Under the River and Through the Tunnel. Mission 50: Coworking in New Jersey

mission 50

With all of the coworking spaces available in Manhattan and Brooklyn, you’re no doubt wondering why a company would choose New Jersey.  The fact is, a lot of entrepreneurs do live there, including many of you. It’s affordable, easily accessible by public transportation and New Jersey has a substantial network of entrepreneurs, VCs and angel investors.  Plus, you can barbeque there.

Hoboken-based Mission 50 is a great argument for, “If you build it, they will come.”

“We opened Mission 50 Workspaces in September of 2011, knowing coworking would have great appeal to freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses in Hudson County,” said Greg Dell’Aquila, President of Mission 50 and one of the space’s 3 founders.  “Technology continues to flatten our ability to communicate, allowing us to work and do business anywhere with anyone.  Coworking is the natural extension of this.  Also, the benefits of coworking – productivity, inspiration, motivation, networking, resources – are essential to all those in the business world and beyond.”

The “we” that Dell’Aquila refers to is himself and his 2 co-founders: Aaron Price and Michael Pierce.  Price is the founder of the NJ Tech Meetup, the largest – and fastest growing – tech community in the Garden State, and weCraft, a socially connected DIY crafts site, which is also a tenant in the space.  Pierce is president of BuildingHunter.com, which provides construction project leads and market data to building supply manufacturers, construction material suppliers and subcontractors.  Dell’Aquila has a deep background in commercial and residential real estate in the metropolitan area.

Certain coworking spaces appeal to a specific industry sector or age range, but that’s not the case here.  In less than 2 short years, Mission 50 has grown into a dynamic community of entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses from a wide variety of industries and disciplines – across a wide range of ages.

Mission 50 offers all the services necessary to conduct business, including flexibility.  Members are provided daily to monthly leasing options and a choice of private and shared workspaces.  Amenities include laptop-ready desks with Internet connectivity, virtual mailing addresses, print, copy, scan and fax capabilities, an open and/or private office and 3 soundproof phone booths as well as conference room space, when needed.  And of course, coffee.  Prices range from a $25 day pass to a private office for 2 people for $599 for a month.

Not to mention the space is conveniently located near the Hoboken PATH train, the Light Rail and the New Jersey Turnpike, with parking and a bike rack available for members.

And you’re not exactly out in no man’s land.  Mission 50 regularly hosts a wide range of events, including seminars for members, some by members and some by guest speakers.  There are also frequent group lunches and happy hours at nearby spots, aside from the outdoor barbecue space at Mission 50, for everyone to enjoy.

And here’s a switch: “Most recently, our female tech entrepreneurs have had a number of successes,” Dell’Aquila pointed out.  “Sarah Himmelbaum, Founder of Mommies 24/7, launched her website in Hoboken.  It was an immediate success and she recently expanded to Summit, Nutley and Montclair, with more online communities anticipated before the end of this year.  Also, Christine Curatolo, a fellow Mission 50 member, launched Jumblzar in late April.  Jumblzar is an invitation-only online marketplace where moms can buy and sell used/like-new baby, child and maternity items with other mothers.”  And they’re gaining traction.

Also in the space are Under30CEO, the leading media property for educated, ambitious 20-somethings, the NJ Tech Meetup and the data marketing company MightyHive, to name a few.  Mission 50 accommodates 75 members at any given time, but currently has an overall enrollment of more than 160 members – and growing – as they are not all there at the same time.

“Coworking is completely redefining the way we work,” Dell’Aquila said.  “In a Deskmag poll, nearly three-quarters of the coworkers surveyed felt more productive in shared spaces, and 71% experienced a boost in their creativity.  As an entrepreneur and the owner of a vibrant coworking space where I also operate with my fellow members, I am not surprised.  I feel that same ‘rush’ of excitement, every day.”

About the author: Bonnie Halper

Bonnie Halper curates the StartupOneStop.com newsletter, which focuses on startups and entrepreneurs, and is currently being read in 50+ countries around the world.

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