Seeing a need for a collaborative space that promotes business growth and community, Michael and Julie Donlon are opening Blue Mind Coworking
The coworking space aims to open March 1 at 301 Government Center Drive, occupying 7,500 square feet of a suite on the second floor of the building.
“Once you’ve experienced first-hand the many personal and professional benefits of being a member of a coworking space, it’s challenging to go back to working from home,” Michael Donlon said. “After tekMountain [physical space] closed this year, I and other remote workers/business owners I know have missed the networking, collaborative synergy and the boost of productivity that comes from sharing a workspace with other like-minded entrepreneurs and professionals.”
Last year, as a result of the pandemic, tekMountain closed its physical space
and shifted to a virtual model.
After working from home for many months, Michael and Julie Donlon decided to create a space to serve individuals, solopreneurs and small teams, but also the local community and region.
“Our larger mission is for the space to foster innovation and business growth which creates more jobs and keep talented entrepreneurs and small businesses local,” Michael Donlon said. “Most of the vendors and partners we are using to create the coworking space are local companies. That is one thing we are very proud of.”
Blue Mind Coworking provides dedicated desks, private offices, conference rooms and meeting and event spaces. Memberships are provided on a monthly basis and include 24/7 keycard access, lounge area, standing desks, virtual mailboxes, coffee from The Workshop, conversation booths, high-speed internet and more amenities.
“There is a wide variety of specialized advantages which members will enjoy. The first and foremost are flexible workspace options, depending on need and preference,” Michael Donlon said. “Many of us, myself included, have home offices, but also enjoy having the opportunity to work in an environment with other professionals and feel as if they are part of a larger community to share stories, challenges and successes within their professional life.”
Another amenity includes a podcast room that is soundproof and has equipment available.
“Since coworking spaces attract a lot of thought leaders and innovators who want to publish a variety of valuable content to their audiences, this is an ideal environment for them to work in, and to give them the high-quality tools in which to do so,” he said.
Coworking spaces have become more popular over the past few years and the current pandemic has accelerated their growth, Michael Donlon said.
“People are no longer required to live in close proximity to their company's headquarters, for example, and are able to now decide where they want to live and work,” he said. “Technology has also enabled more and more entrepreneurs to be able to start businesses and work wherever they wish.
“This is contributing to Wilmington's popularity as a great place to work while living close to the beach,” he added.
Blue Mind Coworking hopes to appeal to those who live and moved to Wilmington to enjoy a healthy balance of working and enjoying the coast. In addition, it is named after the book “Blue Mind” by Wallace J. Nichols, which explores “how water makes you happier, more connected, and better at what you do,” the book states.
“We are strong believers in the ‘Blue Mind’ mentality and have worked to create that type of community within the coworking space, using several well-known local artists to provide an environment with calming and creative scenes of the beach and ocean,” Michael Donlon said.
Blue Mind Coworking joins two other coworking spaces in Wilmington: Coworx in the Cargo District and Genesis Block downtown.
“From the moment you walk into Blue Mind Coworking, we want our members to feel the ocean's embrace and for it to promote a sense of well-being, productivity and creativity which will have a positive impact on both their professional and personal life,” he said. “That is our true goal. I think in these crazy times, we could all use more of the ocean's healing powers.”