HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
It will cost you from $50/month to $2,000/ month to join GeniusDen. Our month-to-month lease term allows you the flexibility to meet your price point. For $50 per month, you get a remote membership with access to the member resources and a permanent mailing address. For $2,000/month, you get an office with 10 memberships included. Other offices are built and furnished for $1,500/ month for 8-person offices, $1,000/ month for 4-person offices, and dedicated desks for two members at $400 or a seat at the open desks at $200 per month. All full-time memberships include full access to the 10,000 sf GeniusDen space including the five conference rooms and lounges.
HOW DO I PAY RENT?
Rent is charged in advance and lease terms are month-to-month with 60 days notice. You set up an autopay with your bank account or credit card.
Why a Business Incubator, is this Coworking?
GeniusDen’s offerings go beyond the coffee shops and coworking spaces filled with drifting freelancers. (Not that there is anything wrong with freelancers, we love freelancers – it’s the drifting that bothers us.)
We believe that our purpose is to help you get to your purpose. And that is first to get your best work done, to take away all the distractions and obstacles to you moving forward with most expedience. We realize that your time is your one non-renewable resource.
Our purpose is to do everything we can to remove obstacles and provide comfort and support. Located conveniently, built elegantly, and designed for you to balance a supportive environment with quiet and comfort.
And by “support” we get to the incubator part. The support part of the incubator is not a one size fits all model. Our support comes with lectures, meetups, deep-dive peer forums, technical and educational resources, mentor/adviser matching, and industry connections that help you move deliberately and confidently into the next right courses of action.
And fundamentally you understand you have your work to do.
What about Accelerators?
While we have and do make strategic introductions to capital, we don’t recruit cohorts of founders and move them through a set program. We don’t pay people to work on their ideas, build pitch decks, raise capital. Our program is not to take your equity.
There is a number being passed around the investment community that only 6 percent of startups pitching for capital get angel funding, the rest die or grow organically. We will probably have a member who is looking for capital and another member or adviser who knows an investor to connect them to, but if your team is competent, the product is valuable, and you are winning customers, the money usually finds you.
HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY? DO I GIVE UP EQUITY FOR FREE RENT?
We make money from the rent you pay. Sometimes we rent venue space for events. Desks and office rental pay our bills. You don’t give up equity for rent unless you connect with an investor who wants to strike that kind of deal.
WHAT ABOUT ACCESS? AND SECURITY? DO I GET A KEY? CAN ANYONE GET IN? HOW DO YOU CONTROL WHO COMES AND GOES?
We have secure access with an electronic lock. When a member terminates membership, we deactivate their code and access. Security cameras record who enters and leaves the building. We have 13 cameras at the front and back of the building. If you rent an office, you get a key to your office.
Do you have plans to expand into other cities?
As the model is proven and refined the GeniusDen will seek and build spaces to serve entrepreneurs in other markets – some within the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex and then throughout Texas and regionally.
In the near term, we have a growing network of reciprocal coworking spaces that open their doors to our members. Ask us about a city you are traveling to and we will arrange access.
Describe a typical day in the life of an entrepreneur at GeniusDen?
A Member here says goodbye to his spouse and comes to the GeniusDen where he works for a while in the open desk area, meets with a mentor in the conference room, walks to lunch at one of 23 Deep Ellum restaurants, and then returns to a skype meeting with some remote team members and follow-up emails before the evening speaker comes in and doors open to a greater Dallas startup community. He is joined by his wife who has dropped their child at a drop-off daycare on the same block. They rode in on light rail to join them and walked the four and a half blocks from the light-rail stop to the GeniusDen stopping off to check out some art in a gallery on the walkover. After the presentation, they will walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner and locally brewed beer and drive home together.
The speaker has flown in from Phoenix and delivers an hour of core PR coursework targeted for Startup founders, he listens without talking notes because the lecture is video recorded and the slides, video, and worksheets are uploaded on the GeniusDen website and will be available by the time he wakes up the next morning. She will stay in the Airbnb loft apartment that evening and before flying out will host a coffee chat the next morning for our Member and his partners to follow up with those “ah-ha” questions he’ll certainly have by the next day.
Who is Joe Payton?
Joe Payton is a real estate developer, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor. Payton began his career selling advertising and publishing and moved into investor relations getting a graduate degree in 1994 from the University of Denver and working in-house in the mid-1990s for Corporate Express, a startup that grew from $50M when he joined to $1B in sales through acquisition and multiple public offerings. Joe was on the core Investor Relations team for the IPO and four secondary offerings. As a real estate investor Joe began buying and selling single-family homes and parlayed his experience into larger developments and then small startups of his own as an angel investor, Joe was a member of the Rockies Venture club in Denver Colorado, and the Central Texas Angel Network in Austin. Nothing he invested in went “big”, but he’s seen several hundred deal pitches, run diligence on a couple of dozen investments, and gotten to know the process from the Angel side as well as the IPO experience when he was in corporate.
In Dallas, Joe is focused on his business startups and real estate developments. The building at 3106 Commerce is his first purchase in Deep Ellum. “I believe in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. It is very much like 4th street and 6th street in Austin and Lodo in Denver in the 1990s. Deep Ellum is going through a renaissance. With the massive redevelopment of Main Street and Elm Street 3 blocks away, we are looking forward to dozens of new restaurants and night spots opening in the coming months. Pecan Lodge has lines out the door every day and Brain Dead Brewery is opening soon, AND we have Ellum.net – a redundant fiber optic super-high speed internet ring here.”
“Deep Ellum is cleaning up – literally”
, says Payton.
“I’ve been honored and had the great satisfaction of taking bars off windows throughout my 20 plus year career as an infill redeveloper of neighborhoods in the path of progress. In-migration is putting more people here in the Dallas core and Deep Ellum is IN that core, it’s cool, and it’s affordable. There is more to do here just walking around than any other part of Dallas – it gives Uptown a serious run for its money, and the people and the service you get here feels like I’m in a small town – people are friendly”
Payton’s Pioneer Capital Fund backs the GeniusDen with his capital and a close private group of investors. “There is a different quality product when you own the building, your company builds out the space, your architects design it. There is a different kind of commitment when your money is on the line and you’ve made promises to investors. You worry about it, you make sure it works“