(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another article in our on-going series spotlighting entrepreneurs and initiatives underway in Northeast Tennessee.)
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Coming-up with a creative name for a new enterprise is sometimes challenging, but that’s certainly not the case for Heath Guinn’s latest endeavor in Kingsport.
The name is Sync.Space. What sort of image does that conjure-up for you? Hopefully, it is what Guinn intended – a co-working space where entrepreneurs gather, connect or sync-up, and succeed.
The self-described social entrepreneur who says he “always has three or four things going in three or four different locations” is opening the new 4,000 square foot facility in Downtown Kingsport this week.
“It’s Kingsport’s first co-working space,” Guinn says proudly. The Entrepreneur has spent most of his life based out of Kingsport, holding the distinction of being the first graduate of the city’s Holston Business Development Center (HBDC) 13 years ago.
He sees Sync.Space as a way to give back to his hometown. In fact, most of the upfront funding has come from Guinn and others in the private sector.
“Kingsport is incredibly accessible for entrepreneurs,” he says, adding that Sync.Space is designed to make that even more so. AccelNow, the region’s primary entrepreneurial support organization, will be based in the new facility. That was a condition of Guinn moving forward on his plans.
The East Tennessee State University graduate has launched five businesses – from technology production to strategic communication consulting and from product lines to property management.
With that diverse set of experiences, Guinn says he wants Sync.Space to facilitate more interactions between the community’s creatives, of which he is one, and its strong engineering base. Part of his strategy to achieve that goal is a low membership fee that starts at $50 per month.
That level, described as the basic membership, provides members with access to Sync.Space during normal business hours which are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also included in this membership are access to hot-desks, meeting rooms (as available), and free Wi-Fi. The extended membership plan costs $75 a month and includes the same basic services but more robust access to the facility – 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
When we conducted the interview a few weeks ago, Guinn said he already had signed-up about 15 members.
In addition to the traditional features of co-working facilities – desks or work stations available on a first-come, first-served basis, coffee, Wi-Fi, and conference rooms, Sync.Space will also have several unique offerings.
One of the conference rooms has four barber chairs that Guinn says will provide a unique brainstorming environment, a throwback to the days when people gathered and talked in barber shops. There’s also a 1,000 square foot green screen studio that is insulated for audio recording, such as podcasts, and production of high-end video shows.
Staff from both AccelNow and HBDC will be available to assist entrepreneurs.
Sync.Space’s address is 227 East Sullivan Street.