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May 22. 2014 8:17PM

abiHUB buys co-working space, rebrands as Alpha Loft


Keynote speaker Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal speaks during the Alpha Loft's (formerly abiHub) Party at Arms Park in Manchester on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — The recently rebranded abiHUB is undergoing an expansion that comes with yet another new moniker for the entrepreneurship center and business incubator.

At the annual Party at Arms fundraiser Thursday night in Arms Park, Mark Kaplan, the chief executive officer of abiHUB, and board chair Kyle York announced the organization has purchased the assets of Portsmouth co-working space Alpha Loft, hiring its founder and owner Joshua Cyr.

The joint organization will be called Alpha Loft.

Unlike abiHUB, Kaplan said, the name will be easier to pronounce. It will also better convey the organization’s purpose.

“Alpha represents strength and starting, as the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Loft isn’t only a place,” Cyr said. “It makes us think of our New Hampshire startups really taking off.”

The new organization, which will introduce new branding, will be operating at the current abiHUB location on Elm Street in Manchester and the Market Square location Cyr opened 2 1/2 years ago, as well as in Durham.

Kaplan said Cyr, who was named last week as one of the Seacoast 10 to Watch, has been a strong advocate for entrepreneurship in New Hampshire.

“In his new role with us, Joshua will continue as an evangelist in the ecosystem,” Kaplan said. “He will be working closely with me to launch our new education and accelerator programs.”

For his part, Cyr said: “I’ve been promoting entrepreneurship on the Seacoast for years, and with this opportunity, I can be engaged as part of a much broader effort statewide.”

The asset purchase and name change is the latest in a series of combinations/mergers/acquisitions, starting last July, that expands the unified reach of support and resources for entrepreneurs in the state.

Kaplan headed the nonprofit New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center before it merged with the abi Innovation Hub last July to become the abiHUB.

At the time of that merger, abi board member York, chief revenue officer for Internet Performance Company Dyn, said, “The vision of this state is going to create a lot of long-lasting large companies that headquarter here and then grow other companies beyond them years and years from now.”

Kaplan said the resources and support will be even better going forward. He said Alpha Loft has a group of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and service providers on its board and is involved in numerous events, including TechOut, the New Hampshire StartUp Challenge, Start-Up Rochester, Founders’ Series and the Party at Arms.

“Alpha Loft is working to develop the New Hampshire entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Kaplan said. With the latest action, Kaplan said Alpha Loft is positioned to accomplish that goal with support and resources in three locations. He said new Alpha Loft branding will be introduced in the coming months.



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