Embarc Collective seeks right mix to grow local entrepreneurial ecosystem

Embarc Collective, an innovative hub expected to connect startups with venture capitalists, academic resources, and business partners, is accepting applications for its new collaborative workspace planned near Water Street Tampa.

With a targeted March 2019 opening date, the collective plans a $10 million project at Jefferson and East Whiting streets in downtown Tampa. It will renovate and occupy the former District 3 building, which dates back to 1921, and seamlessly adjoin to new townhomes next door, for a total of 32,000 square feet.

In addition to private workspaces, it will include facilities for podcasting, collaboration, and gatherings of 250+. A public cafe, outdoor lounge, and lending library are intended to set the space apart.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2019. Architects are KWJ, with design by Kreher/Barna Design Studio.

“We’re a startup community that’s built around the needs of the member companies,” points out Lakshmi Shenoy, Embarc Collective’s CEO. Lakshmi Shenoy is Embarc Collective’s CEO.

While it serves startups, Embarc Collective is neither an accelerator nor an incubator. Instead, it offers highly flexible arrangements centered around what Shenoy describes as five pillars of growth: product, customers, talent and culture, coaching and capital.

Embarc Collective is seeking not-for-profit status. Monthly fees are based on the space and services provided; memberships start at $150 per person per month.

A hallmark of the community is its “mini-neighborhood” concept, intended to encourage users to collaborate and inspire one another while providing enough private space to get everyday work accomplished.

“The mini-neighborhood ... came from our architectural design team,” explains Shenoy. “What it addresses is a middle ground that is really needed when creating these work focused yet collaborative spaces.”

Her goal is to start with a mix of companies. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, with companies having the option to depart when they choose.

Companies can choose from the full package including dedicated space and access to all five service areas or more individualized offering, which includes flexible memberships for freelance designers and developers.

“We’ve been really excited about the demand,” she adds.

To learn more or apply, visit the Embarc Collective website.

Read more articles by Cheryl Rogers.

Cheryl Rogers is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about careers. An ebook author, she also writes Bible Camp Mystery series that shares her faith. She is publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine and founder of the Mentor Me Career Network, a free online community, offering career consulting, coaching and career information. 
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