What’s the big idea?

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Any company with ‘idea’ included in its name has to live up to it. As the originator of high-performance dry erase paint, IdeaPaint has done just that. IdeaPaint transforms any smooth surface into a boundless erasable canvas to encourage collaboration, facilitate creativity and accelerate innovation in offices anywhere. Every single wall in their new downtown Boston headquarters is covered with IdeaPaint where employees, guests and the community are encouraged to Leave Your Mark. Spending an afternoon with IdeaPaint’s VP of Corporate Development, Jeff Avallon gave us some insights on how and why the space works well.

Jeff Avallon

Q: How did you end up at 40 Broad Street in downtown Boston?

From our inception it has been important that our space be energetic and one with the community.  One of our first spaces was in the Back Bay at street level; we realized how important it is to our brand to have people outside our organization engage with us on a daily basis. 40 Broad Street offers us a prime location with the street level exposure where the outside community can see our IdeaPaint walls in action and we can invite them in for a discussion.

Q: So, what is your mission at IdeaPaint?

Our mission is to improve the way people work. We pride ourselves on empowering spaces and enhancing design to make teams, organizations and companies the most effective they can be. We have certainly achieved our mission in our Broad Street space and are happy it is in a visible and accessible location. We have the ability to welcome in the business, design and broader community to experience IdeaPaint. Most recently we hosted a number of breakfast discussions during Boston Ideas Week which allowed community members to brainstorm ways to improve our city.

Q: What has been some of your bigger spatial challenges throughout your company’s stages?

Our big challenge was finding a space that allows us to use our office for both running our everyday business and serving as a showroom for IdeaPaint. Ground-level space is typically used for retail purposes so identifying the right space became a challenge. JLL understood our need and was able to help us convince our landlord that this ground-level space should be used for a non-traditional retail purpose.

Q: What are you anticipating your future space challenges to be?

Our overall business plan calls for aggressive growth. We know we must understand what is happening in other markets around the country as well as globally. As a startup, we have to rely on others for good information. JLL is able to provide us research and data that speaks to innovative economies around the world. Understanding the top metro numbers globally provides a basis for appropriate next steps for our future growth.

Q: For startups and entrepreneurs just starting out, what are your top 3 recommendations when it comes to addressing office space?

  • Your space has to represent your brand and the culture of your company.
  • Consider what is most important to your people and future talent.
  • Leave enough time, and don’t discount the design and utilization of your space.


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