E@Z offers entrepreneurs more options to connect and grow
Sioux Falls, S.D., November 30, 2016 – The Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship (Zeal) announced today it has partnered with Interstate Office Products (IOP) to open its, E@Z co-working space located at 2329 North Career Avenue in Sioux Falls. The newly finished and dedicated space, furnished by IOP, offers entrepreneurs a flexible space to work and engage with Zeal and it’s business-building resources without a long-term commitment.
“Our partnership with Interstate Office Products has made it possible to open this vibrant co-working space at Zeal,” said Rich Naser, Jr., President of the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship. “After working on our own remodel, we realized they had start-up friendly products, expertise in trends and a real connection to our entrepreneurship industry–from that a strategic partnership just evolved,” he added.
As part of the partnership, IOP provided an initial investment with a 5-year commitment coupled with the donation and loan of furnishings totaling approximately $25,000 in value in addition to lending their expertise and “touches" in finishing out the space.
“This is a new and unique initiative for Interstate Office Products,” said Gary Gaspar, co-owner and President of Interstate Office Products. “We are passionate in our support of the Chamber, Forward Sioux Falls and other economic development efforts to grow and attract new business. It was Zeal’s track record of success that was appealing to us.”
The 1,100 square-foot dedicated co-working space within Zeal includes 9 private work stations, and 12 “drop-in” seating options with rotating pieces from IOP showcasing trends and accessories as well as an executive office, lockers and meeting room.
“Our business is about creating high performance and sustainable work environments that bring people together to focus, collaborate, socialize and learn,” said Sheila Casiello, co-owner and vice president of Interstate Office Products. “This new co-working space aims to do just that. It allows us to provide resources to emerging businesses moving in, working, and growing out of Zeal while showcasing our products and lending expertise to make that happen.”
E@Z month-to-month membership includes semi-private VLAN with Gigabit Internet (powered by Midco® Business), firewall and IT protection and support, mentoring, use of private meeting space, and access to Zeal’s main collaboration space and fitness room with options for a dedicated mailbox, desk and locker.
“Research and trends are relevant to companies of all sizes in their ability to create a dynamic workplace to attract the talent they need to grow and provide an environment for innovation and creativity,” added Gaspar. “The workplace is changing. We’re finding the millennials prefer to control where and how they work; and need a range of settings that aren’t desk-based where they feel comfortable and inspired.”
IOP offers industry-leading brands including the start-up culture of the Turnstone brand and distribution and special pricing and financing options for start-up and emerging companies through the Steelcase brand in partnership with the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA)–
the trade association for business incubation and entrepreneurship.
“The E@Z co-working space is the result of our focus to accommodate the various needs of entrepreneurs, and engage them at various stages of development,” added Naser. “This gives both another option for a collaborative working environment and opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap-in to Zeal’s network and resources.”
The joint effort with Interstate Office Products marks the third strategic partnership for Zeal this year, having previously announced a venture with Midco to provide gigabit internet to its residents and an on-going initiative to drive innovation and entrepreneurship with The First National Bank in Sioux Falls that launched with their investment of $50,000 to seed an accelerator fund.
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About the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship (Zeal)
The Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship strives to provide a dynamic environment to build successful businesses. Its entrepreneurship ecosystem brings the area's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders together with universities, venture capital, and civic and government agencies to increase the speed to launch and success rate of early-stage companies. Offerings through Zeal include business accelerator and incubation programs, mentoring, infrastructure, office, laboratory and co-working space, networking opportunities and resource referrals.
Since its inception, Zeal client companies have collectively created more than 728 new jobs with an average salary of nearly $70,000 and secured more than $172 million in equity funding. In addition, entrepreneurs associated with Zeal hold 65 patents with an additional 49 pending. For information, go to: www.realzeal.com.
Interstate Office Products (IOP)
Founded in 1971, Interstate Office Products has been creating high performance, sustainable work environments that bring people together to focus, collaborate, socialize and learn for more than 45 years. Locally owned by Gary Gaspar and Sheila Casiello, IOP strives to provide exceptional quality office furniture; interior design, space planning and installation services with an emphasis on excellent customer service to the corporate, healthcare, government and education sectors. Their team of highly trained experts understands the demands and dynamics of today’s work environments and aspires to create great experiences wherever work happens.
IOP represents Steelcase as well as more than 250 other manufacturers to provide a solution that makes sense for each unique facility’s function, aesthetic and budget. The company’s broad portfolio also includes office products, technology products and printing supplies.
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