After reaching our initial $10,000 goal, StartMart has learned it has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the City of Cleveland! This grant is a matching fund, and that means that we still need your help to raise $40,000 to match the city’s contribution. Before we said, “Every dollar counts,” but now we’re saying every dollar counts double.
We know StartMart has incredible supporters, and we’re hoping we can count on you to help match this generous grant that will furnish the 35,000-square-foot entrepreneurial hub and generate jobs in Cleveland.
Back our project today! Our Kickstarter goal must be met by Friday, September 25!
The Changing World of Work
The world of work is changing dramatically. Startups and project teams form, reform, succeed, fail, and form again. Current real estate and office space models don't support this new dynamic. Startups need to easily add people as they grow without the expense of a long-term lease.
Office space needs to support and encourage entrepreneurship in new ways. Beyond desks and copiers, these spaces need to foster collaboration and creativity. They need to support great ideas and help them succeed or fail in an environment that understands and meets their needs. Fortunately, there are several cities around the country that have developed proven models: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Detroit, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and New York City all have great startup hubs. We have borrowed some of their great ideas and worked to develop our own unique approach as well.In order to stay economically competitive as the business landscape continues to shift, Cleveland needs a startup hub now.
Need more proof? You can learn more about innovation districts by reading this white paper from the Brookings Institute and see why this model is so important to the continued economic and entrepreneurial success of Cleveland.
The Magic of a Dollar
We want to demonstrate that Cleveland is committed to building on the entrepreneurial spirit that made this city great, so our goal is to get 10,000 people to show their support by pledging $1 each.
Not only can this show of support demonstrate to startups that Cleveland is a great place to call home, but it can help us show government and private supporters that their investment in a concept like this is fully supported by the Northeast Ohio community. So your dollar does more than just help us buy whiteboards and desks, it helps us demonstrate that Cleveland wants to lead the charge in fostering talent, creativity and innovation.
Of course, we’re taking more than just single-dollar pledges. With your support, we can make StartMart a powerhouse of resources poised for startup success.
Flashstarts: Where It All Began
StartMart is the logical continuation of the work we began at Flashstarts three years ago. Flashstarts is a startup accelerator that invests in very early-stage software startups. One of the lessons we learned after our first year was that early-stage startups have difficulty locating flexible office space and basic services aligned with their needs. StartMart is our answer to reduce early-stage friction and allow startups to focus completely on managing their business.
StartMart: Engineered Serendipity
StartMart represents the fresh, exciting times in downtown Cleveland and will help the most talented, passionate entrepreneurs to "raise their game." The way we do this is "fresh brewed engineered serendipity," meaning that the space, processes and people are here by design. StartMart provides flexible monthly memberships so teams can grow or shrink as needed. We will also provide startups access to the very best interns, our network of mentors, our service providers, and investors.
With your help, StartMart will be equipped with tools for startups to use and share, as well as themed rooms, including a maker space, media production studio, full kitchen/diner, meditation room, exercise room, and several presentation and conference rooms.
Your pledges will help us supply the space and set tenants up for success. We need your support to fund:
- Office equipment
- 50-inch HD telepresence units
We currently provide 1 Gigabit Internet, and with your help, we will have a 100 Gigabit connection in 2016.
Community CODESIGNIt is said that, “invention is the mother of necessity” and that’s what startups do at their core: They invent to make lives better. Just like the startups we support, we know we must evolve to succeed. We are engaging with the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurship community in a collaborative process called CODESIGN to define and refine the StartMart vision. Since May of 2014, we have circulated multiple versions of our concept, allowing us to solicit community feedback and publish new versions.
What Are People Saying?
Risks and challenges
We want to be transparent about this project. While we have reduced much of the risk involved in launching a startup hub and co-working space by securing the space, moving in, and gathering a talented and committed team, we know there is still some risk.
There remains some risk that this project will fail. While we have spent hundreds of hours researching and reviewing other locations and best practices, there is risk that we haven't made the right choices.
The biggest risk it that we will be unable to attract enough high-quality entrepreneurs and teams to create the type of self-maintaining highly collaborative ecosystem that successful hubs enjoy.
Recognition of this risk is the reason we have made marketing and advertising the core of our reward programs. Your contributions through this Kickstarter will help support our efforts to spread the word, acquire tenants and prove the Cleveland is ready for an entrepreneurial hub.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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