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Inside Blueprint + Co: How Daymond John Designed An Exclusive Coworking Space For High-Profile Startups And Companies





Earlier this year, Daymond John, founder of FUBU and star judge on ABC’s Shark Tank, announced the grand opening of Blueprint + Co, a coworking space in midtown Manhattan.

The “People’s Shark” is diving into a crowded market, which includes popular coworking offices like Knotel and Wix Lounge. WeWork, which is valued at $20 billion, already operates 35 locations in Manhattan alone. But John is targeting a narrow segment of the coworking market. Blueprint + Co only welcomes companies that have raised $250,000 or have annual revenue of $250,000 or more.

Leah Bottone, Forbes 
Daymond John at the rooftop terrace of Blueprint + Co
 



John says a majority of his early tenants have at least $5 million in annual revenue, with some hovering around the billion-dollar valuation range. In addition to catering to late-stage startups, John adds Blueprint + Co has tapped into another market: established companies and executives from around the world in need of New York City office space. He says he’s also attracted corporations who want to lodge their innovation teams off-site, and away from their headquarters.

“Sharks and industry experts need to learn, too,” says John. “Tech is changing everything at lightning speed and if we’re stuck in our own office just talking to the people who work for us, then how are we going to change?”

Blueprint + Co currently houses about 70 companies including Honest Co, 135th Street Agency, Shopify, MillerCoors and leading plus-sized fashion line Ashley Stewart. Blueprint charges tenants $275 to $1000 a month for space.

Nick Graham, Forbes
Blueprint + Co lobby



Blueprint + Co occupies a 20,000 square-foot penthouse on 39th Street in Manhattan. Apart from the height-adjustable Varidesks, the minimalist space has all-white-everything decor and zero frills. Amenities include a rooftop that overlooks Midtown, and two event terraces. Members can also access exclusive panels, the most recent featuring serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.

Blueprint doesn’t offer tenants guidance on early-stage topics like patents, copyright or finding distribution channels. Additionally, members are forbidden to pitch directly to another member. Instead, John says Blueprint operates as a “business concierge” service that keeps tabs on the strengths and needs of each company, and facilitates collaboration and matchmaking among them.

Nick Graham, Forbes
Inspirational wall art at Blueprint + Co

While Blueprint + Co caters to high-profile startups, John is still interested in helping first-time founders.

He’s focused on growing Daymond On Demand, a web-based training hub for entrepreneurs. And less than a year after writing The New York Times bestseller The Power of Broke, John has a new book in the works, titled Rise And Grind, meant to teach aspiring entrepreneurs how to translate ambition into action.

In this video, we meet John at the rooftop terrace of Blueprint’s 39th Street flagship, where he discusses the venture’s design and his plans for expanding worldwide. 



Tanya Klich
forbes.com

 

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