We’re excited to announce that Arena Ventures is joining dots SPACE, a new coworking community for startups here in Los Angeles.
As seed stage investors, we think there is distinct value in embedding ourselves among new startups, and we feel most at home in the creative energy of a larger, active office filled with entrepreneurs from so many different backgrounds.
So, last week our team moved into offices at dots’ first location in Beverly Hills. We’re fans of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that dots’ founder Yoann Bohbot is crafting here and his vision for its growth over the next couple years.
Dots is curating a community exclusively for early stage startups, with their space, workshops, events, and other resources designed to fit the needs of small technology teams. With the motto “Learn. Work. Meet. Grow.”, they’re focused on guiding entrepreneurs through the full lifecycle from idea to funded startup.
Our team is glad to help in “connecting the dots” within this ecosystem by contributing our perspective as early stage investors. We’ll be hosting office hours for companies here plus events for the broader LA tech community. One of our portfolio companies, Service, set up shop at the dots SPACE as well and we anticipate more joining over the next six months.
Yoann grew up in Los Angeles and founded a managed IT services company, that eventually sold to a larger competitor, then created an e-commerce startup that got acquired as well in 2009. After the acquisition, he moved to Paris where he explored several new projects from a €10/day desk at NUMA, a large co-working space in the center of the city backed by the French government, Google, and several major French companies.
The community of startup teams in the building struck a chord with Yoann, who took on a leading role connecting members who could help one another. That proactive work helping other companies led him into a CIO role overseeing a large flash sales site and then part-time CTO roles at several startups that went through the space.
Eventually, Yoann and several colleagues launched a small co-working space in Paris – also called dots SPACE – that served as a prototype for a space of his own. When he decided to move back to LA, he quickly outlined a vision for the new dots network that would offer not just office space but a comprehensive ecosystem of resources.
When you talk to Yoann, you feel his genuine passion for finding ways that different people can collaborate. Many of his hard skills and his insights while working in Paris came directly from lessons he received from others in NUMA or the dots SPACE there. In LA, he and his team are advancing both formal and informal activities to cultivate that same value for every member of their community.
This October, for example, they’re kicking off a coding school in partnership with Le Wagon that will give students full-stack training with Ruby and other languages over a 2-month intensive program. To further the talent pipeline into the Dots network, they’re also providing two months of free space and mentorship to graduates of that program who are ready to build prototypes for their own startup ideas.
Our new location is the starting point for the dots SPACE network in LA, but they’re launching a 8,000 sq/ft location in West Hollywood next year and anticipate another 20,000 sq/ft location in Beverly Hills will be ready in 2017. If you’re a new startup hunting for a great work environment to launch out of, definitely reach out to dots and see if there’s a fit.