Written by Bram Berkowitz
When Mike Melillo first launched his startup, Dockwa, in 2014, he and his co-founders made what was at the time an unorthodox decision to recruit talent from all over the country. Although employees from outside Rhode Island would need to work remotely, recruiting from a wider geography would allow Dockwa to better compete with larger companies for tech talent.
The strategy seems to have paid off. Dockwa, a platform that allows boaters to book and get quotes for dockage and storage, built out a strong team and has turned into a huge success, now being used at 1,100 marinas across the country.
And when the coronavirus pandemic hit hard in March, the company easily made the switch to remote work and has managed to grow the business during these past few difficult months.
Dockwa’s experience begs the question: Could a large shift to remote work play to Rhode Island’s advantage? Could the state not retain more college graduates, employees and employers if companies could recruit talent from all over the country, and employees could live in Rhode Island and work for companies in other states?
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