Ben Larson co-founded Gateway – which is half co-working space, half business incubator program – in November, 2015. His background was working with technology startups and, after meeting a handful of entrepreneurs starting up cannabis-related businesses and venture capitalists wanting to get into the market, he created the industrial-inspired space in a historical and redeveloping Warehouse District in Oakland, Calif., as an incubator. After running events, he noticed attendees introducing themselves to each other and talking about ways in which they could work together.
“Co-working [in the marijuana sector] wasn’t originally on our radar, but it very quickly became an obvious benefit for the community,” he says. Memberships are monthly, starting at $250 (U.S.), and grants users access to desk and meeting spaces, as well as business events.
“We have everyone from lawyers, graphic designers and marketers, to growers, distributors and brand owners. What’s really become very obvious is the networks of these people are very complementary, but also, with a niche industry like cannabis, it provides an opportunity to have people not worry about the stigma of working in [this] emerging market. They just get to be heads-down in a positive space and build their companies stronger and faster.”
FULL ARTICLE: The Globe and Mail
by Maryam Siddiqi