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JuiceTank Offers ‘Think Tank’ For Business Entrepreneurs

JuiceTank

JuiceTank’s community manager Mason Carter, left, and co-founder Mukesh Patel.

Just barely out of the realm of “startup” itself, a Somerset-based business aims to help fledgling businesses take root, and established firms grow.

JuiceTank, 220 Davidson Ave., was started by cousins Mukesh and Charlie Patel, two self-described “serial entrepreneurs.”

The company offers a range of services for businesses, from virtual offices to actual office and work space, to introducing entrepreneurs to venture capitalists and angel investors.

The company was formed after the Patels held a successful young entrepreneur’s conference in mid-2012, said Mukesh Patel.

“The idea just evolved” to create a place where the entrepreneurial spirit could flourish in New Jersey, he said.

“It’s a place where entrepreneurs can work, interact and make contacts,” he said.

Patel started his career as an attorney representing entrepreneurs, he said. After 15 years of doing that, the entrepreneur bug bit him, he said. Patel said he has co-founded 10 companies while investing in another 25.

“Once that bug bites, there’s no going back,” he said.

Patel’s work took him around the country, including sch entrepreneurial hot spots as Silicon Valley in California. He said he saw what was happening in other states, and returned to New Jersey to “try to establish that kind of a culture and resource” here.

What followed was the JuiceTank conference, and then JuiceTank itself.

In its first year, JuiceTank had more than 40 companies either locate or work out of its space, Patel said.

JuiceTank3

JuiceTank’s work space.

And it’s quite a space.

Desks, couches and tables are located in a large open area in the main, “co-working” room, which is available on a monthly basis. Another section of the space features semi-private workstations, also available for monthly rentals.

There are also 11 private offices which JuiceTank offers for initial 6-month leases, which are then switched to monthly, said Mason Carter, the company’s space manager.

There are now about eight businesses occupying those offices, Carter said.

Everyone who rents a space receives free Wifi, use of the conference room and also use of the kitchen, he said.

You don’t come up with a business name like “JuiceTank” overnight.

Mukesh Patel said the process by which the name was chosen was somewhat involved.

“We created a massive matrix with available terms,” he said. “We looked for terms that were relevant, terms that were unique and terms that were creative.”

The partners eventually chose JuiceTank: “It’s a think tank to get your entrepreneurial juices flowing,” he said.

The partners then crowdsourced a logo design, posting competitions on several Web-based graphic design sites that do just that.

They picked a logo that represented a circular tank with open ends showing “the juice flowing in and out,” Patel said.

In the spirit of its name, the company sponsors regular “meet-ups” bringing together entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and others that can help them get their ideas started. A Jan. 16 meet-up attracted more than 100 people from around the state.

Patel said his goal is to make JuiceTank “a platform that I wish was around when I started out as an entrepreneur.”

 

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