Neat Enables Grow America to Build Better Connections With People

Amy Martin, Feb 1, 2024

After creating a new and exciting modern workspace in New York for its passionate US employees and contractors, community and economic development nonprofit organization Grow America combines Microsoft Teams with Neat’s pioneering devices to ensure its remote and in-office employees stay closely connected, engaged, and productive to help others more effectively.

Grow America, formerly NDC, is the first dedicated American community and economic development nonprofit organization. Founded in 1969, Grow America focuses on four program areas: investments in community development, innovative lending and entrepreneurial support, advisory support for community and economic development, and professional education and training. Grow America’s mission is to invest capital to craft equitable, vibrant futures and improve millions of people’s lives through new economic opportunities. Grow America plans to invest more than $10 billion into communities nationwide in the next ten years.

Ensuring employees can naturally connect without fuss

Comprising a passionate team of employees and contractors across the US, Grow America has always been a remote and hybrid workplace using Microsoft Teams technology to keep its employees connected and productive. The organization recently decided to open a new modern headquarters in New York City that prioritizes collaborative hybrid work. Grow America wanted to create a “hero” space where employees were excited to work and be proud to invite partners and investors.

A crucial part of creating that new office was deploying state-of-the-art video conferencing technology that makes it easy for employees to connect seamlessly and naturally with remote teammates and partners. Neat devices work seamlessly with Microsoft Teams, making Neat a natural choice for Grow America’s CTO Antonio Palumbo.

Since we were already using Microsoft technology, it was a no-brainer to incorporate Neat devices with Teams integration. We wanted to elevate our space with technology and features that provided a “wow” factor, so our employees enjoy coming into the office to build stronger connections with clients, catch up with coworkers and foster stronger relationships.

Antonio Palumbo, CTO, Grow America
Neat Board is perfect for fostering spontaneous, casual collaboration in Grow America’s office “chill space,” giving employees the freedom to sit or move where they like while staying wholly engaged with their remote teammates or other meeting attendees.

Power for people to meet where they like

In the new office, Grow America created eight unique spaces to facilitate quick and seamless meetings among employees and clients, whether in-house or remote. Neat devices in these spaces have proven incredibly beneficial, bridging the gap caused by travel constraints and enhancing client interactions.

One of the spaces is a “chill space” designed to foster spontaneous, casual collaboration. It includes couches, a pantry and a coffee bar, and is a setting where our all-in-one 65″ multi-touch screen Neat Board is ideally suited. Neat Board gives Grow America’s employees the freedom to sit or move where they like, even to make a coffee, while still being able to see and hear their remote colleagues or clients and remain wholly engaged.

Additionally, Grow America has deployed Neat Bar in its larger conference room, which has proved invaluable during board meetings. With over 20 members in attendance, our patented, pioneering Neat Symmetry feature ensures that everyone shares equal screen space regardless of how far back or apart they are in the room, so they’re always seen and heard during meetings, enhancing the overall experience for all involved.

Neat Bar helps bring superior-quality audio and video to Grow America’s meeting, huddle, or focus rooms for up to ten people. It includes a Neat Pad, our dynamic touch screen, which employees can use to control their meetings or display room availability outside the room.

Swift and simple deployment and device management

Neat devices provide a compelling reason for employees to come to the office since they’re easy and intuitive to use and deliver an exceptional experience for collaborating with remote colleagues and clients. Because Microsoft Teams works seamlessly on Neat devices, minimal training was required to get employees comfortable using the technology.

Plus, despite Grow America’s limited IT staff, the organization could quickly and easily deploy our devices. As a nonprofit, Grow America appreciated Neat’s simple setup and ease of use, which helped IT save money by not requiring extra professional IT support. Grow America is now using Neat Pulse to provide ongoing monitoring and management of their deployment.

Neat Pulse was a big help during our recent rebrand. After half a century, we changed our company name from NDC to Grow America. I could reconfigure all of our Neat devices from my laptop in minutes. We could set up the devices out of the box quickly, and it saved me from hiring an extra team member because I could do everything myself. We’re not constantly updating software and won’t have to swap out our devices every year because Neat continues to invest in its technology and features, ensuring it meets our immediate and long-term needs.

Antonio Palumbo, CTO, Grow America

Providing immense value for Grow America’s mission

While Grow America isn’t in a technology business, Palumbo recognizes Neat’s technology has the power to move its mission forward and make a difference in the lives of other business owners. Grow America’s investment in Neat enables remote meeting participants to feel like they’re in the same room as those at the office, aligning with the company’s mission to connect with people nationwide to inspire new economic developments.

At the end of the day, Neat makes us look good. Neat provides immense value by helping our team collaborate no matter where they are. It also enhances our image to our clients, lending partners and employees, ensuring they have optimal remote experiences.

Antonio Palumbo, CTO, Grow America

Discover more about Neat’s pioneering video devices and Neat Pulse. Better yet, book a demo!