COhatch Looks to Expand with Community Investment Program

Worthington-based lifestyle, community and coworking space COhatch has plans to not just expand across Columbus, but the Midwest. They’ll look to community leaders, non-profits and municipalities to help get the job done with the introduction of a Community Investment Program.

Launched this month, COhatch is awarding at-cost licenses to establish coworking locations in a variety of markets across the Midwest. The new program targets small- to medium-sized markets 30-50 miles outside of major metropolitan areas like Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee, as well as major urban cores.

“We have had an amazing outpouring of inquiries from in-need municipalities, especially those with declining urban cores,” says COhatch Founder Matt Davis. “This opportunity enables us to give back to communities in very compelling ways and doing it in a manner that is scalable region-wide.”

Candidates will be required to bring forward a minimum of $200,000 in working capital to initiate a new location. In exchange, the new owners will have access to COhatch’s shared resources, branded and operational materials, website and digital tools, and its network of professional service providers among other assets.

Davis sees a variety of ownership options, from like-minded entrepreneurs to non-profits looking for a for-profit revenue stream to support their work.

“I believe the ideal candidate to be someone with a heart for their local area, who desires to see their community thrive and improve the lives of those they interact with daily,” says Davis.

Community improvement is a major pillar of the program. New COhatch owners are expected to revitalize existing buildings to create and develop their locations. Community is also the focus of the one “catch” of the deal.

“Consistent with our vision and mission, interested individuals must agree to pay it forward, meaning once an operator is in a stable financial position, five percent of their gross revenue will go toward the non-profit Legacy Women Helping Women,” Davis says.

Legacy works globally to redeem, restore, empower and equip those vulnerable to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction. The non-profit is attached to Eleventh Candle Co., a social enterprise candle maker that is part of COhatch’s The Madery and retailer at The Hub. COhatch and Eleventh Founder & CEO Amber Runyon recently announced a formal partnership to accelerate the social enterprise’s impact.

COhatch currently operates two locations in Central Ohio in Worthington, as well as The Hub at Polaris. Additional locations in Upper Arlington, Delaware, Springfield and at Polaris are expected to open throughout 2019. The coworking space aims to have 12 locations throughout Central Ohio and 20 licensed units in the Midwest within the next five years.

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