Sneak Preview of Hatch, Portland’s New Co-work Space for Social Entrepreneurs

January 16, 2014 at 9:03 am Leave a comment

IMG_3103We recently spoke with Jon-Paul Bowles about Hatch, a new community innovation lab and co-working space for Portland social entrepreneurs. Jon-Paul is working with Hatch and Springboard Innovation Founder Amy Pearl to bring the new space to life and create a system of supporting services for local social entrepreneurs. 

Impact Entrepreneurs: How would you describe Hatch in a single Tweet?

Jon-Paul: Hatch: A Community Innovation Lab. An innovation generator, a place where social and local entrepreneurs create solutions. Where good works.

What role will Hatch play in the local community?

Hatch is both a place and a community. We’ve been surprised by the power of place because we’ve already seen people help each other out organically. So in one sense, it’s a place where a lot of incredibly bright, motivated social entrepreneurs work, have parties, host events, and take meetings. A beautiful co-work space. But in the deeper sense Hatch is simply a community of like-minded people who have a lot to learn from and offer each other and are passionate about using enterprise to solve big problems one small solution at a time. We have specific programs to draw community in. So a lot of different kinds of people find a home in this community. More and more every day.

What inspired founder Amy Pearl to create Hatch?

Amy has deep passion and expertise about helping create healthy local economies. Through Springboard Innovation, she’s been working on helping local economies access local capital for almost a decade. She was reluctant to look for a building to house the programs because changing how we invest in local economies really is about influencing existing institutions, habits and economies, and creating new ways to use legal and financial processes to free up capital for community investing. But it became clear that there’s a demand for people working in social enterprise to have spaces that hatch their ideas and build enterprises. Once she found the old Timberline Dodge building, the rest fell into place. The response has been really positive. And we’re not even open yet.

What type of organization is the best fit for Hatch?

Social enterprise. As your program is really good about explaining, social enterprise can take different forms, be for- or non-profit, etc. Anyone who wants to use enterprise as a means to accomplish a social or environmental end is a good fit. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already been wildly successful, or are just putting the pieces together and want some help.

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What services does Hatch offer, and how much do they cost?

Hatch has a few different services. We have an incubator space that will provide access to top-notch experts brought in to help make them successful. Right now, desks in the startup space are $250.

We also have co-work space, which starts at $95 a month for 5-day access, and tops out at $295 for full-time, 24-hour access.

We also have Fireboxes (like cubes, but cooler) that cost $350 a month. It’s a dedicated desk with a locker, and lots of other amenities.

But most importantly, all our members have access to our programs, workshops and seminars — which revolve around getting them the expertise they need to be successful in whatever work they’re doing. So we’re trying to create an ecosystem that people can step into and thrive.

Do you have any interesting stories from the planning and buildout process?

The whole process has been a lot of fun. When you step into an old car dealership with a very 1990s feel and say, “Yeah, this would make a great co-work space for the community,” you have to be able to roll with the punches (just like any social enterprise startup). One minute you’re engaging leaders in the Portland community and the next you’re ripping off old awnings and wondering how to install more outlets. But mostly it’s been fun to see our team come together with our ideas and have the whole process evolve. Someone walked in the other day and said, “Wow. This is the new sexiest workspace in Portland.” That was fun.

When is the official launch party?

Glad you asked. We’d love to welcome the PSU community.

Where: 2420 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland
When: Thursday, January 30th | 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Who: Meet tenants including XRAY, Albina Opportunities Corporation, TEDx, Mojalink, and many others who are helping form the Hatch Community. Learn how you can grow your own project or get involved in moving another forward. Hear about our 2014 calendar of many new and favorite programs and events.
Cost: Free! Bring a friend and introduce us!

RSVP: to rsvp@hatchthefuture.org

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Please check out the Hatch website to learn more. Or just come by and ask for a tour.

I also want to say that Portland is a great place for social enterprise. It’s nascent, but emerging. There are a lot of dedicated people already doing a lot in that space. Our goal is to grow the entire ecosystem of social enterprise, to collaborate with many partners like Impact Entrepreneurs and complement each other’s work.

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Entry filed under: Opportunities for social innovators, Oregon entrepreneurship news, Social Entrepreneurship. Tags: , , , , , .

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