Benjamin’s Desk

Benjamin's DeskMeet Benjamin.

This St. Patrick’s Day, I was lucky enough to catch co-founder and Villanova alumnus, Michael Maher at his “Epicenter of Innovation”, Benjamin’s Desk. I spoke with Mike about the beginnings of his venture and its expected growth in Philadelphia.

Benjamin’s Desk is a community of mobile professionals, entrepreneurs, and start-ups looking to increase productivity by working in a professional yet welcoming atmosphere. Benjamin’s Desk offers opportunities for professionals to work quietly in their own space, start-ups to claim a business address, and entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off other innovative minds.

Workspaces, like Benjamin’s Desk, are consistently growing in the U.S., but BD offers a unique benefit to the City of Brotherly Love by welcoming entrepreneurs as well as professionals. Having a mix of professionals and start-ups allows workers to learn a healthy balance of innovation and professionalism. The collaborative and casual atmosphere of BD is the main draw of the business for these Philadelphians. Upon walking in the door, you are welcomed by its modern charm and friendly staff. Benjamin’s Desk, though a place for efficiency, is a home away from home. Amenities for members include a coffee bar, dart board, free Yard’s brews, and a rooftop deck being renovated for a change in atmosphere. It also offers free printing, copies, private rooms for meetings, and a conference room. With such an ideal working environment, it is no surprise Benjamin’s Desk has had great success.

Maher claims to have gotten the idea for BD through an article in Entrepreneur Magazine promoting a co-working space in Brooklyn as an ideal venue for start-ups. While living in Old City, Philadelphia, he and his wife, Jennifer, decided to open their own space on the 7th floor of 1701 Walnut Street. Today, with the help of Mike’s brother, Anthony, Benjamin’s Desk has expanded to over 200 workers sharing space on the 7th and now, 8th floors with plans to continue growth.

This year, Michael and Anthony plan to expand Benjamin’s Desk from the 6,000 square feet they fill now to 10,000 square feet between multiple locations. With the market for workspaces growing and BD’s increasing popularity, their goal should be more than accomplishable. The leadership of Benjamin’s Desk is also transforming as Michael focuses on an opportunity with his new start-up, Houwzer (a revolutionary real estate brokerage company), and Anthony takes on a greater role in the growth of Benjamin’s Desk.

I have no doubt BD will continue to be a success with its values of collaboration and creativity. And with determined and innovative minds leading the way, we are sure to see more of Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs calling Benjamin’s Desk their home.