StartMart Grand Opening

Blog Date

Charles Stack - StartMart Grand Opening

On the evening of Tuesday, September 8, 2015, we knew we both needed to be on the second floor of the Terminal Tower. A grand opening was scheduled. The event by itself could have been just another gathering of talented people that we often attend in Cleveland, but what was opening represented much more -- the foundation for future Cleveland entrepreneurship in a centralized hub connecting startups to critical resources.

Cleveland StartMart Grand Opening - Ribbon Cutting

September 8, 2015 - StartMart Grand Opening
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Taking a crowded elevator up to the Terminal Tower second floor with many StartMart (@StartMartUS) supporters, along with reporter Dawn Kendrick (@DawnKendrickTV3) and her camera crew, we could feel the excitement in the air.


The event began with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by StartMart founder Charles Stack (@CStack).

Here are our photos from the evening.

If your device does not support photos, please view them here.

Arriving at Cleveland StartMart, Stuart confirmed with Flashstarts Executive Vice President Shannon Lyons (@ShannonCBDO) that what he thought was correct -- that StartMart's new space has a history of supporting small businesses in Cleveland.

Years ago, Stuart used to go to meetings in this space when he was a COSE (@COSEsmallbiz) Ambassador, and later for some OHTec (@OHTec_Nellis) meetings. Whereas COSE's purpose is to support existing businesses, StartMart is an incubator for creating new businesses. Stuart remembered that the space included the third floor. Shannon indicated that while the current emphasis will be to only house startups on the second floor, StartMart's lease with the Terminal Tower will allow for future growth to the third floor. It is an ideal situation for new businesses.

Here is some information from the "About StartMart" web page, including a video by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (@DowntownCLE) entitled: You & Downtown Cleveland

The Cleveland StartMart is a dynamic entrepreneurship hub connecting startups to critical resources.

Now just a concept, the StartMart vision is to transform Suite #200 of Terminal Tower into a startup hub, similar to Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse or Boston’s ID Building. This hub will house our city’s existing startup assets and new resources such as “StartPods”. It will create an atmosphere where startups are empowered to test, iterate, fail and scale.

The creation, growth, and demise of all types of businesses are occurring at an ever-increasing pace. The opportunity to leverage these trends for wealth generation, job creation, and economic development has never been greater. Help make StartMart a reality by declaring your support and taking action.

Cleveland StartMart Grand Opening - Tour

Unique FitDesk at StartMart
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After the ribbon cutting, we were free to explore the new space, and network with attendees. Most of the rooms and offices are not furnished yet. Some of the shared spaces we saw included:

  • Maker Space - This has begun to be outfitted with tools
  • Exercise Room
  • Zen Room (for relaxation and meditation)
  • Tea Room

StartMart Maker Space
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StartMart Maker SpaceStartMart Maker SpaceMaker Space Tools

One of the cool things StartMart had set up was a room for all attendees at the grand opening to share their ideas. Shannon explained to us that there will continue to be a hub space like this to encourage the sharing of ideas among the startups. It is key to the success of this program to maintain an environment where creative ideas are shared.

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StartMart - Ideas shared!
StartMart - Idea Hub

Since Flashstarts (@Flashstarts) is one of the first tenants, the Flashstarts 2015 Accelerator Class is currently occupying some of the StartPods (offices).

Flashstarts is a Cleveland-based business startup accelerator
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We provide details about the current accelerator class in our @Flashstarts Demo Day 2015 - #FSDDay blog post. The following listing links directly to more information about these Cleveland startups:

  1. Brilliency

  2. Colign - Thanks to Kevin DeFranco (@Kevin_DeFranco) for making a point to meet with us at the opening to talk about @Colign.

  3. Free-D

  4. Gemma

  5. inTouch

  6. Schedulytics

  7. Science United

  8. Triple Analytics

  9. Virtual Compass

  10. We Can Code IT

  11. Windrush

We want to thank We Can Code IT (@WeCanCodeIT) Founder & CEO Mel McGee (@MelKMcGee) and Outreach Director Shana Mysko (@ShanaInCle) for taking us on a tour their new space, and providing us with information about the shared spaces. In addtion to We Can Code IT space at LaunchHouse (@LaunchHouse), StartMart will make it possible for them to expand their coding boot camps targeting women, African-Americans, and Hispanic Americans.

In addition to seeing the offices of the Flashstarts startups, we also met some of the other entrepreneurs who are among the first to occupy space at StartMart:

See the Fresh Water Cleveland (@FreshWaterCLE) article Taking Cleveland's entrepreneurial community to a higher level, by Karin Connelly, to learn more about these first startups occupying the new space at StartMart.

Also, from @WKYC, Dawn Kendrick's (@DawnKendrickTV3) video and story StartMart growing companies in the CLE includes interviews with Katy Baumbach, Jeremy Handel and Charles Stack.

To learn more about the resources provided at StartMart and some of its history, we recommend you read StartMart is set up to be one-stop shopping for entrepreneurs: Tech Czar Talk by Michael C. DeAloia (@TechCzarCLE) on (@ClevelandDotCom). The article states that: "The amenities within the office include a 1-Gig fiber connection from OneCommunity that eventually will grow to a 100-Gig fiber pipe." I was excited to read this, since I had not heard that OneCommunity (@OneCommunity) would be expanding their 100-gigabit fiber network to Cleveland's Public Square. To learn more about how OneCommunity is making Cleveland the first city in the United States to have a commercially available 100-gigabit fiber network, please read our December 3, 2014, blog post: Cleveland To Become First 100-Gigabit Fiber Network City!

Support StartMart

SmartMart Pledge Station

Last week, on September 7, 2015, we published a blog post about Flashstarts Demo Day 2015, in which we mentioned the announcement by Charles Stack (@CStack) of an "...opportunity to support the new Cleveland StartMart (@StartMartUS) at:"

On September 11th -- just three days after the StartMart Open House -- @CStack tweeted:

And while we were writing this blog, more good news:

Learn more on Kickstarter: StartMart - NEW $40,000 Stretch Goal to Match $40,000 Grant


Tweets & Retweets

Here are Stuart's @sos_jr tweets/retweets about the SmartMart opening and related activities. Be sure to read them to learn more about SmartMart, and also see photos from the event.

Please retweet those that you find interesting. Retweeting is one way to help spread the message of entrepreneur growth in Cleveland.

Related Blog Posts:

If you are interested in Flashstarts, located at StartMart, please read our @Flashstarts Demo Day 2015 - #FSDDay blog post. It will give you a good overview of the types of business startups that can occupy StartMart.

Here are some related blog posts they you might find interesting:


Be sure to return to our blog again, and follow Stuart on Twitter at: @sos_jr


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