Yesterday we announced that a new group was taking ownership of the startup space in the Biltmore basement and promised to give you the details today. Since we never welch on a deal, we caught up with the team behind it (Anthony Gee, Chidi Afulezi, Guy Primus & James Harris) to give you the lowdown on Collider.
So tell me about the Core Venture Studio and why you’ve taken over the former “Hype” space?
The Core Venture Studio has two key aspects – an investment partnership that allows us to invest in and mentor start-up teams alongside traditional VCs and Angel investors; and a venture studio (think Beta Works in New York and Science in LA) that gives us a platform to create and develop startup ideas of our own.
There are a couple of reasons we’ve spent so much energy carrying on the legacy of the original Hypepotamus space.
First, we are big fans of what David Cummings is doing in Buckhead with Atlanta Tech Village, and also the awesome work that Michael Tavani is putting in place near Georgia State with Switchyards. We believe it is important that early stage startups continue to have reasonably priced shared space in Midtown. Having access to the talent of Georgia Tech and SCAD, walk-ability to three Marta Stations, and being close to Flashpoint is invaluable for young teams. For a city of over five million people coming out of one of the deepest recessions in US history, we all should be focused on ensuring that the startup community has more options when it comes to price, location and availability of office space. Any one of these young upstarts could be the next Uber, WhatsApp, or Instagram, and there is a good chance our children and grandchildren will be employed by these companies.
Secondly, we thought that it was important for the teams that are currently in the space to keep their momentum, continue their work, and grow their teams without the added burden of looking for suitable workspace.
So how will the usage of the space change? Will the open space and office remain free?
Great question. We feel the most important role of the space is that it remains an amazing coalition space for the Atlanta startup community at large. The Core sees Collider as a vehicle for a number of important aspects for the Atlanta startup community. One cool piece is that we are bringing institutional VCs to meet startups – we’ve already had a General Partner from Polaris Ventures out of Boston meet with a number of Atlanta startups. One of them is now talking to Polaris for funding. Another is starting a corporate mentorship and customer program to bring the corporate community in the mix. We of course will keep alive the thriving startup workspace with Collider housing 10-15 startups at any given time, and maintain the programming legacy already humming from Hypepotamus.
The offices will be occupied by startup teams who are paid members of Collider. The open area will always be a space available for drop-ins who are visiting for a day or two. We will have a monthly membership for people that want to use the space for more than a couple of days a month. This model is the same model used at most co-working spaces, including the Co-Op shared space on the 11th floor of the Biltmore. The Co-Op is home to six former Hypepotamus teams.
*not pictured is The Core co-founder Guy Primus.*
[Photo Credit: Whitlock/Hypepotamus]