Columbus, OH (February 1, 2022) – NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Jaylon Smith and Ohio-based coworking company COhatch are teaming up to help people of all backgrounds pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. This week Smith announced an investment in the fast-growing company, which offers a new kind of work and social space that blends enhanced productivity with family and community wellbeing. As part of his investment, Smith joins the COhatch Board of Advisors.
COhatch serves emerging entrepreneurs alongside small businesses, large corporations, nonprofits, and churches to further enhance the community in places where people already work, meet, and live. The company currently has sites open or under development in 30 locations nationwide in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Springfield, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Tampa Bay, Florida; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has ambitious plans to open 500 locations in 50 cities by 2032.
“We are thrilled to have Jaylon joining our team,” said COhatch founder Matt Davis. “We are big fans of what he is doing both on and off the field.” Smith sees a close alignment of values. “I have wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was a little kid, but my access to resources was limited until I reached the NFL,” said Smith. “COhatch helps entrepreneurs of all types access those resources in their home communities.”
In 2018 Smith founded the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute, a seed-stage impact investing fund for minority founders. COhatch is a co-investor with MEI, which has awarded $1.2 million to 13 minority-owned companies since inception.
As part of this new collaboration, MEI and COhatch are launching the MEI Fellowship at COhatch. Entrepreneurs selected for the two-year fellowship receive free coworking memberships at COhatch, virtual and in-person business training, and access to follow-on opportunities which may include capital, talent development, and storytelling resources.
“As we consider how to support minority founders from the ground up, there could not be a better partner than COhatch,” said Rise Sports Advisor CEO Michael Ledo. “COhatch is designed to support early-stage businesses and its spaces facilitate access to social capital that minority entrepreneurs often lack.”
Applications for the MEI Fellowship at COhatch are currently being accepted and are due by February 28, 2022. Eligible applicants must be majority-owned by black, brown, or female individuals; have a prototype/proof of concept for their business; be headquartered within 25 miles of a COhatch location. To apply, visit meicapitalfund.org/fellowship.
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About Jaylon Smith
Smith grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and has always had a passion for education and business. He left the University of Notre Dame in 2016 to declare for the NFL Draft and pursue his professional football dreams but later returned to Notre Dame to finish his degree in film and television. Smith’s entrepreneurial spirit drove him to start the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute and his own eyewear company – CEV Collection – named for his signature phrase, “Clear Eye View.” For more information about Jaylon Smith, visit www.jaylonsmith.com.
COhatch, a new kind of shared work, social, and family space built on community, offers members the services, activities and amenities to live a fully integrated life that balances work, family, well-being, community and giving back. Founded in 2016, COhatch was created through the collaboration of a group of friends who wanted to live out their ideal lives and improve their community ̶ think Town Hall 2.0. COhatch has 30 locations open or under construction nationwide in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Springfield, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Tampa Bay, Florida; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Visit www.cohatch.com for more information. Follow COhatch on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.