Introducing StartWell — The Most Exciting Company I’ve Ever Founded

Posted in Announcing
Finally a place to drink coffee in the sun ! — mornings at StartWell on St Clair Avenue

Those of you who know me will be familiar with my many adventures in software, startups and the entertainment industry over the years. From streaming Bollywood online to hosting music festivals around the world to helping hundreds of companies improve their digital communications, raise capital, scale globally and more, my work has always explored ways to enable people coming together to create and experience amazing things.

For many years I’ve loved juggling multiple projects and learning about all sorts of things at once — something which I’m thrilled to now be able to do through a single vehicle; the company is called StartWell and in a nutshell:


We build places for people to have happier, more productive work days.


How We Do It

StartWell is taking a fresh approach to ‘office work’ — instead of cubicles in glass towers, our approach sees people from different walks of life spend their days in well-designed and furnished shared environments featuring world-class services and amenities.

Member/Filmmaker Mark Boucher at StartWell St Clair lounge

Membership at StartWell includes everything from beverages, high speed Internet access, printing scanning & photocopying, bookable meeting and conference rooms plus spaces for meditation and contemplation as well as social interaction and access to networking & educational events. Members can work in common space, open desk areas or private offices and our member-base includes consultants, independent theatre producers, graphic artists, legal & financial professionals, high tech startups and everything in between — all sharing a passion for their own work and value for innovation.

We now have a reported 3% vacancy rate in Toronto’s commercial real estate market — not only is it hard to find office space but times have changed and companies (especially startups) don’t want long term leases to restrict their need to up, down or cross scale. StartWell membership is month-to-month and we don’t lock anyone into leases.

Our first neighbourhood location on St Clair Ave in Hillcrest Village

Further helping to alleviate pressure for smaller companies who need flexibility, I’ve created a special network model for StartWell — which includes opening smaller neighbourhood-focused locations in concert with larger hub locations downtown. Our members have the ability to pop into the StartWell near their house for a few hours here and there and spend the rest of the week at a hub working with their whole team — without trying to focus on typing an email whilst balancing a laptop, cappuccino and croissant at a cafe table 😉

Guests networking at one of our social events on King Street

Toronto is an exciting place which has the most diverse population of all the cities across this little planet. Our people come together regularly in all sorts of venues to celebrate our diversity. This diversity draws immigrants from across the country and globe to Toronto and animates life uniquely in our city. Our city offers a lot to be explored and StartWell is enabling people to get out there and experience urban Toronto without waiting for the weekend. Simply show up at any StartWell — you’ll be taken care of and have access to everything you need to do your work and more.

Locations Across Toronto

In June I opened the first StartWell near my house on St Clair Avenue in Hillcrest Village — a beautiful ground floor space with a sun-drenched retail store front lounge and tons of character in one of the most pleasant downtown neighbourhoods on the subway line.

Looking up from the Atrium and Member Cafe at StartWell King West

A few weeks ago, the first members moved into my second location (our first ‘hub’) on King Street West between Tecumseth and Niagara — an entire 12,000 square foot turn-of-the-century character building with soaring ceilings and exposed brick that features unique amenities including a fully soundproofed podcast/recording studio and penthouse lounge (complete with a film screening setup and fireplace!) Its been amazing to see how happy people are to be able to join us as members and work the way they have always wanted.

Our Culture

Member company Scout meeting with NBA player Fred Van Vleet (Toronto Raptors)

Toronto’s culture is something which is baked into the DNA at StartWell — each location features locally craft roasted coffee, micro-brewed beer and red and white selections from the Niagara wine region. We’ve planned social spaces where events and serendipity bring people together and this Fall we’ll officially unveil our Artists-in-Residence program as well as partnerships with some of Canada’s leading cultural institutions plus tech-sector investors and startup ecosystem supporters.

Join us & have happier, more productive work days 🙂

Both locations currently have space for new members and my team would love to show you around — please drop me a line directly (qasim@startwell.co) or through our website (http://startwell.co) and we can co-ordinate a walkthrough.

Of course I’m also always happy to brainstorm partnership opportunities and jam on collaborations — join me for a coffee or lunch and we can sample the best gelato on Corso Italia next to StartWell’s St Clair location or check out a bevy of superstar chef offerings on King St West sometime soon!