Catapult (501c3) is an initiative of the Lakeland Economic Development Council. Catapult’s mission is to increase the viability of startups in central Florida through education, collaborative workspace, and funding. Catapult was founded in 2013 by our Economic Development Council and opened in January of 2014. This experiment was funded by $1,000,000 in private donations, used for build-out and three years’ operating budget. Catapult is the result of years of research through High Skill High Wage City Visit trips to various cities throughout the USA: San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, etc.
Catapult 1.0, a 10,000 square foot donated space in the basement of the Bank of America building, currently has over 120 members in coworking space, dedicated desks, semi-private offices and a small commercial kitchen. Our goal is to incubate and launch entrepreneurs into their own space in our community. Catapult 1.0 far exceeded our expectations, therefore, we have decided to significantly expand the concept.
We recently purchased the 38,000 square foot former Cash Feed building in the heart of Downtown Lakeland on Lake Mirror for Catapult 2.0. The new $10 million facility will house a 24,000 square foot coworking space, 9,000 square foot maker space, 5,000 square foot commercial kitchen as well as offices of Catapult staff, YLakeland staff (our talent recruitment and retention team) and our EDC. To date, we have raised over $15,000,000 for this project, which includes operating capital for 5 years. Catapult Website