Location: Portland, ME – 533 Congress St. and 110 Exchange St.
Team: Patrick Roche & Eric Poulin
Think Tank aims to bring the progressive concept of co-working to a fuller, more robust realization in Portland and, in-so-doing, rev the city’s engines for growth and development. It is about a shared sense of community in which people are encouraged to aim high and do big things, and one where there is a support system for those people. Think Tank affirms the unique potential of the individual while recognizing the interconnectedness that binds us all, a connection that when appreciated promotes success. Think Tank is a place where those myriad, unsung contributions to success will happen regularly and with generosity…the place where the alchemy of ingenuity can flourish.
How are you making Maine a better place for young people?
Young people of all stripes and backgrounds regularly choose – when possible – to eschew the prosaic trappings of the traditional, staid office environment. At Think Tank, not only do they arrive each day into a dynamic, open-concept work-space, but more importantly, they’re surrounded by similarly creative, independently-minded individuals where the alchemy of ingenuity can flourish. Whether it’s a law student looking for a place to study, a local arts or political organization looking for a conference area in which to strategize, or a young entrepreneur in need of affordable work-space, Think Tank endeavors to make Maine a better place for everyone. And we believe it utter common sense that one of the best ways to do that is by encouraging young, ambitious start-ups and creative, outside-the-box thinking while promoting a communal, mutually supportive spirit.
What challenges in your community are you addressing?
It’s become a bit cliché to say, but one challenge in particular has necessitated Think Tank, and that is the faltering economy. With incomes stagnant, many independent workers and commuters have found themselves involuntarily in need of affordable yet appealing workspace. Think Tank aims to exceed those needs by providing not just a space, but also a dynamic community of free-thinkers in which to be productive. Whether working alone in a private office or alongside a fellow member at one of our many and diverse floating stations, there is an air of possibility infusing the space that we hope will inspire people to achieve great things. Think Tank aspires to supply the space for those forward-thinking people looking to turn the down economy into an opportunity. In hard times, people are forced to think creatively and genius is born. We want that thinking to happen here.
Who will benefit from your idea?
How will people access and learn about the work you are doing? The benefits of the networking, collaboration and productivity that will take place within the walls of Think Tank will inevitably seep into the surrounding community. We envision members with an idea but a deficiency in their skill-set finding a fellow member perfectly suited to filling that gap; or members fulfilling their ambitions of becoming a working writer, lawyer or artisan; or organizations with a brilliant, progressive idea that will help Portland realize its unbridled potential find the perfect atmosphere in which that idea can blossom. The hope is that whatever benefits members experience at Think Tank will be paid forward to the people of Portland.
What major success would you like to see at the end or apex of your project? Success begets success. We want Think Tank to become a whirring hub of the creative economy in Portland and, by extension, see it become an integral, propulsive force in the continued evolution of our city.
Project Partners: We like to think we’re partnering with local artists, entrepreneurs, small businesses, organizations and anyone and everyone who comes through the Think Tank doors. We believe the nature of co-working allows Think Tank to have a symbiotic relationship not just with our committed members but also with the community at large. The DNA of Think Tank only allows success be attained when it realizes its ambition of becoming a thriving space for creativity, collaboration and synergy where inspired and dedicated minds can coalesce. Integral to this objective and the concept as a whole is the notion that Think Tank will be a consistent engine of productivity and a positive contributive force in the Portland community.