Technical.ly Philly

Business

Feb. 21, 2012 11:00 am

Venturef0rth: new Callowhill accelerator opens membership applications for startups, students

In many ways, Venturef0rth is a coworking space, but in some ways — like its semi-isolated orange pod-like work areas for whole startup teams or groups of individuals, range of consulting services and shared bike service, Venturefleet — it is something else entirely. They also have white-board topped tables — an innovation the Venturef0rth crew claims credit for.

Venturef0rth, a new Callowhill-based coworking space introduced in January, is now accepting applications from early-stage start-ups. The space, co-owned by Elliot Menschik, Jesse Kramer and Jay Shah, is open in what they call “public beta,” as they take on new members starting March 1, 2012 and continue to adjust the space.

To apply for membership at Venturef0rth click here.

In many ways, Venturef0rth is a coworking space, but in some ways — like its semi-isolated orange pod-like work areas for whole startup teams or groups of individuals, range of consulting services and shared bike service, Venturefleet — it is something else entirely. They also have white-board topped tables — an innovation the Venturef0rth crew claims credit for.

“We like to think we’re somewhere between a garage or living room and your first office space,” said Kramer, who is also VP of Marketing at AWE Tuning.

Venturef0rth has been in private beta since last month — hosting MetaLayer, a data analysis venture out of University City accelerator giant DreamIt Ventures, and LessonSmith, a new education-focused project — as startup guinea pigs. Some of the feedback from these groups influenced the construction that was in progress when Technically Philly visited this month, says Kramer.

“We want to learn from people here and make it what they need it to be,” said Kramer. “For those people still attached to their living room, we have a living room.”

Once it’s in full swing, Venturef0rth will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because the founders believe good ideas don’t conform to the nine to five work day, they boast. To facilitate that culture, there are plans to have coffee available at all times — Starbucks — food, and some modern-minimalist couches that convert into beds.

Four different membership plans are currently available, including one specifically designed for entrepreneurial students needing a spare desk and maybe a bit of advice during the summer months.

Right now, Menschik told Technically Philly, the 8,000 square foot space could offer 100 people dedicated desks, with an option to expand into another 2,500 square feet of space that used to belong to digital marketing powerhouse Razorfish and has yet to be rebuilt. If there’s demand, Menschik believes the add-on could be converted to match the rest of the creamsicle-esque pods in approximately two weeks.

Venturef0rth is part of a growing class of coworking spots springing up throughout Philadelpia, but Kramer says they weren’t focused on the competition.

“We built the place we wished was here when we started our company,” Kramer said.

To apply for membership at Venturef0rth click here.

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Yael Borofsky was the lead reporter for Technically Philly from from December 2011 to June 2012 before leaving to pursue an urban studies graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she was an editor with the Breakthrough Journal in San Francisco. She loves hockey and coffee.

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