The first time Todd Goldstein and Dar Caldwell held an event to showcase startups in their business incubator, 12 people showed up.

How things do change: Two years later, more than 700 people attended the grand opening of their new incubator, Shaker LaunchHouse. One of them was U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon.

Mr. Goldstein still is amazed at how fast interest in LaunchHouse has grown.

“I remember a Shaker Heights cop saying to us, "We've never had this many people in Shaker for an event,'” he said.

And the place already is expanding. LaunchHouse, which is based in a 23,000-square-foot former car dealership, is about to start renovating 5,000 square feet in the dealership's former service bay to make room for several groups of cubicles that could house up to 10 more companies, each with five employees.

They would join more than 60 small companies and organizations that pay to rent space at LaunchHouse.

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