Two years in, here's what I've learned from launching The Mill - Technical.ly Delaware

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Jul. 6, 2017 12:21 pm

Two years in, here’s what I’ve learned from launching The Mill

Robert Herrera, the founder of the Wilmington coworking space, shares some advice on building a business in Delaware.

The Mill founder Robert Herrera.

(Courtesy photo)

Editor's note: This story first appeared in The Mill's email newsletter. Subscribe here.

Almost two years ago to the day, I quit my job. My wife and I had just bought a house, my son was two, and we were expecting twins. To be honest, I’d forgotten how stressful a time that was for our family until just now. I was obsessed with creating my own version of a coworking space. When I first got started, I was approached by a handful of very prominent people who were adamant that the last thing Wilmington needed was another coworking space. They argued that I did not understand the local market. I was not treated as local myself, even though I grew up in Dover. It was scary.

Our friends at the The Buccini/Pollin Group (you may have heard of them if you have not been living under a rock), were the first to take a chance on The Mill. I was 29 years old when I first pitched the idea to Chris Buccini, but I don’t think he knew that. His confidence in me and my vision for The Mill is something I will never understand or forget.

We tested out the concept by opening 11,000 square feet in April of 2016. Fast forward to today, we are completing renovations for the entire floor. The Mill, with Phase III of construction underway, is a little under 40,000 square feet, managing a 225-seat theatre, launching a dozen new products/services, and planning expansions into new locations. We are five years ahead of schedule.

As it turns out, Wilmington is a great place to start a company. I have experienced that first hand.

My advice to any new business moving to Delaware? Collaborate. There are so many people invested, dedicated, and willing to help.  I honestly do not think I did anything exceptional here at The Mill. I focused on all the positive things this city and state has to offer and tied The Mill’s brand to those things. This article by Technical.ly Delaware is still one of my favorite pieces covering The Mill because I feel like it captured the essence of that collaborative nature.

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I had intended to launch a monthly newsletter the day we opened, so I’m 15 months late, but here we go. The goal of these newsletters will be to keep you informed, entertained, and up to date on our progress. I hope you find them worthwhile and informative. There is some really big news that I can’t disclose just now, so stay tuned. Hope you like it!

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Robert Herrera

Robert Herrera is the cofounder of Wilmington coworking space The Mill. The former architect previously did design work for WeWork and other clients.

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