Venables Bell Lets Three Entrepreneurs Move In for Next to Nothing

$10 for a year's rental to celebrate 10 years in business

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, San Francisco's Venables Bell & Partners organized an office-space contest. The ad agency posted a listing on Craigslist offering spots in its Union Square offices to entrepreneurs for just $10 for the year. After getting hundreds of applications, VB&P narrowed it to 60, then 14, and then chose three winners: Kalon Gutierrez and Luis Garcia, founders of Schoolbags for Kids, where for every schoolbag sold, one bag with school supplies will be given to a child in need; Patricia Compas-Markman, a CalPoly engineer who invented the DayOne Waterbag, a reusable personal water treatment device used in disaster relief; and Christian Amundson, an engineer turned filmmaker, who was working out of his wife's closet before winning the contest. See more in the video below. "The winners have all made us feel proud to be able to help them out," the agency says. "Not only have they eased right into our company culture, but the three are already talking about ways they can collaborate with the agency and each other." Pretty good deal for the agency, too, it would seem.

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