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New edtech-oriented shared office, Exponential Techspace, up and running in Back Bay

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 5, 2013 08:00 AM

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Exponential Techspace isn't listed on the directory of the Park Square Building in Back Bay, the furniture isn't all assembled yet, and there isn't much on its website, but I dropped by yesterday to check out the new communal office geared to entrepreneurs working on education technology ventures. Exponential, the brainchild of parallel entrepreneur Hakan Satiroglu, is already home to a handful of startups, and as of next week, it'll house another seven businesses participating in the edtech-focused LearnLaunch accelerator program. LearnLaunch co-founder Marissa Lowman is also working out of Exponential.

"Nobody has really come out and done something like this for education before," says Satiroglu, right.

Exponential's office looks out across Berkeley Street at the headquarters of publisher Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, and a few blocks away is the Boston office of Pearson, another major player in educational publishing. Several of Satiroglu's startups, including news site EdTech Times and Xlibrio, an online textbook store for schools, are now operating out of Exponential. So is Good Harbor Partners, a small merchant bank that works with publishers and edtech businesses. Not all the early tenants are connected to edtech, though: there's ZappRx, an e-health startup that connects doctors, patients, and pharmacists, and Wellable, which designs incentive programs to promote wellness.

Satiroglu says he hopes to attract visiting execs from the nearby textbook publishers, as well as educators from local schools and universities, for meetings and events at Exponential. The first one will likely be an open house planned for June 27th.

A dedicated desk for one person costs $350 a month; a cubicle that fits two people goes for $600 a month. The ninth floor space was formerly the Boston office of NAVTEQ, a provider of digital maps for GPS systems.

A few pics below:

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The first cohort of the LearnLaunch accelerator program for edtech entrepreneurs arrives next week.

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A pair of closets are being converted into phone booths for calls that require a little privacy.

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The essential snack inventory in Exponential's kitchen.

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From one of Exponential's corner conference rooms, you can see both Houghton Mifflin's headquarters and the Boston outpost of Pearson.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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