What is StartMart
StartMart will be Cleveland’s largest entrepreneurship hub.
StartMart is a startup and coworking community.
Our goal is to be a dynamic entrepreneurship hub connecting business to critical resources. StartMart is transforming Suite #200 of Terminal Tower into a startup hub, similar to Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse or Boston’s ID Building. This hub houses some of our city’s existing startup assets as well as new resources such as “StartPods”. We create an atmosphere where startups are empowered to test, iterate, fail and scale.
The creation, growth, and demise of all types of businesses are occurring at an ever-increasing pace. The opportunity to leverage these trends for wealth generation, job creation, and economic development has never been greater. Interested in learning more? Request a tour today.
From a regional economic development perspective the StartMart will be a jobs factory – manufacturing hundreds of new jobs every year. The numerous recent Cleveland developments (the Global Center for Health Innovation, Cavs, Browns, 2016 RNC, urban repopulation, and others) have created an environment favorable to renaissance. To borrow from the great LeBron/Nike/Cleveland ad “Together! Cleveland!” The time is now!
The Building Plan
Downtown Cleveland is filled with unused office, retail, and restaurant space. Meanwhile, millennials are flocking downtown, driving occupancy rates above 95% and sparking a residential building boom. Cleveland has both need and an opportunity for a dynamic, mixed-use mecca that will stimulate the creation and growth of all kinds of startups.
Here’s the plan for the building:
- “Startpods”, or work space for promising startups and entrepreneurs that will allow teams to expand as needed and allow for both privacy and collaboration (Space will be available via innovative leasing model)
- Access to OneCommunity‘s ultra-high speed 100-gig broadband
- Permanent or satellite offices for startup accelerators, venture capitalists, angel groups, lawyers, accountants, service providers, or non-profits
- Rotating showcase and performance spaces for arts organizations
- Offices with virtual telepresence meeting rooms for regional universities and startup resources
- Co-working tech space offering daily, weekly, and monthly memberships
- Office and event space
- The StartMart Fund
Density and Diversity
Density and diversity are key components to both startup culture and successful urban areas. Centralizing startup activity within a focused core will result in invaluable synergies, unexpected serendipity, and increased urban dynamism. This vibrancy will draw even more millennials and transform the core of our city. Part of the StartMart magic lies in the rental structure. Lease rates will be structured to allow new companies to become established at reduced costs and short terms. Successful companies will then convert to traditional leases while less successful companies will be replaced by new startups. The result will be a rapid, dynamic environment of startup ventures that will draw fresh, continuous traffic.
Services and Events
One area will be dedicated to large-scale events such as accelerator demo days, pitch events, startup weekends, hackathons, musical performances, art exhibits, or small tech conventions. We envision multiple events per week. Another area would house a maker studio like Case Western Reserve University’s thinkbox. StartMart will have several conference rooms available offering unique virtual telepresence systems. These conference rooms will connect startups, entrepreneurs, and regional colleges and universities with companies that provide professional services, such as accounting. The Cleveland Public Library would be offered space for a tech/media satellite library.
Variations on this model have proven to be successful in other cities. Some examples include: Chicago’s 1871; Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse; Boston’s ID Building, Washington DC’s 1776, Atlanta Tech Village and numerous others across the country.
For a more academic, but utterly compelling, argument for the economic benefits of startups, urban density and diversity we strongly recommend the 2014 MPI report: Startup City.
Here’s a great excerpt, quoting leading venture capitalist Fred Wilson:“Technology innovation doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It happens in a dialog with society,” … [T]hat’s one of the reasons that many of the most interesting Bay Area startups are choosing to locate themselves in the city. And it is one of the reasons that NYC is developing a vibrant technology community. Society is at its most dense in rich urban environments where society and technology can inspire each other on a daily basis.”
Charitable foundations plus city, county, and state government can fund ‘Startup Cleveland’ competitions using the St. Louis Model. This model offers 20 startup companies $50,000 to relocate to Cleveland and would include rent subsidies in the StartMart.To ensure continuous high-quality supply, there will be periodic competitions for space openings. Successful businesses that relocate would be honored on a Graduates Display with directions to their new locations.