The accelerator and seed-stage fund for business to business startups, Alchemist Accelerator, and the curated co-working community called Rocketspace, have partnered up in a way that should help both expand their influence beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.
According to Alchemist managing partner Ravi Belani, startups admitted to the next cohort of the accelerator will work together in Rocketspace’s flagship location in San Francisco. And they will be able to attain favorable rates on office space there after they graduate.
Rocketspace founder and CEO Duncan Logan said one thing that differentiates his business from the likes of WeWork or newer and regional challengers like Coworkrs in New York or Techspace in England is a kind of admissions process. “It’s not like if you can pay the rent you can be here,” he said.
Rocketspace charges startups for the desks they use, but generates a chunk of its revenue from corporate innovation initiatives.
“We make sure large corporations are not just taking a tour of San Francisco startups to pinch ideas that will inform some later product, but we also help large employers figure out how to find and work with the best startups in advantageous ways,” he explained. “So it matters who we invite in.”
While it’s hard to measure exactly, Logan said an estimated 55% of startups that attain corporate meetings through Rocketspace can successfully strike a partnership, enter a pilot or trial, or raise an investment from them.
Business service providers with real estate at the core of their offerings—including WeWork, the 800 lb. gorilla at this point, Breather and Liquidspace– have attracted venture capital and gained popularity in recent years.
But Rocketspace was early in the field, founded in 2011. Previous residents of Rocketspace have included founding teams from Uber, Practice Fusion, Leap Motion and Spotify who set up a Silicon Valley beachhead there in their early years.
And the company recently raised a venture round of $336 million in equity and debt financing to grow its business, specifically in Asia.
Partnering with accelerators that already have a strong reputation, like Alchemist Accelerator, should help Rocketspace tap into a supply of already-vetted tenants. And as many startups founded outside of the U.S. have come to Rocketspace to establish a Silicon Valley beachhead, and to get help raising venture funding, Rocketspace aims to help U.S. startups go to China.