There’s officially a new coworking center in Camden, N.J., today, as Waterfront Lab just soft-launched its 9,500 square-feet space with an initial cohort of 13 resident companies.
Though it’s officially being called a partnership, the space appears to be one of the for-profit arms of Waterfront Ventures, a nonprofit that’s aiming to stoke Camden’s entrepreneurship climate. There’s also Waterfront Media, a design agency billing itself as Waterfront Ventures’ sister company.
Desk memberships at the hub start at $225 a month while dedicated offices for 2-3 people start at $850 a month.
Here’s a quick drone vid of the building housing the coworking center:
“Waterfront Lab is more than just a coworking space, it’s a community development center, a think tank, and a brave step forward,” said Khai Tran, CEO of Waterfront Ventures. “[We] will be hosting programs and events at the Waterfront Lab, including our Lighthouse Mentorship and Entrepreneur 101 program.”
Melissa Le, Office Manager for the coworking center, told Technical.ly in an email there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in Camden.
“I can see Camden rising to mirror or even rival the New York and Silicon Valley tech scene, in terms of development and producing great companies,” Le said.
As you can see below, the makeup of the first 13 companies posting up at the hub leans more toward conventional industries like construction and architecture, though there are some cool ones in there:
- Waterfront Ventures: A nonprofit that organizes events around entrepreneurship like the UP Conference, Lighthouse Mentorship, and Entrepreneur 101.
- Plas MD: Creative studio working on virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), wearable devices and artificial intelligence solutions for healthcare and education.
- Waterfront Media: A design agency that provides web design and development, branding, app design and development, digital design, and other marketing services.
- Owner’s Magazine: An online business publication focusing on startup, technology, and entrepreneurship.
- City Invincible: Merger of architecture, interior, and urban design firm.
- Keller Engineers: – Civil engineers, structural engineers and surveyors.
- Brand Enchanting Media: – A digital, social media and experiential marketing agency.
- L Cruz Development: – General contracting company offering construction and site development.
- Verdan Interior Design: – Interior designer and commercial furniture company.
- Tri-State Transportation Campaign: – This nonprofit advocacy and policy organization is aiming to reduce “car and truck dependency” in downstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
- Quality Management Services: – Provider enterprise content management services to the government agencies, corporations and law firms.
- Rails to Trails: – A conservancy transforming unused rail corridors into public places.
- Gracious Smiles: – A nonprofit providing dental care services to culturally-diverse populations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
News of the center’s opening comes at an interesting time for Camden: The Philadelphia 76ers recently announced a fund to invest in companies that decided to move into town. The latest edition of the UP Conference, organized by Waterfront Ventures, shone some light into the city’s push to build a startup community in its midst.
And in the coworking realm, there’s even more context that make this an interesting announcement: the Camden CoLab, a 25,000 square-foot coworking space with ties to Rutgers and Drexel University, quietly shut-down in December.
(A spokesperson for Camden CoLab did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Technical.ly was able to confirm the operation in fact shut down at the end of 2016. More on that later.)
So can the Waterfront Lab come in to fill that void left by the Camden CoLab? We’re certain that’s what they’re aiming for.
Guess its time to update our Coworking Guide.