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StartMart entrepreneur hub to welcome community during open house

StartMart

StartMart, Flashstarts’ 35,000-square-foot coworking space in the Terminal Tower, is opening its doors next month to welcome the community to explore the budding entrepreneurial hub.
 
StartMart's open house, scheduled for July 12 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., will show off a startup atmosphere that pools Cleveland's business incubators and accelerators into one continuously buzzing space, says community manager Anna Buchholz.
 
Hub officials hope to draw 300 guests for the event, guiding them through a collaborative environment designed to propel participants to success. Early returns have been positive, at least in terms of filling StartMart to capacity since its founding last September by serial entrepreneur Charles Stack.
 
About 140 individual tenants representing 30 different companies - among them We Can Code IT, Wheedle, Handelabra Games and <remesh - are utilizing StartMart's prime downtown space, which is also bolstered by meetups, startup training and hackathon events.
 
"We want to show how much we've grown," says Buchholz. "Back in September we didn't even have furniture in half the space."
 
Although you can sign up for a waiting list, every one of StartMart's 250-square-foot private offices, called "startpods," is occupied by new companies including a full-service design agency and a variety of tech-related enterprises. Desk space is also available to entrepreneurs via a fee-based per-person monthly membership upon which StartMart has built its model.
 
"It's not just tech," says Buchholz. "We have a CPA, an attorney and other types of businesses here."
 
Since its launch, the hub has added a 3D printer and bike racks to its second-floor location at Terminal Tower. In addition, six to 10 companies that started out at a desk have since moved into private offices, a strong measure of success for a business-building effort only eight months old, says Buchholz, adding that she is confident the venture's popularity will continue to rise as members spread the word to other entrepreneurs searching for a home.

StartMart has even created enough momentum for organizers to consider expanding the hub to an additional floor
 
"We could add another 25,000 square feet," she says. "Everything took off so fast; we could accommodate so many more businesses with that extra space."

Read more articles by Douglas J. Guth.

Douglas J. Guth is a Cleveland Heights-based freelance writer and journalist. In addition to Fresh Water, his work has been published by Midwest Energy News, Kaleidoscope Magazine and Think, the alumni publication of Case Western Reserve University. A die-hard Cleveland sports fan, he also writes for the cynically named (yet humorously written) blog Cleveland Sports Torture.   
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