Updated, 1/12/12, 1:08 p.m.: The base price for Venturef0rth’s rental fees is $395, not $345 as previously reported. A 12-month commitment brings the fee down to $345.
A new early stage incubation space opened its doors for the first time last night in what could have been a familiar setting for some in the creative realm of Philadelphia.
Venturef0rth — with a zero, not an ‘o’ — offers cheap, collaborative space for a curated group of small entrepreneurial teams and access to the initiative’s three founders, all of whom have experience in building and exiting technology businesses in Philadelphia.
The freshly painted new space adorned, fittingly enough, with a ping pong table and bean bag chairs, is the former home of Razorfish, the digital marketing firm that was scooped up and then sold again by Microsoft, at the 417 N. 8th building above Callowhill Street with a water tower on its roof featuring an aging Philly.com advertisement. Venturef0rth is across the hallway from nonprofit IT services program NPower PA. Though pitched as Center City, the neighborhood is often described as Callowhill, just north of Chinatown, and is home to a bubbling creative sector.
The new space’s three founders are friends Elliot Menschik, who exited on his healthcare services startup Hx Technologies Inc. in May 2009, Jesse Kramer, who leads marketing for AWE Tuning, and Jay Shah, president of consulting firm Star Advisory Services.
The flexible space, with a dozen workstations for teams of up to a half dozen, will cost $395 on a month-to-month basis, with discounts for longer three, nine and 12 month leases. The costs include utilities, like internet.
“We even throw in the coffee,” said Menschik, 40. The event space was opened up Wednesday night as a Founders Happy Hour from Philly Tech Meetup. Venturef0rth organizers are seeking applicants for the space, Menschik said.