There is a lot to know about what we do for the entrepreneurial community– let’s help answer some of those pestering questions.
Q: Who should join Catapult?
A: Catapult is designed to serve entrepreneurs, small business owners, and remote workers to find all the amenities they need to operate their business at a fraction of the price.
Q: Why should I join Catapult?
A: Not only does membership get you access to amenities like fiber-optic wifi, conference rooms, 24/7 access, coffee + snacks, printing, and more, but sharing your office space with 150+ business owners is a perfect way to build your network and collaborate on projects with other small business professionals.
Q: What is coworking?
A: CoWorking is a shared workspace for professionals who do not require an office. Think about it similarly to going to either a coffee shop or the library to get some work done, but with business-class amenities included.
Q: Where is Catapult?
A: Catapult is located in the basement of the Bank of America building at 331 S. Florida Avenue Lakeland, FL 33801. Our primary entrance is on the north side of the building next to the outdoor patio, but there is an alternative entrance for members via the elevators in the bank lobby.
Q: When is Catapult open?
A: We’re a 24/7 space for our members, but the Catapult staff is here from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to give tours and answer questions.
Q: Where do I park?
A: Catapult has two dedicated parking lots for members and guests. Our Guest Lot is located on the corner of Orange and Missouri across from St. Joseph’s outdoor basketball court. Our primary Member Lot is located right off of Lime Street across from the Lakeland Ledger. You can find our parking map here.
Q: Do I have to commit to a 6-month or annual contract for membership?
A: All memberships at Catapult are month-to-month to remain as flexible as the schedule of an entrepreneur.
Q: Alright, I’m in. How do I become a member?
A: We have an application process for all of our memberships. You can fill out that application here for any of those options.
Q: Should I wait until the 1st of the month to join?
A: Nope! We prorate your first of month of membership to make sure you get your money’s worth.
Q: Can I get one membership for my company and send employees in my place to utilize the Catapult space?
A: Our memberships are per individual, not per business, so each person who utilizes the Catapult space on a regular basis requires a membership. For short-term use, guests may purchase a day pass to utilize the Catapult space during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).
Q: I want to try it out, but I don’t think I want to commit to membership quite yet. What should I do?
A: We’d love to have you join us for a day pass! We offer day passes from 8:30am to 5:00pm on weekdays. For $10.00, you get access to wifi, coffee, snacks, and our community for the day. Day passes must be purchased in person with a credit/debit card on day of use.
Q: Do I get my own workspace?
A: That depends on the membership! Coworking membership gets you access to a space very similar to a coffee shop—wherever you find a seat is your office for the day. We also offer Dedicated Desk memberships which provides a personal desk, chair, and filing cabinet. Our last membership, Semi-Private Offices, gets you a dedicated, lockable space, desk, chair, and filing cabinet.
Q: Am I allowed to make phone calls or video conference calls in the coworking space?
A: Absolutely! Catapult hosts a perpetual “quiet chatter” and members are more than welcome to take phone calls or video calls. That being said—be cognizant of those around you. If you are relaying sensitive information or feel that you are disturbing the peace of the primary workspace, we have a sound-proof phone booth to house you and your conversation.
Q: I have to register my business with a physical address, what address should I use?
A: One of the amenities that we offer with any membership at Catapult is access to our mailing address to register your business and receive business mail.
Q: What is Catapult’s guest policy?
A: We love providing a professional space for our members to host guests. Members may reserve a conference room or classroom for their meeting, or if they’d prefer to work/meet in the coworking space, they’ll simply purchase a day pass for each guest.
Q: If the conference rooms are booked, can I host a meeting in the main coworking space?
A: Meetings including any non-members require one of our 3 meeting spaces to be booked. If you meet with a non-member in the open coworking space, you’ll need to purchase a day pass for however many attendees participate in the meeting.
Q: Can I host a meeting before/after Catapult’s business hours?
A: We understand that your business may not conform to the normal 9 to 5. As long as a conference room/classroom is reserved, members may host meetings outside of normal operating hours.
Q: Can I rent out the Catapult main space?
A: Catapult does not rent out the coworking space under any circumstances. The only space available for rent for non-members at Catapult is our classroom space, but it is exclusively for business use. To inquire about classroom rental, reach out to our Membership Director at email@example.com.
Q: Can I bring my child to work with me?
A: To maintain a professional environment and for liability reasons, Catapult does not allow any children under the age of 13 in the office.
Q: Can I bring food into Catapult?
A: Of course! In fact, we even have a member kitchen including a fridge, freezer, ice machine, microwave, and toaster oven.
Q: What is Catapult 3.0?
A: Catapult 3.0 is our brand-new, state-of-the-art 38,000 square-foot facility on Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland that will host our coworking space, commercial kitchen, and maker space at the start of 2020.
Q: When is Catapult 3.0 opening?
A: Great question! We post updates about our 3.0 progress here.
Q: What is the Catapult Kitchen Incubator?
A: The Catapult Kitchen Incubator is designed for start-up food businesses who are seeking to launch, grow, and scale their businesses. We primarily provide subsidized commercial kitchen space, coupled with resources for permitting, access to mentors, and discounted educational opportunities.
Q: Who is a good fit for the Kitchen Incubator?
A: We are a fit for companies, such as packaged food products, pre-restaurant, or pre-bakery concepts, who are looking for space + resources to grow their business. Our goal to see our members one day launch into a space of their own within six months to three years.
Unfortunately, at this time, we are not a fit for hot dog carts or food trucks. If you are pursuing this genre of food business, we would be happy to refer you other options in our community.
Q: What are the benefits of Kitchen Incubator membership?
A: Benefits to membership at Catapult include:
- Licensed commercial kitchen space
- 24/7 kitchen access
- Permitting guidance
- Provided equipment and smallwares
- Complimentary coworking membership
- Cross promotion – Ledger Spotlights, Taste of Catapult, social media posts
- Preferential event catering arrangements
- Downtown location
- Discounted education programming
Q: How do I become a Kitchen Incubator member?
A: Because of our mission, Catapult is intentional about the businesses we accept as incubator members. Our process includes three steps:
- Interest Form: This form gives us a snapshot of your business and allows us to follow up with you on your interest to schedule a tour of our space. To fill out our interest form, use the link here.
- Kitchen Tour: During the tour of the space, we review details about the operation in the kitchen and the documentation needed to formalize your food business. Tours are given during our staffed hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Interview and Tasting: The final step is an interview and tasting with Catapult staff. During the interview, we dive into questions about the long term goals of your company, your strategy to achieve those goals, and sample a small portion of your signature product. The interview process typically takes about 45 minutes.
Q: How does Catapult make the Kitchen Incubator membership decision?
A: After the interview and tasting process, the Catapult team evaluates the business along three main criteria: potential for launch, new to Lakeland concept, and compatibility in a shared space.
- Potential for Launch: Because the end goal for Catapult is to see each of our Kitchen Incubator members launch into a space of their own, we consider each company’s pathway to that launch before accepting the business as a member.
- New to Lakeland Concept: We also focus on new to Lakeland concepts that can serve to diversify our local options and grow our culinary economy. We look for members who are innovating in their field.
- Compatibility in a Shared Space: The kitchen space is shared among the incubator members, so a willingness to operate side-by-side with other entrepreneurs is key.
Q: What happens after acceptance into the Kitchen Incubator?
A: After the interview, the next step is onboarding into the kitchen, which contains three steps:
- Meet for Orientation: At orientation, the new member meets with the kitchen director to review kitchen policies and procedures and discuss documents needed to operate in the kitchen.
- Gather Documentation: Then, the kitchen member obtains the needed pieces of documentation, and sends copies to the kitchen director for Catapult records. The kitchen member also applies for an annual permit with their respective licensing agency.
- Obtain Permitting: After applying for a license, an inspector will visit Catapult and meet with the member to complete an opening inspection and issue an Annual Food Permit. This permit gives the business the ability to legally produce and sell food.
Q: What type of documentation do I need to operate in the kitchen?
A: There are several pieces of documentation needed to transform a start-up idea into a formalized business. The bolded and italicized items must be submitted to Catapult prior to the opening inspection for an annual food permit.
- Business Entity Paperwork
- Florida Fictitious Name (if applicable)
- Employer Identification Number
- Sales Tax ID Number
- Business Bank Account
- ServSafe Food Manager Certification
- Annual Food Permit
- Polk County Business Tax Account
- City of Lakeland Business Tax Receipt
Catapult has created a separate guide to review how to obtain each piece of documentation. This guide is available upon request, or through this link.
Q: How long does it take to get into the kitchen?
A: Depending on the business owner, this process could take anywhere from two weeks to two months. It is the business owner’s responsibility to gather the documents needed and to apply for the permits. After acceptance into the kitchen, it is Catapult’s goal for each member to be licensed within a month’s time.
Q: Who licenses the businesses operating in the kitchen?
A: There are three agencies that regulate food businesses in Florida – the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), and the Department of Health (DOH).
We primarily interact with DACS, who licenses bakeries and packaged products, and DBPR, who licenses caterers and plated foods. The kitchen director can help members discover which agency has jurisdiction over their business.
Q: How does pricing and billing work?
A: The Catapult Kitchen Incubator has an hourly pricing model that scales with the business that we serve. Our base price is $10/hour or $5/hour for off-peak kitchen usage (10:00pm – 6:00am) with a 10 hour monthly minimum. Custom storage pricing and complimentary coworking are also included.
- Monthly Bills: On the 5th of each month, our members are charged their minimum amount of $100.00 for the current month, plus any overages from the prior month.
- Storage: We give each member one shelf of dry storage and one shelf of cold storage. If the member requires additional storage, needs are assessed. Based on the square footage and type of storage the member requires, a custom monthly fee is added to their account.
- Retainer Fee: From the span from acceptance through permitting, we charge a $50.00 per month fee to save your spot in the kitchen. This process can take anywhere from two weeks to three months, depending on the business owner’s preferred pace. This fee will no longer be applied after the opening inspection is completed.
Q: How do I learn more about the Catapult Kitchen Incubator?
A: We would love to connect with you and share more about our kitchen and the work that we do.
- Website: CatapultLakeland.com/kitchen-incubator/
- Phone: (863).940.9660
- Address: 331 S. Florida Avenue BSMT, Lakeland, FL 33801
- Kitchen Director: Maggie Leach [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Q: Can my friends and I have a cooking competition, pizza party, cookie decorating party or something similar at Catapult?
A: As a kitchen incubator, our focus is on serving businesses who need the commercial kitchen space to produce their products and scale their operation. However, there are other options in our community that could serve this need, such as Publix Aprons Cooking School or NFocus Studios.
If we missed a question or concern of yours above, we still want to make sure that you’re in the know. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional or clarifying questions at email@example.com.