Shaker LaunchHouse Grand Opening
Shaker LaunchHouse is throwing a celebration party — a Grand Opening — on Wed 6/1 from 4-7PM at 3558 Lee Road in Shaker Heights. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Shaker Heights Mayor Earl M. Leiken are speaking in support of this business accelerator and the surrounding technology innovation. Entrepreneur Ratanjit Sondhe will share his experiences building his business based on concepts for living stress-free. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the facilities and see product demonstrations.
The energy at LaunchHouse is overflowing, with 12 portfolio companies and, by year’s end, 25 early startup member companies onboard. “We also have 15 student members here,” said Todd Goldstein, managing partner. “They are high school students who have started their own businesses. They have come here to also take advantage of the LaunchHouse resources and mentors,” he explained.
LaunchHouse has reason to celebrate and throw a Grand Opening party. The journey has been a winding road filled with long hours and hard work. Back in 2008 in offices over a pizza parlor, Dar Caldwell and Todd Goldstein started working together identifying entrepreneurs and investment-worthy startup businesses. They moved to larger quarters in the old Brunswick Florist building on Carnegie Avenue to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into profitable startup companies through seed capital investment, mentoring, and a collaborative incubator.
Due to continued growth and need for space, they changed their name to LaunchHouse and signed an agreement with the City of Shaker Heights in fall 2010 to move into an empty 23,000 square-foot car dealership. “We are very excited about this new space,” said Goldstein. “It gives us the flexibility to build a true community of entrepreneurs.”
Art Geigel [pictured] is the founder and developer of GroundBooth, a new portfolio company. Geigel, a software developer, is now a law student at Cleveland State University’s Marshall School of Law. “GroundBooth is an online note taking software for law students providing a strong learning environment where students can take and share notes on a cloud rather than rely on installed software applications,” he explains.
Dominic Liberatore, landscape design company owner, said, “LaunchHouse is efficient for us to run our business here. You can’t beat the shared office facilities, networking, and location. A majority of our business is here on the Heights.” Katen “Keith” Pabley, owner of Good Greens, a member company that recently placed his all-natural energy bars in Heinen’s and Marc’s, said, “We have access to mentors here, good people to bounce ideas off of, and we are working with other companies that have the same issues.”
Membership fees vary for startup companies considering LaunchHouse: $100 a month for member companies, $500 a month for offices, and $29 a month for students. “We want to develop into a home for entrepreneurs and attract the brightest and best to Cleveland,” said Goldstein. “Ideally, our goal is to have 100 member companies by the end of the year and to build an innovation corridor of tech companies along Lee Road. This would be great for Shaker Heights and bring life to the business neighborhood,” he added.
Learn more about LaunchHouse by attending their grand opening on Wed 6/1 from 4 – 7PM. The event is free but please RSVP at http://LaunchHouseGrandOpening.eventbrite.com. For further info, check out http://LaunchHouse.com.
From Cool Cleveland contributor Susan Schaul, who says the act of writing is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. The challenge lies in getting the pieces to fit together and make sense.