Company Culture

Where to work IRL? Check out Delaware’s 2022 coworking guide

The pandemic didn't kill shared workspaces — but the slate has changed since 2020. Here are your options for getting out of the house to get your (remote) work done in the First State.

The Mill in Downtown Wilmington.

(Courtesy photo)

When COVID-19 hit the US in early 2020, offices shifted to at-home remote work, and coworking spaces were at a precipice.

Lockdowns and restrictions caused by a pandemic that is now in its third year may have seemed like a death sentence for a model where people, often not coworkers, share communal desks and coffee. The concept, in a way, flies in the face of our more socially distanced culture of 2022.

But the pandemic didn’t kill off coworking in Delaware, or elsewhere in the region. Sure, there are a couple of spaces, such as 1313 Innovation, that were alive in December 2019 that aren’t now. But in their place are new ones, such as CSC Station, which opened in late 2020 and is thriving.

How is it possible for any communal workspace to thrive during the COVID era? One reason may be that many offer small, glassed-in offices for a single person. Another may be the rise in remote work across the board: Coworking spaces allow remote workers a break from home, a space to work in peace for as long as you like and to connect with people face to face for meetings and general networking.

And so, after a year’s hiatus, Technical.ly is bringing back the Delaware coworking guide. Wondering where to work if your company is remote, but you’re craving in-person interaction? Check out your options below. For this roundup, we’re including several types of spaces: the communal coworking space, mini offices and labs, incubators, and accelerators.

The Mill

The reception desk at The Mill Concord

The Mill Concord. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Launched by Robert Herrera with the Buccini Pollin Group in 2016, The Mill has two locations. There’s the original downtown Wilmington space in the Nemours Building, and The Mill Concord, a fully renovated 1980s office park space just behind BPG’s new multi-use development The Concord and the Marlette Funding headquarters.

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Members range from independent programmers to startups to the classrooms of Zip Code Wilmington. As a bonus, The Mill has use of Theatre N on the second floor, and it also has additional offices on the Nemours Building’s seventh floor, accommodating private offices for businesses and organizations, including the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

The WIN Factory

The Win Factory

The WIN Factory. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Launched at the end of 2019, the WIN Factory is Delaware’s first Black-owned coworking space and incubator, with a mission to to level the playing field for underrepresented entrepreneurs. Startups in the space include Influencers Lab Media.

The coworking space fee includes membership in the Win Factory Wealth League, which means access to workshops, funding opportunities and opportunities for communal investment.

Delaware Innovation Space

Delaware Innovation Space. (Courtesy photo)

Delaware Innovation Space. (Courtesy photo)

Delaware Innovation Space was founded by the University of Delaware and DuPont with support from the State of Delaware, and is located on the Experimental Station campus. This collaborative lab space offers biotech entrepreneurs access to top facilities and peer scientists.

In 2021, DIS launched Science, Inc., a STEM startup incubator that has helped companies such as Carbon ReformSAS Nanotechnologies and Elyte Energy clarify their business strategies and prepare for fundraising.

DIS is specifically focused on STEM innovation and offers affordable lab space, a First Fund grant program and Lab Pods, aka small wet labs designed for startups.

CSC Station

CSC Station's lobby

CSC Station’s lobby in November 2020. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

One of Delaware’s most enduring companies, CSC built a state of the art headquarters in the Wilmington suburbs in 2017. In 2019, the company made the move to add a downtown location with the purchase the Pennsylvania Railroad Building next to Biden Station, with a plan to open a multi-use space, including CSC offices and coworking space, in the Fall of 2020.

When COVID hit in March, renovations stayed on target, and it opened pretty much exactly when planned, giving a new home to Compass Red and Social Contract, small firms like Purpose PR and Tech Impact’s Delaware Data Innovation Lab. The Station also proved that it could be a solid venue for events when it hosted 2021’s sole in-person #MILLSUMMIT event.

All in all, there are 26 offices, as well as designated desks and a common workspace. There is even an inexpensive day rate if you want a place to work for an afternoon.

Emerging Enterprise Center

An EEC workshop.

An EEC workshop. (Courtesy photo)

The New Castle County Chamber of Commerce offers a small business incubator, including low-cost startup office space, mentorships, seminars and other amenities. Located on the Riverfront at 920 Justison St., the EEC has several different packages, depending on how much acceleration you need. Companies connected to the EEC include Dual School, Whip Flip and Drone Workforce Solutions.

NextFab

NextFab signage in Wilmington.

NextFab signage in Wilmington. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

The Philly-based makerspace opened its Wilmington location in the Creative District in 2017. Members can take classes and have access to a high-tech wood shop, 3D printers, laser cutters and a robotics lab to create product prototypes and do creative work. Some of the creative businesses out of Nextfab include Kpelle.DesignsAddi Naturals and Linda Celestian. In 2021, NextFab Wilmington, along with the two Philadelphia locations, launched an Artisan Accelerator for creative startups.

The Idea Loft

Located on Lancaster Avenue near Greenhill in Wilmington, The Idea Loft flies under the radar, but has been home to well-known local names such as Gable Music Ventures. The space offers individual cubicles, small offices and the coveted free parking. “Resident Ideologists” include Evolve Brand Marketing, Breckstone Architecture and Johnstone & Ilis.

The General Store

Located in picturesque Rockland, The General Store offers all of the perks of a “traditional” city coworking space: 24/7 access, free coffee and beer, bookable meeting rooms, private phone booths and even a place to shower.

TKO Suites

TKO Suites has two locations in New Castle County: downtown Wilmington, at 300 Delaware Ave., and North Wilmington, at 1521 Concord Pike. Here, you can get a flexible lease on a private office with access to a meeting rooms, a kitchen and other amenities.

The Hub @ 1201

1201 N. Orange St., also known as One Commerce Center, is a multi-use building housing traditional offices, virtual office services, residences and The Hub, Stat International’s coworking space. The Hub’s demographic is less startups looking to network and more companies and sole proprietors looking for small private offices.

Regus

Regus is a multinational company offering pay-as-you-go “hot desking” and long-term desk leasing at the Brandywine Building in downtown Wilmington and Christiana Corporate Center in suburban Newark.

Middletown Business Incubator

Located below the canal in New Castle County, the Middletown Business Incubator & Collaborative Workspace, or MBI, launched in 2015 with support from the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Located on North Cass near Main Street, the incubator accommodates up to 15 small businesses.

Delaware Technology Park

Launched in October 2016, DTP is a wet lab incubator located on the 272-acre site of the old Chrysler assembly plant in Newark, now known as University of Delaware’s Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. Residents include the Delaware Bioscience Association and Green Line Business Group.

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Did we miss anyone? Let us know about coworking hubs and other nontraditional work spaces here.

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