How this community-focused coworking concept plans to continue growth around Houston and beyond

Jon Lambert, CEO of The Cannon, joins the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss the growth of The Cannon, including its newest location. Photo courtesy of The Cannon

For the past five years as CEO, Jon Lambert has faced some challenges leading The Cannon — from navigating a global pandemic to the subsequent evolved real estate market. But now, the coworking and community building company is poised for even more growth — especially with its ninth location opening up this month — thanks to its community-driven mission.

The Cannon Memorial opens its doors on Monday, May 13, with a week of free coworking and events. And while the new space, developed in partnership with MetroNational, is open for leasing, Lambert says on the Houston Innovators Podcast the first and foremost, The Cannon is a community.

"The Cannon wasn't created as a real estate play — we got into coworking because as we started supporting the community and asking the question of, 'what can we do for you?,' one of the highlights was, 'hey, we need space to work,'" he says on the show. "For us, we were going to provide space because that's one of the key needs of this community.

"Our measurement of success is not the buildings we have or the occupancy even — it's what's the success of the companies that are part of the community," he continues.

Lambert shares more about The Cannon's community-focused growth by giving Fulshear as an example. The new community west of Houston isn't currently working on developing a coworking facility yet, but from a programming and digital perspective, The Cannon has established a presence.

"The first phase of the project is to just mobilize the startup and early-stage business community in Fulshear and see what kind of energy and vibe we can create there and connect them to The Cannon's resources and community," Lambert says. "That's our big-picture vision. We can build a new node of community — through a new real estate opportunity, economic development or university relationship — that's beneficial in itself, but that node gets connected to everything else."

With a recent acquisition, The Cannon has further grown its ability to engage its communities digitally. In February, Village Insights, a community management platform, was acquired by The Cannon, onboarding its core employees and further integrating the platform it was already using.

When it comes to its next expansion, The Cannon has a lot of opportunity both around and beyond Houston, Lambert says.

"Any direction is an opportunity and possibility," he says. "I would project that by the end of the year, we'll probably be having another conversation about what The Cannon's doing in other cities as well — for the benefit of The Cannon Community in Houston."

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