There are few things we love to see more than watching the zWORKS’ mission play out right before our eyes. That couldn’t be more true as we witness the growth and success that our friends at AERIFY.io have achieved. What was a small idea with humble beginnings at zWORKS turned into a growing business.
Co-founder Aaron Toops worked in IT managed services and saw first hand the frustrations customers experienced with their IT services. As with most great ideas, Aaron and AERIFY.io’s other co-founder, Rob Michels hatched an idea over a few drinks. Between Aaron’s background in IT and Rob’s background in operations, business development, and marketing, they founded AERIFY.io. The company was founded with the idea that technology should be simple, safe, and fast. Computers should just work, and when they don’t, an expert should be available to fix it quickly and efficiently.
But how do you turn an idea into a startup? You join zWORKS. Aaron and Rob credit zWORKS with providing a foundation to turn their idea into a reality.
“Having an actual place to go to work on our business was what made it real from day one,” says Aaron. “We couldn’t possibly take on the risk and long-term commitment of renting a space, but rather zWORKS allowed us to invest our resources in things that really mattered when getting started.”
As AERIFY.io grew over the next few years, the COVID-19 pandemic really shed light on the need for cloud-based technology in order for companies to maintain business continuity. That certainly helped propel AERIFY.io even further to more growth, but being involved in a co-working community had its fair share of benefits.
“Our business growth is heavily dependent on referrals and networking,” says Rob. “So we stay connected and talk to people at all of the co-working spaces.”
Aaron adds that it is more than just help with generating leads. There’s so much to learn from getting involved at a co-working space like they have at zWORKS. With such a wide variety of members and partners working together at zWORKS, they were able to tap into expertise they didn’t have on their own.
“Everyone we have come across is happy to help. You just have to be brave enough to ask,” comments Aaron. “We knew starting out there were things we didn’t know. The hardest part is that we didn’t know what we didn’t know!”
The AERIFY.io team took advantage of leveraging all of the shared experiences of other startups and using them as a sounding board when they needed some perspective on how to approach a business challenge. Another advantage that they say was important to their success was the programming and events that zWORKS facilitated for members. These resources brought people together and kept the conversation going among fellow entrepreneurs.
“You get out what you put into it when you join a co-working space,” says Rob. “Take advantage of the programing, lean into the idea that you have to get in there to get the most out of it, but also be an open book and help others.”
AERIFY.io has recently graduated from co-working and moved to their very own office space, right around the corner from zWORKS in Zionsville. But that doesn’t mean they are abandoning their zWORKS membership. They plan to stay involved.
“We’re maintaining our membership, but we feel strongly about giving back to the community that gave so much to us,” says Rob. “We’re planning to still attend events and get to know our fellow entrepreneurs. There is still a lot left to learn.”
AERIFY.io is looking forward to continued growth. Future plans include expansion and being able to replicate what they have started in Zionsville. They are always on the lookout for good talent, especially in the tech space. Keep an eye out for their next move!