Updated: May 29, 2018
Just about a year into their operation, Worthington coworking space COhatch has a vision that stretches far beyond its flagship location at 659 High St. and an already announced second spot up the street in the former Worthington Kilbourne Library, 752. High St.
“Our goal is to do 12 in Columbus,” says Founder Matt Davis.
With details to be announced soon on a Delaware digs, COhatch sees itself as a more suburban-centric concept, targeting the communities and neighborhoods surrounding Downtown Columbus.
Location is where the differentiation begins for COhatch. While Central Ohio is starting to see more coworking in communities outside of the Downtown core, like Brick House Blue in Dublin or Haven Collective in Upper Arlington, most are concentrated in the city center, like the Short North / Downtown punch of Serendipity Labs. COhatch seeks the suburbs for the live, work, play community it can create.
Columbus is just the start, though. As COhatch builds its presence locally, Davis says they are ready to franchise the brand nationally. And, they already have two cities on deck – Milwaukee and Detroit.
The out-of state locations come from individuals already acquainted with the COhatch brand, with future locations cropping up around the right kind of leader.
“We want to find really good people who either have great companies and really care about the community to build one, and we’ll be very picky with our selection process,” Davis says. “They have to have a heart for the community and they have to have a heart for helping people.”
Back in Worthington, COhatch is making even more plans to help the community through their second location. In addition to “CO-Making” space suitable for artists, the library location will see the launch of The Madery.
The Madery will serve as the launchpad for four social enterprises. Davis says of all the businesses he’s been involved in, each has had some sort of social component, like COhatch asking members using the space for free to host events to donate to a fund that supports non-profits in the community.
“I just think it’s the right way to run a business,” Davis says. “I think social enterprises are going to become one of the more popular ways of running a successful business, especially small businesses.”
One of The Madery’s social enterprises will be Eleventh Candle Co. (Formerly Legacy Candle Co.) COhatch has partnered with Amber Runyon to bring her candle-making operation into the space, which will be staffed by survivors of human trafficking.
Survivors will also find employment from the three other concepts incubating out of The Madery: Red Bristle Salon, Porttion dessert spinout Sweet Cheeks and spirits company Melfi & Sons.
Davis says the goal is not just a job, but learning a skill to create a potential career path. The partnership with Runyon also helps her achieve one of the core missions of her operation: growing employment for trafficking survivors.
The Madery won’t be limited to the library location, either. Davis wants to see the incubator in three to four other locations as well.
The COhatch portion of the second location is slated to open in October, with The Madery following in November.