At a macro level, Venture Mechanics' mission is to bolster economic vitality to the Pacific Northwest region by helping future generations of startups meet a higher rate of success. Why is that important? Because a strong middle market of companies is the key to economic resilience in any region, and one reason that Seattle survived the pandemic as well as it did. However, the current environment has significantly stunted the development of new startups that can someday grow into middle-market companies.
We're not just talking about funding difficulties, although ensuring that the right investors meet the right startups is something that always needs efficient lubrication. In the post-pandemic climate, so many talented office workers have decided not to return to a big, sterile downtown corporate office, battling long commutes, parking expense, and even street crime. More than half of US workers are still working from home full time or hybrid. Downtown office towers are emptying out to the tune of more than a billion square feet already, with employers building flex spaces in the perimeters around the central business districts for many of their hybrid employees, where commutes can be shorter, parking easier, and rents far lower.
Well, it turns out startup founders don't like long commutes and expensive parking either. A big problem on the Eastside "close in" perimeter of downtown Bellevue is a complete lack of available coworking and short-term lease office space, because so many of these facilities have been taken out by corporate single-tenant occupiers.
The first problem we solve for startups that are ready to come off the kitchen table is adding new, affordable, efficient, healthy, productive and fun office space on the Eastside with our first (of hopefully many) Venture Mechanics Coworking Studios. We believe corporate wellness shouldn't just be for big campus environments, so every single desk in our building is a fully-ergonomic, sit-stand workstation. Even out conference tables are sit-stand, and there are treadmill desks everywhere for any member to use freely.
For startups in particular, that's just the beginning. Learn more about our Startup Incubator Program that brings over 200 learning events per year and a large stable of pro bono mentors ("venture mechanics") to bear on accelerating these companies out of the gate. Another benefit of having all these startups together in the same building is the efficiency of "investor tours," in which an institutional fund or group of investors can learn about numerous potential companies in a single visit.