These last few months have been a flurry of activities as we plan for the Fall opening of Hatch. There are a dozen ways to become a member of the Hatch community, but one program seems to be generating a lot of interest. So, I’d like to introduce you to The Parts Department!
In the Hatch building, located at 2420 NE Sandy, there are unique spaces that beg to be used creatively (which is why we love the building)! One such space is a small office on the mezzanine.
Professional firms and consultants who provide needed support to impact entrepreneurs are critical members of the Hatch community. But, there simply isn’t enough room in the building for everyone who wishes to be involved. So, to include these valuable resources we designed a program that allows each professional resource to be in Hatch once a month, with their own office.
Different experts, (for example, a lawyer or two, accountant, WordPress expert, marketing consultant, etc.) each sign up to be in The Parts Department one day a month (let’s say, every first Wednesday). There are roughly twenty work days in a month, so we have room for 20 different firms/consultants/experts per month!
Each Parts Department tenant also receives Hatch benefits, such as free use of the large conference/classroom, event space, community spaces, wi-fi, and engagement in the community itself. Work from home? This gives you a chance to be a part of a unique community. Office on the west side? Now you have a chance to meet clients on the east side. In fact, a few of you will be coming from outside of Portland using Hatch as your resident office when in Portland.
For a mere $25.00 a month (until June 2014), professionals can participate, contribute, and be a part of a change community, no matter where they live or work. We require a 6-month commitment ($150 up front) along with a $100 start-up fee for printing and signage, which puts your logo on the door and your business into Hatch.
We have designed three ways for a Parts Department tenant to do business and contribute to the Hatch Community. Every Parts Department consultant is expected to do three things:
- First, of course, you get work done and see clients. Some are those you’ve met from the Hatch community, others may find the location more convenient, or are simply existing clients.
- Second, you provide at least two hours of free Open Office Hours. These are opportunities to answer questions of our entrepreneurial community based on your expertise. These hours will be posted online in our Hatch Calendar and on the window.
- Finally, you must offer a workshop of some kind each month during your “day” of tenancy. Not less than 45 minutes but no longer than 3 hours, that leverages your expertise while meeting the identified needs of the Hatch community. These workshops are held in the Conference classroom, free to Hatch members, with a nominal fee being charged to non-members.
Imagine being a local or social entrepreneur and having access to a workshop a day, each one offered by experts covering every topic and meeting every need. What ideas do you have? We have twenty slots, (though we’ve already filled half of them.) Let us know your thoughts, your ideas, your expertise. We don’t open until fall, so we’re doing all the planning and scheduling now. Get in touch!
It’s about filling a gap, one that we have been harping on for years, namely, startup. As an April Slate article described the likely beneficiaries of the Jumpstarting Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act: “They’ll be startups and young businesses that have growth potential, but not on a large enough scale to attract venture capital.” It will take effect in 2013, and the SEC will have an additional 200+ days to work out the regulatory piece. “Crowdfunding,” the opportunity to have many small contributors or investors buy into an entity, has largely been hamstrung by the securities laws, put there to protect us (us being the little guys who don’t have a lot of experience investing and can’t afford to lose a lot of money. The law will still have a say, but the rewards (as well as the potential losses) could be widespread.
“Along with individual companies, small-time startup scenes outside of Silicon Valley are likely to reap rewards as well. Austin, Boston, and New York have had some success in building startup cultures, but they’ve been held back by the Bay Area’s grip on venture-capital money. Crowdfunding will allow companies without access to Sand Hill cash to find the capital they need online, perhaps spurring a wave of innovation among mom-and-pop startups whose ambitions are local rather than global. If that happens, the JOBS Act might end up creating some jobs after all.” (quotes from the April 6 Slate article)
If you need the JOBS Act basics, the MSNBC post is helpful. Or, better still, read Jenny Kassan’s article on HuffingtonPost.
“The vast majority of the American public, the 99 percent of us who are “unaccredited” investors, will soon have the opportunity to keep their money local. The half of our economy made up of small, independent businesses will now have access to capital that previously could only go to giant public companies. Americans have $30 trillion dollars invested in securities — imagine if even 10 percent of that went from Wall Street to Main Street. What could $3 trillion dollars do in our communities?”
She is admittedly, still “cautiously optimistic.” If you want the flip side of the act by those who are seriously upset about what the law ALSO allows, look here: Rolling Stone and Bloomberg.
I’m most interested in the ecosystem growth this Act will offer up to us. This Act is really an invitation. It invites those of us advocating for local and sustainable businesses to make this work broadly, sharing knowledge and taking advantage of the opportunities wisely. Michael Shuman sums it up nicely,” I believe that local economy advocates now must start educating the public about the importance of favoring local investment. Our argument should be that knowing the business in which one invests – knowing the products, the entrepreneur, the workforce, etc. – is the best way to prevent fraud.”
Hatch: A Community Innovation Lab, and other ecosystem cultivators, should look closely at their new role in getting the word out, and acting as sources of information and direction.
Everyone said “Buying a building is really hard; it’s a huge undertaking, it’s a big challenge, and so on… yes, it is. But, people do it, don’t they? Can it be harder than running a nonprofit? Well, combine the two, and you have a really REALLY big challenge! So, we took a run at the Broadway Furniture building, going all the way to the last day. We did what other developers do, gathering funding, tenants, and designs. (It’s not THAT hard after you assemble the right professionals). And, we even got the loan term sheet. However, it came in the day AFTER our due diligence deadline, and the sellers said no go. Apparently, they need a quick cash sale before their bank comes calling. So, we are looking for other buildings…
Happily, the work we have done to date is not wasted. Most of the work is applicable to any building, and it has helped shape our criteria and our partners. We’ve gotten new funding from the Harbourton Foundation and Irving Levin, who continue to push us to make this happen. So, we have a few buildings up our sleeve, and new ideas. Stay tuned. And have a great New Year Holiday!
The Hatch Leasing Invitation is now available! Thanks to Erin Fitzgerald for her hard work in creating it! Since we are in the planning stages, early tenants get a great deal of say on their space. Have a look and give us a call to discuss: 503.452.6898.
Visit the Hatch website at www.hatchthefuture.org.