Somewhere between the space that economic development agencies dub a “traditional accelerator” and the space that people call “coworking space” lives another breathing, working and innovating space, The Startup Factory.
The Startup Facttory is a hybrid space that is offering not just coworking and not just incubation but a smattering of both, just enough to make either side of the pendulum dangerous. Great spaces like 1871 in Chicago and 1776 in Washington DC couldn’t dare be called just incubators or just coworking spaces, and for some reason nobody gets the terminology “startup space” so with the verbiage “Startup Factory” lets continue.
Startup Factories can come in a variety of forms. There may be an innovation lab at a Fortune 500 company. We know Microsoft, Google and even Fedex have these kinds of labs. Those labs can consist of startups that came to these companies in an acquisition or ideas developed in house by those employees that are uber smart but can’t sit still enough to be thrown into the pit with all the others. But there are more types of Startup factories, take the Madrona Ventures Lab in Seattle, co-founded by long time entrepreneur and even Startup Weekend Facilitator Ben Gilbert.
Madrona Venture Labs is a startup studio funded by Madrona Venture Group. Together with a talented team, we identify opportunities, build the products, get the initial traction, recruit exceptional teams and help secure financing before spinning them out as independent companies, Gilber says on his LinkedIn page.
In this case a venture firm is heading up the development of great products and opportunities.
Then there are places like The Round House where we work out of. We’re uniquely positioned in a smaller scale community with impeccable symetrical 1gb fiber internet. However our city isn’t big enough to support multiple startup organizations so our Startup Factory, The Round House encompasses them all. As you’ll see in the infographic below, from visualistan.com the benefits of the Startup Factory provide a different type of environment not seen before.
With co-working spaces like We-Work or Regus, they are real estate companies subsidizing good class A office space for entrepreneurs and startups, but their business model is that of a real estate or commercial leasing company. They make money by charging rent. They also make a profit by charging rent and of course providing some services.
Many Startup Factories don’t have that same real estate model.
Check out the infographic below.