College of BusinessCurrent IssueEnd FeaturesFGCU360 MagazineThe FGCU Effect

The X factor: Diamonds shine a business model that’s a jewel

The business office of tomorrow is here today in Naples thanks to the vision of FGCU alum Brett Diamond, (’12, Business Management).

The same year Diamond graduated, he ventured into a revolutionary concept for collaboration with his dad, David, a serial entrepreneur best known as co-founder of DeAngelis Diamond Construction, a leading national commercial builder. The Diamonds’ rough theory: the “co-work” space – a concept favored by many tech startups to minimize operating costs – would also work for a broader base of business models.

So five years ago, the Diamonds introduced Venture X, a shared-workspace environment designed to encourage free collaboration and communication. With the flagship office in the  Mercato development in Naples, Venture X is billed as part boutique hotel and part modern office space, where a diverse community of architects, publishers, tech startups, attorneys, real-estate brokers, small businesses and other professionals choose among a variety of membership options – all designed to foster communal work habits and networking.

Mary Rodriguez (front left) and Luis Gonzalez of Off Market Miami, a company that helps investors acquire distressed properties, collaborate at the Venture X office in Naples along with (back from left) Jana Greer, Venture X community coordinator; Jason Heartgrave of Futurepreneur; and Martha Diveley of Arivs Appraisal Management.

The younger Diamond, who also carries the title of chief innovation officer at DeAngelis Diamond, is a glittering example of FGCU helping to inspire a young mind that grows and goes on to inspire others. The venture is clearly a success. The Diamonds have commissioned Venture X locations in San Antonio, Texas; and Ontario, Canada, with five franchises planned in Texas, two in Florida (Miami and Sarasota), two in Colorado, another in Maryland and plans for a satellite location in Australia.

When X marks the spot Down Under, it’ll truly be a small business world after all.