by Dorothy Puch Lillig
From technology firms to media and marketing enterprises to oil and gas businesses, 75 companies now call the Spring Branch District’s The Cannon home. They will have more officemates soon.
The Cannon is currently located in a 20,000-square-foot space on Brittmoore Road, but construction on a 120,000-square-foot space is underway next door and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. When all plans come to fruition, The Cannon will be a 33-acre coworking community providing everything a small business, startup, entrepreneur, freelancer or remote worker could possibly need to do business and also socialize and live.
While it officially opened in November 2017, some businesses relocated to The Cannon even earlier in September when they were displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Now there is a waiting list for companies who would like to be in The Cannon’s future home.
“We have all kinds of businesses in here,” said Ben Griffin, director of community development for The Cannon. “Companies use each other for things like website or tech development, branding and marketing, and even things like HR and payroll. People are very helpful here and the environment encourages people to ask questions and learn from each other.”
“Houston was hungry for this sort of thing, especially the west side,” added Griffin. “And we are happy to provide it.”
Founder and CEO Lawson Gow said Spring Branch was chosen for the campus because of its location and potential for growth.
“Our clients are in this area or can get to this area,” Gow said. “Spring Branch has all the pieces that a startup needs.”
The concept of a coworking environment has been successful in other cities across the United States. However, the campus approach hasn’t been done before, Gow said, and especially not on such a large scale. “This is Texas-sized,” he said.
When individuals or companies become members of The Cannon, they are not just renting a space. They are joining a community.
“This is a shared workspace where random collisions happen everyday. That is something you don’t experience when having your own office space,” Griffin said. “Community is the biggest part of what makes our space work and that starts with the people.”
Also, there are services and amenities that are unique to The Cannon, Griffin said, including Startup Butlers and Cannon Ventures.
Startup Butlers is a professional service that helps facilitate connections to discounted service providers, industry-specific mentors and anything else a company needs. Cannon Ventures provides access to investors, venture capital groups and angel investors, along with an accelerator program that takes on the companies that get investment.
“We are surrounding these small and growing companies with the support and infrastructure they need in order to continue to grow and achieve their goals,” Griffin said.
Gow joined the Spring Branch Management District Board recently because he believes in the area, describing it as a “vibrant hub” for startups.
The Cannon has already attracted entrepreneurs and firms who were not previously in the Spring Branch area, Gow said, and now the new 120,000-square-foot space will serve as a magnet for more businesses looking to be launched out of The Cannon.
If you would like to reserve your place in the Spring Branch District’s premier coworking community, visit https://thecannonhouston.com.
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