Short North is home to a unique new concept in the starup world. Part innovation and strategy consulting for lager corporations, part in-house startup incubator and accelerator, and part tech art gallery, Lumos Columbus is creating different ways to harness the power of entrepreneurial thinking.
The first component of their three-tiered business model is strategy consulting for existing businesses looking to stay competitive in the marketplace.
“They have to constantly be thinking about how to evolve their products to better serve customer needs,” says Lumos Founder and CEO Nick Davis. Lumos focuses on action learning. Businesses live a day in the life of their customer. With the research attained, Lumos will then asses the product with their clients and strategize what product changes need to happen.
“It’s a really great opportunity to help them step back and really understand the changing environment around them,” Davis says. “We’re able to help them coalesce those ideas into probably four to five that are really awesome…that we would like to put some funding behind.”
From there Lumos wants that company acting like a startup, executing their innovative idea. Once an idea is ready to go, the company will help their clients introduce and internalize the new concept.
The second component is an innovative startup accelerator that is already home to four businesses.
“We’ve really tried to create a compelling talent model,” Davis says. Lumos fosters what they call an open engineering model. Tech-oriented talent in the region that have a valuable skill set and are willing to give their time have kind of an open-door policy to come in and help work on startups. It’s a system Lumos hopes helps bridge the gap between corporations and entrepreneurs.
Besides giving entrepreneurs a home, Lumos wants customer feedback and to serve a strong philanthropic mission, prompting them to include a tech art gallery as the third tier of their business.
“It’s a way to visually experience our business model, but also bring a lot of attention around technology and entrepreneurs in Columbus,” Davis says.
The gallery will showcase great regional artwork centered around technology and science. Its a place for the art and ideas that are created during product development and design sessions that normally don’t see the light of day. It’s also giving them a strong presence in the most social part of the city.
Lumos is providing a space for those that want to exercise their creative muscle.
“It’s been crazy how many people I think have been looking for a home and a voice,” Davis says. While most of their work is currently centered around tech-based businesses, Lumos is open to exploring other industries as well.
Lumos found a home in Columbus because of the buzz Davis felt surrounding entrepreneurship in the city, and the huge amount of talent he saw. An entrepreneur himself, Davis founded and eventually sold Scalefunder.com, a crowdfunding platform specifically designed for universities, among a myriad of other innovation experience. When the website sold, he had the opportunity to decide what to build next.
Originally from Ohio, Davis came back to Columbus from the west coast and started building connections. After speaking with organizations like Columbus 2020, TechColumbus, the Columbus Foundation and city council, “Everyone has been so excited, so supportive, I think that alone was enough of a value proposition to make me realize this was a great home for us,” Davis says.
As with any new venture, one of Lumos’ biggest challenges is helping people understand their novel concept.
“Now that we’re open and people can come in and see it and feel it, we’ve got new advocates everyday,” Davis says.
Lumos Columbus is located at 937 N. High St. in the Short North. For more information, visit executeinnovation.com.