This H Street coworking space is expanding and supporting second-career entrepreneurs - Technical.ly DC

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Sep. 25, 2019 3:32 pm

This H Street coworking space is expanding and supporting second-career entrepreneurs

Launched in 2008, H Street Greenhouse provides flexible workspace and support for professionals working in the creative, building arts and support services sectors.
Inside H Street Greenhouse.

Inside H Street Greenhouse.

(Courtesy photo)

H Street Greenhouse has big plans, with expansion in sight and the recent launch of initiatives especially for deaf and second-career entrepreneurs.

Founded in 2008, the coworking space at 1341 H St. NE — right above Bullfrog Bagels — provides flexible workspace and support for entrepreneurs working in the creative, building arts and support services sectors. The space is managed by the Taurus Development Group, which also works out of the building, and is equipped with LED lighting, quiet spaces, conference room, event space, a kitchen and free coffee.

H Street Greenhouse currently accommodates about 40 people, but there are plans to expand to fit up to 200 people by 2021, Gail Montplaisir, founder and CEO of Taurus, told Technical.ly: The development group is working on opening a second location in Syracuse, New York, with plans to roll out additional coworking offices over the next five years.

Montplaisir said H Street Greenhouse currently partners with companies like Eventida, which provides services to make events more accessible and inclusive, and with Juanita C. Grant Foundation, a research organization that focuses on supporting working adults age 50 and up.

“We collaborate with other organizations to provide the best services to our clients,” she said. “We believe that through collaboration we can work together to increase inclusiveness, accessibility and create the community our entrepreneurs need to thrive and grow.”

In June, H Street Greenhouse also launched its Experience Lab Incubator, an initiative for second-career entrepreneurs transitioning from working for someone else to working for themselves. The company chose to focus on second-career entrepreneurs because over 30% of startups are launched by entrepreneurs over the age of 50, and they have a much higher success rate, Montplaisir said.

The coworking space offers these entrepreneurs work areas, a mailing address, networking events and speaker panels on topics like staffing, legal, accounting and business growth as they work to launch their new ventures. There are eight entrepreneurs participating in the inaugural class at the lab.

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If accepted after an application process, the Experience Lab Incubator costs participants $500. Entrepreneurs can also attend events hosted under the program for free.

At the same time of this launch, H Street Greenhouse launched applications for its Deaf Incubator, which is 100% run by deaf entrepreneurs in partnership with Catalyst +, Eventida and Global Deaf Women, Montplaisir said. There are nine deaf-owned businesses participating in this incubator, which kicks off Wednesday afternoon and will run for 12 weeks. The series will focus on helping entrepreneurs grow their business, and the group will set goals and metrics to work on throughout the duration.

“These dynamic entrepreneurs are paving the way for deaf entrepreneurs locally and around the world to thrive and bring their talents to the market,” Montplaisir said.

For more information about the lab, incubator or membership at H Street Greenhouse, reach out to Montplaisir at gail@taurusdev.com.

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