New Business Incubator Opens Doors
While students were taking final exams for the ending 2015 Fall semester, across town Chancellor Cummings was cutting the ribbon to introduce the opening of the Entrepreneurship Incubator on Main Street.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the new building on the Dec. 7 and attendees included members of the Chancellor’s administration and the president of METCON construction. This construction company has worked on many campus sites including the Health Science building, Cyprus Hall and the current project, the Student Health Service and Counseling and Psychology building.
The inside of the incubator is designed with a modern warehouse feel and has an open-floor plan and a lot of exposed natural light.
“I think it’s very cool,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Engaged Affairs Cammy Hunt, “the ceilings are exposed and different things, so it still looks like a downtown building.
According to Dr. Hunt, the incubator is “doing well.” She said that they haven’t signed any clients to move in yet but they have many who are interested so far. Dr. Hunt said that the university has to take care of some logistics with the lease arrangement, that possible workers fill out, before the can have any businesses move into the incubator.
Although there aren’t any businesses so far they are still generating some “excitement according to Dr. Cammy. She said there are graduate students that are preparing entrepreneurship competitions. Clients at the incubator can either choose to be a full time partner for $500 per month, an affiliate for $125 per month or virtual for only $25 per month.
Services include educational and professional development, personalized consulting, university partnership and networking events.
Dr. Hunt said that for now, there would not be any more changes made on the inside of the building but as business grows things will change. They have hired all of the staff except for an administrative help assistant, which they expect soon. The director of the Entrepreneurship Incubator is Dr. James Woods II and the assistant director is Elizabeth Wilkerson.
There are a number of steps that potential clients must go through before they are approved to be apart of the incubator. Dr. Cammy said this includes meeting with Dr. Woods and going over the application that consists of a business plan. After doing that, they would have to present their idea to an advisory board that consists of people from the university and the community. If their criteria is met then they will be approved.
Any potential entrepreneur can contact them by phone at 910-775-4065 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Address is 202 Main Street.