Globe 100

Innovators | Nonprofits

An incubator with a social conscience

Stas Gayshan, Space with a Soul

Stas Gayshan of Space with a Soul
Stas Gayshan of Space with a Soul
Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

A FOOD SWAP, a coalition of schools for boys of color, and a socially conscious chocolate company all have something in common.

They’re occupants of Space with a Soul, a new, collaborative office space for start-ups - but unlike other incubators, most of these start-ups are not tech companies. Instead, this incubator in Boston’s Innovation District is designed to create a thriving community of start-up nonprofits, said founder Stas Gayshan, a Boston lawyer.

Gayshan, 29, said he’s created the answer to the question: “How can people focus on their cause and not worry about the Internet bill or cleaning up their office?’’


The money nonprofits spend to set themselves up comes at the expense of their missions, Gayshan realized. Space with a Soul gives start-up nonprofits “the organizational capacity of large corporations,’’ he said.

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It took some work to recruit tenants. “There were a few days last summer, not long after we opened, when we had more Space with a Soul staff and interns than residents in the center,’’ Gayshan said. “It was a little bit terrifying.’’

But now, there are 28 tenants, with expansion planned.

Calling Space with a Soul a “mission accelerator,’’ Gayshan envisions a hub for synergy, with events aimed toward local nonprofit professionals. “The success of our residents is key to our growth, our stability, and our sustainability,’’ Gayshan said. “We are fully invested in it, heart and soul.’’