Finding the "Suite" smell of success
New ventures can grow from anywhere. The founding stories of startups include working out of cars, coffee shops, home offices or wherever entrepreneurs can find a stray Internet connection.It’s an issue that business partners Joseph Raby and Cheni Yerushalmi contended with when staring an online gaming company. They used a Starbucks as their conference room. When they rented office space, they discovered that it required as much attention as their business. “We had some horrific experiences renting office space,” said Yerushalmi, 37. They had to wait months for an Internet connection, paint the place and sand the floors, they said. The hassle led them to a new business idea: shared office space. In 2001, they founded Sunshine Suites, where the motto is “where startups grow up.” The company rents out fully hooked-up workstations to small businesses that pool resources, share conference rooms and kitchens, and network with each other. More than 500 companies with more than 1,000 employees — ranging from graphic designers and wedding planners to lawyers and accountants — set up shop at two downtown locations at 419 Lafayette St. in NoHo and 12 Debrosses St. in TriBeCa. The offices provide all the hipness a business would expect from a downtown address. The TriBeCa space gives off a nightclub vibe with its black-tinted mirrored walls, an enclosed glass waterfall and a reception area adorned in gold lights. One of the big draws for Robert Leocadi, president of Resolution Expediting, when joining the suites was the connection to other entrepreneurs. He was feeling isolated working out of his Upper East Side apartment. “My networking was limited to people I met in the industry or went to school with. Networking was a chore and task,” he said. “When I came here it was instant networking. My business increased by 25 percent.”
"Shiners” can choose from several different packages, ranging from $99 to $375 a month per person.There are no lengthy contracts and depending on the package, desk space; phone service; faxing, scanning, copying and printing services; mailbox/mailing address; and conference rooms equipped with wireless are available.