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Activating Third Places: Maker and Co-working Spaces

A CEDAS Academy Webinar

April 13, 2017
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM



In the Spanish world, "tapas " are small, flavorful dishes eaten with others to encourage conversation and sharing. The "tapas" webinar series takes a broad look at foundational economic development strategies and serves up several community based examples in a "small plate" format. This means you'll hear a summary of what’s worked, and what hasn't and pickup ideas to try out in your community straight from other leaders and local professionals.

CEDAS Academy-ED Strategy Series is a web-based educational learning series developed by UConn Extension in collaboration with the Connecticut Economic Development Association and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center.

Join us for this series to:

  • Learn about timely, relevant economic development issues and strategies; 
  • Get a taste of best practices and community successes from other practitioners and community leaders; and
  • Access local resources relevant to your community.


Activating Third Places: Maker and Coworking Spaces

What is a third place? In community development, third places are places "in between" traditional home and work (or school) environments where we gather, relax, eat, and build relationships.  Maker and co-working spots are popping up in cities across Connecticut as third places that support entrepreneurs and promote innovation through shared resources and partnerships.  Often these spaces offer tools and technology such as 3-D printers, software, craft or hardware supplies, as well as resources and infrastructure like meeting and work space.


Attend this webinar to learn: 

•   What are co-working and makerspaces and how they may benefit communities

•   Lessons learned from other communities in developing co-working and makerspaces

•   When and why co-working and makerspaces might be the right fit for your community





  • What is a maker/coworking space? Hannah Gant, Civic Entrepreneur and Director of Collaboration for Spark and Laura Brown – CEcD, Community & Economic Development Educator, UConn- Extension
  • Spark Makerspace in New London - Hannah Gant, Civic Entrepreneur and Director of Collaboration for Spark
  • B:Hive Bridgeport - Marcella Kovac  Founder & Partner at The Bananaland, and Co-Founder/Partner at B:Hive Bridgeport 




This is a free webinar co-sponsored by the Connecticut Economic Development Association and UConn as part of the "CEDAS Academy" Economic Strategy Series.  The audience will be economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, planners, community development professionals, and community leaders.



Hannah Gant, Co-Founder SPARK Maker Space New London

Hannah is one of the initiators of Spark, a community-run workshop and learning center in New London CT that features a makerspace, coworking space, artspaces, and retail storefront. Spark is organized cooperatively with classes of members that also include organizations and anchor institutions. Hannah received an MBA in community economic development and finance after working in the food system managing farmers markets, making cheese, and farming in the Hartford area. She is also co-leading the effort to help New London & Groton achieve Innovation Place status in Connecticut.


Marcella Kovac, Founder / Partner at The Bananaland; Co-Founder / Partner at B:Hive Bridgeport

Marcella’s obvious love of design and marketing has been undeniably influenced by her not-so-subtle wanderlust. A passion for experiencing new places and meeting new people, complemented by a deep appreciation for international art and commercial design, have resulted in a spin on the agency that mirrors top-notch hospitality, innovative thinking, and a memorable “stay.” More often than not, you’ll find her at the front desk of The Bananaland, charming clients with her genuine enthusiasm for delivering uniquely creative solutions, or going on about her favorite travel destination of all: Bridgeport.




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