COhatch The Gateway: Location near Ohio State campus expected to open in June

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
This is a view of the interior at the new COhatch The Gateway, which is under construction at 1581 N. High St. in Columbus

Worthington-based coworking company COhatch is continuing its expansion with plans for a new location in Columbus. 

The location, called COhatch The Gateway, 1581 N. High St. near the Ohio State University campus, is designed to “provide a launching pad for hundreds of minority, women and purpose-driven tech start-ups,” according to an April 26 release. 

Planned for a June opening, the Gateway location will focus on addressing business issues that became pertinent in 2020, according to the release. This includes “the overrun of small businesses by large, efficient digital companies; unequal access to technology and resources; a lack of exposure for great local ideas and assets; and a lack of premium “open for all” community spaces and resources in which to incubate."

COhatch cofounder and CEO Matt Davis said those issues threaten to destabilize small businesses and local economies if they’re not addressed. 

“If you really look at it, technology and large digital companies with enormous resources are being designed to tear apart your local economy,” Davis said in the release. “There is a huge opportunity to organize and utilize entrepreneurs, technology and a large amount of vacant brick and mortar to fix a lot of the problems we see right here in Columbus and in towns throughout Ohio.”

Davis told ThisWeek that COhatch originally envisioned the Gateway as a more traditional location. But following the events of the past year, he said, the company narrowed its focus. 

“As this last year unfolded between (the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic), diversity and inclusion and other topics that are popping up, and COhatch’s desire to kind of grow our mission closer to downtown and some other areas, we kind of evolved our thinking to ‘how do we actually resources and ability to solve some of the problems and be part of the solution?" Davis said. 

The Gateway, one of more than a dozen additional COhatch planned locations throughout Ohio and Indiana, will feature approximately 8,000 square feet of workspace with 21 private offices and more than 100 coworking seats and six meeting rooms. 

Zell Capital, a new Columbus-based investment firm, has signed on as one of the tenants.

“This is an amazing and timely opportunity for Zell Capital to join COhatch and support the local technology ecosystem” Will Zell, founder and CEO of Zell Capital, said in the release. “The Gateway will foster entrepreneurship and access in the community, and we are excited to contribute our innovative approach to venture capital.”

A “Design Lab” operated by Ohio State University also is planned at the site. The lab is operated by the university as part of its Digital Flagship program and is expected to be “a catalyst for creativity and connection between the Ohio State and greater Ohio communities – a space for innovative partnerships that allow new ideas to grow and flourish,” according to the media release. 

As part of the opening of the new space, COhatch is planning to award Boost scholarships geared to minority- and women-owned start-ups and organizations. Interested applicants should apply at startup@cohatch.com.

Launched in 2016, COhatch operates seven facilities in Columbus, two in Cincinnati and one in Indianapolis. 

In addition to the Gateway, COhatch anticipates opening the Riverwalk – a facility with 25 private offices, five meeting spaces, a private-event area, a podcast studio and a beer-garden patio under construction on the west side of the Scioto River – also in June. 

For more information, go to cohatch.com/gateway/.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve