A new coworking facility opened in Frisco, as the former North Texas Enterprise Center at 6170 Research Row has become LaunchPad City.
The Frisco Economic Development Corp. entered into a partnership with LaunchPad City LLC to manage the 50,000 square feet of coworking space at the former NTEC location.
“It is important that Frisco not only be supportive of our existing businesses but also creates an environment that supports the formation and growth of local entrepreneurs and companies,” FEDC President Jim Gandy said. “LaunchPad City plays a major part in fulfilling the city’s business formation mission.”
“LaunchPad City plays a major part in fulfilling the city’s business formation mission.”
LaunchPad City was co-founded by Frisco entrepreneurs Brian Dick and Nahid Giga.
Dick formerly was president, CEO and co-founder of Quest Resource Management Group (NASDAQ: QRHC). In addition to co-founding LaunchPad City, Dick is co-founder — along with Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson of the Dallas Mavericks — of the Professional Futsal League, a modified type of soccer that is played with five players on each side on a field that is smaller and usually indoors.
A serial entrepreneur and investor, Giga has managed deal transactions in excess of $1 billion. Having invested in more than 15 companies, Giga also has experience in early-stage angel/venture investment and large-scale private equity opportunities.
To prepare for LaunchPad City, Giga and Dick toured other coworking spaces last year to evaluate them.
LaunchPad City seeks to foster a community where startups have access to mentors, advisers, training, speakers, other corporations, and investors.
“LaunchPad City will innovate based on the needs of our startups, corporations, and our community.”
Based on their tours, Dick and Giga have created an onsite coffee café and a large meeting space, that they said encourage collaboration.
“One of the elements that makes LaunchPad City unique is that we are at the epicenter of the fastest-growing city in the state. We’re looking to compliment and inspire that growth,” Giga said. “LaunchPad City will innovate based on the needs of our startups, corporations, and our community.”
Dick and Giga said LaunchPad City’s biggest innovation is in removing the most common obstacle to starting a business –- access to space.
With no deposit or long-term contract, an entrepreneur can get a LaunchPad City flex desk (and immediate access to community, collaboration, training and development, placement and career planning resources, business support, and capital) for $250 a month.
LaunchPad City’s co-founders said they envision an entrepreneur progressing from flex desk to dedicated desk to private suite.
“Being an entrepreneur can be very lonely, so you have to have a support group in place,” Giga said.
“Being an entrepreneur can be very lonely, so you have to have a support group in place.”
LaunchPad City has been structured so each of its four ‘pillars’ –- entrepreneur, corporation, community, and investor –- have the support they need.
Fourteen companies currently call LaunchPad City home including health care, eSports, travel, entertainment, energy, marketing, and video production.
Dick said LaunchPad City has added two companies since taking over management and there are openings for 10 more users.
Because of its proximity to facilities supporting FC Dallas, the Texas Legends D-League basketball team, the Dallas Stars, and the Dallas Cowboys, LaunchPad City will be targeting sports and eSports users.
Its founders also believe that retail, connected car, and financial technology users are good candidates for LaunchPad City.
Several larger corporations nearby have already begun utilizing LaunchPad City’s space in order to escape innovation distractions in their corporate spaces.
“We’ve been approached by multiple cities wanting to know more about LaunchPad City.”
Giga and Dick said they believe the LaunchPad City approach can be replicated elsewhere, and they have begun identifying candidate markets.
“Most people think of Silicon Valley or New York City but we believe there are untapped entrepreneurial ecosystems all across the country,” Dick said. “We’ve been approached by multiple cities wanting to know more about LaunchPad City.”
Under the one-year consulting and property management agreement’s terms, Frisco-based LaunchPad City LLC is responsible for building operations, finance and accounting systems, licensee agreement compliance, and general programming for the building.
The agreement went into effect March 1 and includes a renewal option.
The North Texas Enterprise Center was created in 2002 as a nonprofit with support from the city and Frisco Economic Development Corp., and served as an incubator space focused solely on medical devices and bio-life science.
In 2013, NTEC widened its focus to innovation and entrepreneurial incubation beyond just medical devices and bio-life science.
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