When Daymond John looks for a co-working space, he’s not into the ping pong tables and beer nights — even if those are the perks offered by many companies looking to attract startup entrepreneurs to their facilities. In the new age of mobile technology and remote teams, co-working spaces are a burgeoning industry. But their focus on cash-strapped millennials doesn’t necessarily appeal to seasoned business moguls like John.
That gap in the marketplace led John to realize an opportunity. As Inc. reported last week, the Shark Tank star has launched Blueprint & Co., a co-working space with a catch: you need to apply to sign on, and your application won’t be accepted unless you’re well-funded or pulling in significant revenue. Blueprint & Co. requires companies to have a minimum of $250,000 in funding or be receiving at least $250,000 per year income.
What does Blueprint offer in return? Classes and access to sought-after professionals like a trademark attorney, photographer and film editor. Of course, there’s also the opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas and concerns with fellow members of the space, not to mention the basics of any co-working enterprise. Inc. reported that the space was already at 75 percent capacity with about 50 desks already taken by executives from such well-known enterprises as The Honest Company.
Great talents who fall short of the funding or revenue criteria can take heart, however. In an interview with Fortune, John said the quarter-million dollar cash rule may not apply if the business or individual has other enviable skills. Aforementioned patent attorneys or experts in tax law might be welcomed, in order to enhance the atmosphere where members can benefit from each other’s knowledge. The Fortune article, in contrast to the Inc. piece, described Blueprint & Co. as a 200-desk venue.
So far, John has been using his personal contacts to attract clients to his co-working enterprise. John called it an attempt to “bridge the gap” between millennials who reject the traditional office set-up and business people between the ages of 50 to 70 who do not want to change the style of work to which they have become accustomed.
Speaking of movement from an accustomed style of working, John rejected the idea that uncertainty stemming from the potential activities of the new administration will disrupt the work of entrepreneurs. If anything, John asserts, not knowing how a government will act is part of the unpredictable waters sailed in any business, in any era, as CNBC reported his comments.
“I know there is a lot of uncertainty out there, but to a true entrepreneur, that doesn’t matter. We have always had uncertainty.”
“That’s what an entrepreneur does. They wake up every single day and they deal with adversity.”
“The real entrepreneurs I know look at this as, ‘Oh good! There are more problems coming around, that means the weak ones are going to fall by the wayside and I am about to get busy.'”
“That’s the only way to look at it, because if you go into it scared, you are dead already.”
John’s co-working initiative, by the way, was started after he noticed a potential niche while trying to place his own companies into existing spaces. John has invested in a number of small businesses through Shark Tank and also focuses on licensing and branding through his company The Shark Group.
Fans of Daymond John who don’t yet have quite enough revenue to join Blueprint & Co. can watch him Friday nights at 9 pm on ABC as part of Shark Tank.
[Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]