New businesses looking for offices with a “startup feel” and networking opportunities will have a chance to be a member in Spark’s expanded space this fall.
Housed in the Power Plant Live! offices at the Bernstein Building, a property owned by The Cordish Companies, Spark will offer monthly desk and office memberships, annual suite memberships and shared amenities, including a craft beer bar.
General manager Beth Boots Workman said Spark is different from other incubators because it’s a venue that can grow “with the company.”
Workman, who has a background in business and hospitality management, said Spark is treating the space as a “hospitality concierge type system,” instead of a traditional office environment.
The building, located on 8 Market Place, has six floors with lounge spaces, meeting rooms, shared kitchen and an on-site parking garage.
Twelve businesses already call Spark their home.
Peter Coddington, 53, started PaRaBaL in his garage in Howard County in 2009. He then moved his business to Catonsville before becoming one of the first tenants at Spark this spring.
PaRaBaL is a technology startup that helps people use their iPhone and Android devices for business. The company has around six employees, most of whom are in their twenties.
“Young people want to work in a place that’s fun,” said Coddington. “They don’t want to work in place with cubes.”
For PaRaBaL and other local startups at Spark, the goal is to give Baltimore’s business district a Silicon Valley vibe.
“Our goal is to make Baltimore that kind of environment,” said Coddington, describing Spark as part of “the Baltimore comeback story.”
Other Spark members include Dreamit Ventures, Tissue Analytics, STAQ, Deep Run Security, Avhana Health, Fearless Solutions, JAGRO, FourV Systems and Hack Stone Film Group. Those companies cover a range of sectors from cybersecurity to health to IT.
Applications to use Spark’s new spaces have already started coming in, both from new businesses and those that are more established.
“I was surprised as to how many people have applied to be in for a space that’s not even open yet,” said Workman in an interview on Wednesday.
Even though The Cordish Companies owns the Bernstein Building, Workman said there haven’t been any conversations about the company investing in or hiring the start-ups.
“They are looking into this as a new venture,” she said.
For more information about Spark or to apply for space, go to spark-bmore.com.