VenturePad - a premier cowork community and business incubator - announces its formation, its founding team, and a signed 5 year lease for downtown office space in San Rafael CA.
VenturePad addresses an immediate and substantial need in Marin County (CA) for affordable, accessible and professional coworking space and entrepreneur support services. Slated to be Marin County’s premier coworking community and impact enterprise incubator, VenturePad will cultivate, support and connect entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and purpose-driven people. VP will provide this in a conveniently located shared working office space in downtown San Rafael. After a build-out this Winter of the space, services and advisor network, VenturePad (VP) opens its doors in Q1, 2017.
VP has secured a 5 year lease for a street level accessible, open office layout at 1020 B Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, in a Class A office building. Built to house over 120 solopreneurs, start-ups, freelancers, creatives, and telecommuters, VenturePad initially will have 4000 square feet of productive, open space full of natural light with 16' high ceilings, private suites, lounges, open desks, meeting rooms, kitchen and a central café in a premium location. VP will have a comprehensive training and coaching program, as well as a wrap around “C-suite team” of professional service providers that will offer affordable, integrated, specialized skills such as IP protection, contracts writing and review, financial modeling, fundraising, software development, branding, website creation and management, revenue generation and more.
Filling A Market Need
As of late 2016 there are no coworking/incubator full service spaces in Marin. The existing cowork spaces have a more limited focus, lack easy access (located far from I-101) or are expensive ad hoc temporary sublets within other offices that target high end solopreneurs and don’t focus on building a community. Marin lost its two business incubators in 2015 due mainly to a lack of perspective clients locally and the lack of a sustainable revenue model. These two entities, to their credit, (Venture Greenhouse and Renaissance Center) supported/launched over 350 businesses and supported over 1000 entrepreneurs from 2000-2015, so in their sudden absence they left a large void and significant unmet needs.
Lessons learned, VenturePad is a privately funded for-profit Benefit Corporation with an earned income revenue model. It is also an inclusive model that casts a wide net across Marin. The addressable market includes:
- 39,000 work at home individuals in Marin
- 6,000 incorporated entities with 4 employees or less
- Commuters to San Francisco, Sonoma, East Bay and Silicon Valley (65,000 daily, a percentage of whom would prefer to work closer to home part of the week)
- 4200 employed by Marin nonprofits
- Commuters going in and out of the county
- Targeted impact sectors include: Clean Energy, Healthy Food and Ag, Mobility, Alternative Transportation Solutions, Human Potential and Development, Life Sciences, Wellness and Health, Seniors, Affordable Housing solutions, Natural Resources, Lifelong Education and EdTech. All sectors are welcomed.
Coworking is a high growth next gen model. Sonoma County has 6 successful coworking facilities that are fully subscribed (100-150 members each). San Francisco and the East Bay have dozens of large cowork spaces (WeWork, EcoSystm, iHUBs) that are thriving.
An idea whose time has come: A full service, accessible, cowork community within a shared commercial office space that acts as a hub for entrepreneurship in Marin and is tied to the greater North Bay and Bay Area innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Not Your Father's Incubator - How VenturePad is the Next Generation Cowork & Impact Entrepreneurship Community
Lower office costs relative to small sublets, especially as you add people. Office space in Marin and SF are easily $2000 or $3000 or even more, compared to a $300 VP membership.
Co-working space of peer solopreneurs, start-ups, social enterprises, entrepreneurship students, freelancers & professional service providers. Feel the positive, competitive pressure and examples of effective management and strategy.
- Community and educational events and meeting space.
A better life-work balance that lets you leave work behind after a 12 hour day and embrace the joys of family, outdoors, recreation, and play. Your loved ones will thank you for it.
- Addresses the distractions and isolation of home offices, as well as the noise, lack of privacy and professionalism of coffee shop/restaurant working/meetings. You need a convenient, professional place to meet with your team, customers, partners, and prospects.
You could find your next venture. Seeing another company operate with a good idea but the wrong execution lets you think about what you would do. You will need to differentiate but you will most likely feel inspired and get great ideas from colleagues in the community.
Training and professional development programs for students, small business owners/leaders will keep you current and out of a rut.
- Access to vetted, local contractors and for-hire experts in law, branding, revenue generation, software development, sales, website development, digital marketing, production. Incubator and accelerator program, with professional services, mentors and access to funding. VP’s advisors meet the entrepreneurs “where they are.” Funding options include bootstrapping, friends and family, micro loans, crowdfunding, angel and VC funds. VP provides navigation, introductions and prep to reduce risk and increase funding likelihood.