The Ohio State University South Centers was recently awarded funding by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to conduct an incubator expansion feasibility study.
The EDA investment of $28,205 will be used to hire a consultant to complete an analysis and evaluation of a proposed incubator expansion to determine market demand and sustainability over time.
This study will help define the current and future uses and strategies of the Endeavor Center Business incubator. Completing market research will help us better understand the existing market and anticipated future market potential for business incubation in the region.
The funds for this study are a part of the EDA’s Technical Assistance grant program, which helps local business incubators promote economic development and alleviate unemployment.
“Ohio small businesses support local economies,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “This investment ensures the OSU Endeavor Center in Piketon has the resources it needs to help local businesses expand and bring jobs to the area.”
This investment will assist the Endeavor Center to build on strengths, improve weaknesses, capitalize opportunities and identify threats. Financially, the study should provide projections for potential revenue generation and total project cost expectations.
Finally, and most importantly, the study will assist in determining the need to increase business incubator space in our region.
The Feasibility Study will:
• Complete a market study to help the Endeavor Center understand what types of new spaces should be considered based on the potential for specific start-up companies in the region.
• Review the Endeavor Center’s financial position and provide suggestions regarding expansion feasibility and current / future cash flow.
• Review existing client selection policy and processes and provide feedback to strengthen the application process.
• Review tenant lease or license agreement that enumerates the shared services to be provided; delineates the incubator’s business assistance policy, including the provision of management, technical, and training policies.
• Review the Endeavor Centers business assistance policy and provide suggestions for new ideas and improvement of existing programs.
• Review current staffing levels of the Endeavor Center and business programs to ensure client / partner technical needs are being addressed.
• Develop an incubator performance plan that includes how the incubator will track the success of incubator partners/clients, specifically identifying what performance measurement data the incubator proposes to collect from tenants/partners and for what period of time during and after the service period the data will be collected. This should also include members of any over sight or policy board for the incubator that will be responsible for setting performance goals of the incubator, selecting or approving selections of staff, establishing and reviewing policy, and monitoring performance.