opening of Platform 24

Carmel finally has a co-working space after seeing a previous plan for landing one dashed last year.

Platform 24, a 10,000-square-foot co-working space, occupies part of a one-story building at 12400 N. Meridian St., near Hamilton Crossing Centre. The operation had a soft opening in February and an official opening this week.

Open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, Platform 24 has eight dedicated offices and open space that can accommodate about 70. It boasts about 25 members so far.

"We definitely beat expectations on demand," said co-founder Tony Unfried, who's also CEO of application development firm Archon Tech Strategies LLC. "We had every office full by February."

Carmel had been expecting a co-working space to be developed as part of the roughly $85 million Midtown development center, but city officials told IBJ last year that such a space was dropped from the plan.

Meanwhile, a variety of co-working spots have emerged in Fishers, Zionsville, Westfield and Indianapolis over the past several years.

"I welcome the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit Platform 24 will bring to our community," Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said in written remarks. "Carmel is known throughout the Midwest as a city willing to push the envelope. I believe the startups and small businesses that flock to Platform 24 will find their long-term home here in Hamilton County."

The operation features more than 30 adjustable desks, several 70-inch mounted televisions, two conference rooms, a commercial printer and a kitchen for use by members.

The brainchild of the for-profit operation is Daniel Abdallah, who's chief technology officer of the Brookfield Group, a Carmel IT-services firm. That company—as well as internet-of-things company Mesh and software firm Bolstra—occupies space in 12400 N. Meridian St., and Abdallah set out last year to develop some unused space there into a co-working entity.

Unfried said he met Abdallah through a mutual business acquaintance last summer. Abdallah originally showed Unfried the space as potential member, but Unfried's enthusiasm for the venture ultimately led to the two becoming business partners.

"I told him, 'strap on your seatbelt because I’m going to help build this thing up,'" Unfried recalled telling Abdallah.

The founding sponsors of the space are the Brookfield Group—which invested in outfitting the space—Archon Tech Strategies and South Carolina-based coding academy Iron Yard, which has an Indianapolis office.

The Speak Easy, an Indianapolis-based co-working space, is serving as an adviser of sorts to Platform 24 and has a partnership with it that allows Speak Easy members access there.

Platform 24 is the fourth operation that Speak Easy members have access to as the six-year-old operation continues to spread its footprint. The not-for-profit began with the Speak Easy near Broad Ripple, opened The Speak Easy Downtown Indianapolis last October and established a partnership with Zionsville-based zWORKS in November.

Fishers-based co-working operation Launch Fishers is also spreading, announcing in February that it's opening a downtown Indianapolis-based spot called Launch Indy this fall.

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