PITTSBURG — The Pitsco Idea Shop, a business incubator, co-working space, conference rooms and a large meeting area with more than 16,0000 square feet of space, officially opened last week in Pittsburg.

It was an occasion made possible by CBW Bank’s annual renewable grant made to The Foundry at Block22 in downtown Pittsburg two months ago.

The partnership provided an opportunity for the financial institution to support innovation and entrepreneurship. A loan officer from CBW Bank will be on site twice a week to assist those who are seeking assistance from the Kansas Small Business Development Center located in Block22; most of those individuals are either starting a new business or enhancing an existing business.

"The Foundry at Block22 is helping to bring together those starting or developing businesses in a collaborative space in order to further grow entrepreneurism in the Pittsburg area," said Shawn Naccarato, PSU chief strategy officer, who also plays the lead role at Block22 as the head of University Strategic Initiatives. "It’s what Pittsburg was built on, it’s what Block22 is all about, and we’re pleased that CBW Bank is excited to become a part of that."

Foundry memberships are offered on a variety of levels and feature diverse collections of benefits, including access to the makerspace, admission to social events, open and dedicated desk space, contest participation, and more.

CBW Bank loan officer Ryan McMillan said he was appreciative of the efforts of PSU, as well as the City of Pittsburg and the Vecino Group, for the opportunity to be part of something innovative and exciting.

"The Foundry provides good access to small businesses when it comes to financial consulting, business advice, and resources that are critical to being successful — particularly to small businesses who wouldn’t have access to those services otherwise," McMillan said. "CBW Bank is focused on small business community banking, we want to provide a service to the community, so this is a logical fit for us."