HOBOKEN, NJ – When Jason Ross formed the American Ballplayers League (ABL) last year he quickly realized that working from a cramped city apartment was not conducive to launching a business. The collaborative and creative environment at Hoboken, N.J.’s Mission 50 Workspaces, a premier coworking environment in Hudson County, helped turn Ross’ field of dreams into a reality. Under his leadership, the ABL has become New Jersey’s #1 recreational amateur sports league.
Formerly known as i9 Sports, the ABL includes more than 2,000 players of all skill levels in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic Counties. They participate in its softball, basketball, flag football and soccer leagues throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. Bars, restaurants and local companies enter teams into the league to build comaraderie and network with other players.
ABL’s new “ESPN-style” state-of-the-art website allows participants to track statistics, view weekly game highlights and photos, and read personalized player biographies. Ross also has expanded ABL’s social media presence and developed a Smartphone app, which allows league players to track their team and personal achievements. He hopes to grow the league to 10,000 participants over the next two years, and expand the ABL into cities nationwide.
In an entrepreneurial city such as Hoboken, the coworking phenomenon has taken root and is thriving. Regardless of the type of worker, the setting fuels creativity, promotes networking and helps new businesses gain invaluable exposure.
“Prior to starting my membership at Mission 50 last summer, I had done little more than create ABL’s logo. After talking with other Mission 50 members who are experts in consulting and marketing, it helped me to shape the entire strategy for my company. I am surrounded by creativity all the time. Joining Mission 50 is the best thing that could have happened to my business. ABL’s success is a testament to the advantages of coworking.”
Located in the penthouse of the multi-tenanted, 80,000-square-foot Hoboken Business Center, Mission 50 is a shared work environment for independent professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Members are provided with daily to monthly leasing options and a choice of private and shared workspaces. Amenities include laptop-ready desks with Internet connectivity; virtual mailing addresses; print, copy, scan and fax capabilities; and three soundproof phone booths.
While there is no recipe for launching a successful business, Ross believes passion and drive are two of the main qualities that every entrepreneur – regardless of age or experience – must possess. “It all comes down to doing what you love and following what makes you happy. I spent a lot of time floating through life trying to find my passion. Now I love what I do, I live in the moment and have fun every day,” said Ross.