Morristown has a half-a-dozen or more co-working locations, not counting the coffee shops where certain news editors work. Parsippany has three (at least). Rockaway has one. There will be one in Short Hills soon.
Now, downtown Chatham has entered the fold. The Station had its grand opening Tuesday. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) provided remarks along with one of the building’s owners, Jeff Garibaldi of the Garibaldi Group.
Sherrill is a big supporter of the innovation economy and the Morris County initiative Startup Moveup Morris.
It’s a program that focuses on small businesses and helps promote co-working spaces, incubators and accelerator projects in municipalities across the county.
Sherrill told the audience that she has instructed her county-based staff to assist Startup Moveup any way it can.
“The suburbs are an incredibly exciting place to be. Silicon Valley was/is a suburb,” Sherrill said.
“What we need is a way to attract our youth to come back after their college education.”
She shared an anecdote about a discussion she had with a representative from a state with a poor education system.
“Perhaps we don’t need to improve our education,” said the other Congresswoman. “We’ll just hire your graduates.”
“You’re already doing it,” Sherrill deadpanned.
Also on hand Tuesday to welcome the business: Mayor Bruce Harris of Chatham Borough, Committeeman Thad Kobylarz, and Meghan Hunscher of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
The Station is the first application of the Startup Moveup Morris brand, but it won’t be the last. Other innovation hubs are anticipated in Boonton, Denville and Rockaway, with shared programming and reciprocal agreements likely.
Recognizing the informal public-private partnership aspect of The Station, Sherrill said it would be the “best government building ever!”
Like the collaborative nature of co-working spaces themselves, most owners/managers welcome other co-working businesses. Each one has its own characteristics, charms and creative vibe.
For example, The Station’s owners intend for it to be a place for companies on a growth trajectory rather than solo-preneurs.
The Station will have quiet background music. To make the point, a three-piece jazz band was playing at 10:30 in the morning.
Desks will be rented through Boxcar for a day, a week, a month, as needed. Not coincidentally, Boxcar has moved its headquarters to The Station and is encouraging employees to travel by scooter.
Boxcar’s business is growing. To reserve and pay for a space at the Madison train station one must use the Boxcar app.
The Garibaldi Group is best known for brokering leases for the Bell Labs’ Holmdel facility into the innovation space Bell Works, a 2.2-million-square-foot redevelopment dubbed a “metroburg” by its owner, Ralph Zucker.
This echo’s Sherrill’s sentiment about opportunities in suburbs like Morris County.
Startup Moveup Morris aims to make Morris County the sort of metroburg that convinces its young people to return, or stay.
MorristownGreen.com contributor Beth Kujan (d.b.a. Tech Stevedore LLC) is responsible for committees and programs at the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), part of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.