What makes our project awesome is that it does several things at once. But first, let us tell you about our company, Zokos. Zokos is a hybrid online/traditional retailer of returned e-commerce home goods and hardware. We process and sort and sell returns that previously were being thrown away, thus reducing waste. Using our mulitchannel listing platform we then upload those items to resale platforms like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. We are developing the Zokos business model and the dual hybrid/online sales approach to be an innovative and immerse experience. Our hybrid retail model moves the more attractive items locally and the rest online.

This brings us to the second point – our commitment to South Bend! We are building this model in South Bend and have already hired several local interns to help us and gain experience for themselves in the process. We've also leased space at the Sibley Center (206 E Tutt St, South Bend, IN 46601) and are working with the owners to transform the space into an innovation center for local entrepreneurs. We’d like to use this $1,000 to help rehab our corner of the building and make it a great place for another entrepreneur when we move out. An Awesome Grant would help us build our business, help our interns, and help Zokos reinvent retail in the South Bend community.

The Sibley Center has a storied history in South Bend and part of this former industrial site is currently being used as a maker space. However, the rest of the building is gradually undergoing renovation to make segmented spaces for entrepreneurs to test and grow their companies. Zokos would use the $1,000 to make improvements to our own section and common areas of the Sibley Center and leave it a better place for the next entrepreneur. This would include signage, more fencing for security, and improved locks.

Funded by South Bend, IN (December 2020)