In 2018, Raghu Misra had an idea that — within a few years — would result in a kind of professional, educational and culture epicenter for Nocatee.
The founder and CEO of Wired2Perform and his wife, Gurpreet, were driving their son to taekwondo lessons a half hour from their home. During the hour-long class, the Misras waited in the car.
Raghu Misra began to ponder a building where people could work in close proximity to family activities. It would cut down on unnecessary commuting. The idea needed a lot of formation. And a lot of funding — when the project was completed in 2021, the price tag came to $7 million.
Funding was difficult to find. The concept was unusual, and lenders could not easily categorize it. Fortunately, 121 Financial Credit Union of Jacksonville saw the possibilities and made the funding available.
Misra and several dignitaries broke ground for the link at 425 Town Plaza Ave. on June 25, 2020. By then, the concept had solidified. It would be a 22,500-square-foot hub for tech entrepreneurs — and others — to launch and grow their companies. It was to be a coworking space and innovation incubator that allowed members to balance career, family and recreation, a place to “learn, play, think and do.”
It would be a smart building with cutting edge technology, low-voltage lighting and innovative fire suppression and security systems. Amenities would include audio and podcast recording studios, free highspeed WiFi and the Costa Coffee Smart Café, capable of vending more than 200 flavors of coffee drinks.
For professionals, the link would offer office-space solutions, including desks, meeting rooms, virtual office space and a mail service. For all members, there would be a variety of activities, classes and entertaining events. For kids, there would be camps.
Inside, visitors would find Ocean Sole sculptures, paintings by Susanne Schuenke and the Flagler Health+ Immersive Studio, a 360-degree experience.
The Misras cut the ribbon on the link on July 14, 2021, kicking off a multi-day Grand Opening celebration.
In the following months, Sapna Academy was added, and an entrepreneurial summit was held. There was a Hispanic Festival, a series of Kids’ Nights Out, a robotics competition, the Future In ___ Series and new multi-tier membership options.
Friday, on the link’s first anniversary, the community is invited to a Business Expo and Family Olympics.
The expo will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about local businesses that so frequently have no storefront and therefore may go unnoticed by the community. Business owners and staff will be on hand to meet the public and chat about their products and services.
Meanwhile, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Family Olympics will be going on outside. This will offer families quality time together while taking part in some timeless outdoor games.
Both events are free to attend, though attendees are asked to register in advance. Go to thelink.zone/events-1 and click on the link at the top left titled “Join Us in Commemorating Our 1st Year Anniversary.”