9259 Mercato Way, Naples, FL
NORTH NAPLES — Entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business owners and like-minded professionals in Southwest Florida now have an option when meeting with clients.
Venture X, a members-only workspace, is expected to open Oct. 1 at 9128 Strada Place at the Mercato in North Naples.
"We want people in here to be able to network and collaborate with each other so that everyone ends up succeeding and doing well," said co-founder David Diamond, of DeAngelis Diamond Construction.
He said the idea arose after visiting other technology hot-spots in the Silicon Valley area and New York. With the lack of something similar in the area, Diamond, a longtime Naples resident, along with his son, Brett Diamond and John DeAngelis, cofounded a West Coast-style co-workspace concept in North Naples.
The worldwide trend of co-working sites already has hit Miami and Jacksonville.
"We really just want to create a space that could be affordable to everyone," said Diamond.
"Our goal is to help people start their business or improve their business."
At Venture X, monthly memberships and day passes are available. There are no leases or long-term contracts.
Inside a modern, well-lighted, white and lime-green décor workspace, entrepreneurs and technology startups can work side-by-side in an open layout space of 8,000-square-feet site, with desks, two state-of-the-art conference rooms, lounge seating, a café-style kitchen and tech gadgets.
The new spot has a 100-seat workspace and an additional 50 seats outside. Moreover, Venture X offers features such as Wi-Fi, organic coffee and private phone areas.
Brett Diamond said their design is based on the appearance of the offices of Google, Facebook and Skype.
"We took time to research the way these top technology companies designed their offices and really wanted to create an atmosphere similar to theirs," he said.
"They are some of the top tech companies in the world and have found that, by using their open layout, it really allows for a collaborative successful environment."
Not only is Venture X a work site, they will provide weekly classes for members to improve their companies and become more successful in what they do.
In addition, Venture X plans to hosts weekly networking events, as well as community events. David Diamond said Venture X can accommodate 200 members and double that for events.
Venture X is now accepting applications for its members now. As of last week, the company had received more than 40 applications.
Applicants still need to be approved to be allowed to work at Venture X, which meets with them to ensure they're a good fit to work in the collaborative environment.
Diamond said he doesn't want a competitive atmosphere, but a collaboration.
"When I first heard about the concept, I thought it was a fantastic idea, and would work perfectly for what I need," Shannon Franklin, Naples International Film Festival executive and artistic director, said in an email.
Franklin, who generally works from home and schedules meetings at various coffee shops, said Venture X will give her a professional place to work and set up her meetings.
Future members agreed that the Mercato is a great location because it is close to both downtown Naples and Bonita Springs and Estero.
Charles King, owner of the law office of Charles B. King, said he likes the concept of "co-working."
"A growing firm such as mine can reach out to other Venture X members for assistance with our needs, like marketing and technology, while gaining critical exposure and networking opportunities for the services we offer," King, who plans to rent an office space, said in an email.
The day pass fee is $35; mobile-member, who is allowed two days of co-working and a mailing address, is $100 per month, and a part-time member, which includes 10 entries into Venture X monthly, is $300 per month. Other memberships offered are a desk member, who has unlimited co-working days and access to the facility at anytime, at $500 per month; and an office member, who would rent one of four office spaces and have unlimited access, is $1,450 for six months.
"As a nonprofit arts organization, networking and collaboration is incredibly important to our success. I see Venture X as a very organic, easy way to meet people and share what our festival is all about," said Franklin, who has a desk membership at the new site.
"I think many members of our community will feel the same way, and benefit greatly from having a space like this in Naples."
For more information and to apply for membership visit us at www.VentureX.com.