Up End This

Up End This

Up End This (UET) is a designer and manufacturer of affordable, sustainable, and mobile satellite spaces that can be used in a variety of markets: affordable housing, shelter for the unhoused, satellite office or studio space, small retail, and Airbnb. The Vermont company was founded in 2019 by Michael Zebrowski, CEO, an architect and designer by profession. Michael started UET to address the convergence of the affordable housing crisis, continuing COVID-19 infections, and climate change – which he believes requires us to reimagine our architectural needs as we try to live in a world with limited space and resources. The company is working diligently to choose sustainable and non-toxic materials, sourcing regionally, and prioritizing energy efficient design.

At first introduction, the company’s bookkeeping was not in order, so Flex Fund facilitated the support of a consultant through the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. Then, with timely and accurate financials, the Flex Fund provided UET with a $450,000 investment structured as a flexible revenue-based loan for the company to get to the next stage of growth and support the pipeline of projects. The Flex Fund participated $150,000 of the investment to Northern Community Investment Corporation in St. Johnsbury. The financing was paired with business coaching from the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, funded by the SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program.

Subsequently, in Summer 2023, floods devastated much of Vermont and left chest-deep water in UET’s facility. With extensive machinery damage and delayed manufacturing, the company once again benefited from Flex Fund’s capital- including modifications to the original loan and a small development assistance grant- and compassionate expertise. In 2024, UET is back up and running and taking orders for their satellite units.

Michael Zebrowski, Founder

“We wouldn’t be here without Janice and the others. We just wouldn’t have survived. First, without the funding we would never have gotten to where we are. And the day after the flood, we had a ten person call with the Flex Fund, our VSJF coaches, the Vermont Community Loan Fund. It was insane. To have that support, compassion, and wisdom in the moment, you know…without that we just would not be here.”