Halifax-based innovation hub Volta Labs is moving, downsizing its physical office, as it focuses on hybrid support for startups.
Volta will be relocating to the 8th floor of the Armoyan Centre, located at 1800 Argyle St. in downtown Halifax. The building has a maximum of 20,000 square feet in contiguous space, and is expected to open early this fall.
“While dedicated offices were still valued, there was less demand for physical space now.”
The Armoyan Centre represents Volta’s third and what appears to be its smallest physical space since it launched ten years ago. Volta currently operates out of the Maritime Centre, where the tech hub took over 60,000 square feet of space in 2018. Prior to that, Volta occupied two floors of space on Spring Garden Road, which took up less space than the tech hub’s current location at the Maritime Centre.
In the 12 months leading up to its move, Volta CEO Matt Cooper said that the organization conducted multiple rounds of research to better understand the priorities of its resident startups. What Volta found was that having a community topped the list, followed by more hands-on support.
“While dedicated offices were still valued, there was less demand for physical space now that teams had embraced a hybrid or work-from-home policy,” Cooper said. He added the balance between a dedicated office space for founders and a central community space in downtown Halifax could “cultivate connections and collaboration while supporting the flexibility that modern tech startups require.”
Towards the end of 2021, Volta extended its programming to work with startups across Atlantic Canada by offering virtual services, which the tech hub said makes up more than half of its more than 40 resident startups. As part of that initiative, Volta introduced a virtual residency program, allowing companies that are located outside of Halifax or don’t require a physical working space to access Volta’s advisory services, training programs, and other resources.
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Since its inception in 2013, Volta claims it has supported more than 150 startups that have collectively raised over $400 million in venture capital funding and created over 3,500 jobs. Volta’s alumni companies include Introhive, Milk Moovement, ReelData, and Compilr. Approximately 50 percent of Volta’s alumni companies are still in business, according to the organization.
Volta receives funding from a number of provincial and federal government agencies to deploy its programming and resources. In 2022, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency announced $450,000 in federal funding for Volta to continue its pre-accelerator program called LEAP. In 2017, Volta received a $2.25 million investment from the Nova Scotia government to expand its space in the Maritime Centre and support operational costs related to the expansion.
Featured image from Volta Labs.