Z Living Systems
Robert Zacks, founder of the vertical garden company, Z-Living Systems, has a skill for assessing and improving product designs. In 2010, after graduating from Cal Poly with an Entrepreneurship degree, Zacks noticed that the market for vertical gardens was rapidly growing. He ordered a vertical garden from an online retailer, built it and then took it apart. In doing so, Zacks realized significant opportunities to improve the design. 2012 was a landmark year for Zacks and Z-Living Systems as the company finished building a working prototype, was accepted into the SLO HotHouse Accelerator program and became a Cal Poly SBDC client.
As a Cal Poly SBDC client, Zacks worked closely with SBDC Consultant and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Dan Weeks. Weeks consulted with Zacks on a wide range of topics, from Business Development to Hiring to Business Strategy, and has played a monumental role in their growth. Zacks also met with Kurt Friedmann, an SBDC specialty consultant with expertise in Customer Development. They met regularly to discuss and review customer interview methods. Cal Poly’s SBDC Director, Judy Mahan, helped set up a $105,000 loan agreement between Zacks and a mentor to Z-Living Systems, through the form of a Line of Credit Agreement. Additionally, Mahan provided advice and guidance for the incorporation process of Z-Living Systems. Z-Living Systems started to flourish as a result of the guidance from SBDC Consultants. Zacks brought on two teammates, Chad Kihm and Jasmine McDermott, to help with the company’s growth. In March of 2014, the team landed a $125,000 contract with the Urban Community developer, Playa Vista. The team will execute this contract, which is the third largest living wall in California, in the summer of 2014. Z-Living Systems is also in talks with another company for a sizeable contract deal.
- Client Z Living Systems
- Date December 10, 2014
- Tags Business to Business, Design
- URL Client Website