“Wow, what a great location you guys have!” seems to be the reoccurring phrase for new visitors at our storefront in Saskatoon. And while we’ve devoted a lot of time and effort to merchandising and laying out our space, we’re actually part of something larger than just our business.
Ideas Inc. is a board-run business incubator who operates the building that we are in. The wonderful gentlemen who manage Ideas Inc. are not only our landlords but advice-givers and business resources for when we need a sounding board to try to decide if our ideas are completely crazy or not. They put on events that are focused on the entrepreneurial start-up spirit and provide access to mentors who are pillars of the Saskatoon business community.
Beyond those perks, there’s the actual business ecosystem in the building to interact with. Believe it or not, new businesses–regardless of their industry–seem to have many of the same problems, so we go next door and visit our neighbours or slip into the common space and we have conversations and ask questions and engage each other to help others avoid the pitfalls that we’ve experienced.
It’s pretty cool.
And we feel pretty cool for being a part of this forward-thinking environment.
Some of our neighbours are also our clients and put their trust in us to give them product and design recommendations for their promotional needs. We’ve printed plastic beer cups for High Noon Barbershop; camp-style coffee mugs for Blue Moose Media and Ideas Inc. had us design a graphic for an order of tote bags for their Street Stall Saturdays.
One of the most exciting things to see at Ideas Inc. is when a business “graduates” from the incubator environment and moves on to a space that reflects the growth and evolution of a company. The most notable example is our friends at 9 Mile Legacy Brewing who now have a fantastic space a stones-throw from us on 20th Street. Our goal is to someday follow their example.