Springboard Innovation plans Hatch incubator
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
The team from Springboard Innovation is working to launch Hatch, an incubator for hybrid organizations, in a historic eastside building.
It now sits as a run-down relic of a furniture store along Portland’s new eastside streetcar line between Broadway and Weidler, at 228 N.E. Broadway. It's a sprawling building of the sort that begs for redevelopment.
Springboard Innovation has such a plan on its drawing board, aiming to turn the building into Hatch, a community-oriented business incubator for social-benefit companies that fall somewhere in that gray area between the for-profit and nonprofit realm.
The target market is unique. So is the financial and corporate structure behind the Hatch venture.
“We’ve been talking about this for almost three years,” said Amy Pearl, executive director and CEO of Springboard Innovation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people launch sustainable ventures.
Hatch aims to serve what Pearl calls “hybrid organizations” by providing space and services for mission-driven organizations — both for-profit businesses and nonprofits. It will house business support services including banking, legal, insurance and others.
“Hybrid organizations have a difficult time finding services that can understand and serve a hybrid,” Pearl says. “I hear things like ‘I cannot find a lawyer that understands us’ all the time.”
So it makes sense that to pull off the Hatch concept — which also plans to feature things like a community day care, coffee shop, orchard and garden — would also require a hybrid structure.
While Portland-based Springboard Innovation is a nonprofit, HatchLab Inc., a for-profit working on getting certified as a Benefit Corporation, will manage the Hatch building and collect the rents. Springboard will hold all the controlling stock in HatchLab Inc.
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