Catalyst Workspaces Closes
You may have wondered what happened to Orlando Venture Sourcing over the last two months. It has been a rather tumultuous and emotional period for your author as we closed our coworking space Catalyst Workspaces. Our new landlord did not want to renew our 5 year lease for the same reason we ourselves were questioning going forward. There is now a tsunami of coworking space opening in downtown Orlando (including WeWork's 70,000 sq. ft. of space on Church Street) that will take years to fill and be challenging to operate profitability.
Catalyst Workspaces was founded in a much different time in Downtown Orlando with a business model of serving its members with workspace and a platform to grow, improve, and scale their businesses through its community and events, resources, and network of advisors and investors. Catalyst’s efforts won a Downtown Orlando Partnership Golden Brick Award for Community Engagement.
Catalyst served over 300 members and 100 startups and was the home of over 200 community events, bringing experts, thousands of people, and innovative ideas and conversations into the downtown Orlando area. Catalyst was also the Orlando home to national entrepreneurial organizations including Startup Grind Orlando Powered By Google for Entrepreneurs and Techstars Startup Weekend Orlando.
Catalyst helped revitalized Techstars Startup Weekend Orlando and saw the winning startup two years in a row go on to win the Techstars Global Startup Weekend. Catalyst hosted major national hackathons including the AT&T Mobile App & IoT Hackathon and the Telecom Applications Developer Hackathon.
Catalyst hosted VentureScaleUp, a free 3-month cohort-based mentorship-driven advanced business accelerator focused on identifying, nurturing, and accelerating high-growth entrepreneurs. The VentureScaleUp program provided high-growth startups with mentorship, strategic advice, and inspiration through its all-volunteer mentor network of role models, investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs. VentureScaleUp offered entrepreneurs extensive access to Florida angel, seed, and early-stage capital funding sources. 40 startups participated in 6 cohorts, resulting in graduating companies raising over $10M in investment capital.
I am proud of the welcoming community we created in downtown Orlando where entrepreneurs could be productive and creative, make connections and collaborate, and grow and scale their businesses.