Endeavor Center and Small Business Development Center

By Ryan Mapes, Endeavor Center Manager and Business Development Network Program Leader

Open since 2005, the Ohio State University Endeavor Center, a 27,000 square foot mixed-used business incubator, has come to be recognized as a community leader in economic development as well as a business training and networking hub. The facility has a 2-part mission:

First, to provide four tangible advantages to new and emerging businesses poised for rapid growth; professional office space in flexible configurations, access to advanced technology, networking opportunities with other small businesses, and access to expert business counseling on a free and timely basis. Second, the center seeks to be a positive and visible example of how small businesses successfully navigate the difficult issues faced by all growing small businesses.

Meeting rooms at the Endeavor Center support the dual-purpose mission by providing partners and the business community access to technology and learning space. The OSU Endeavor Center has a number of rentable meeting spaces in a variety of sizes and technology accommodations. The largest room available is classroom 160, with approximately 1,200 square feet and accommodating up to 72 persons seated at tables.  Classroom 165 is approximately 800 square feet and accommodates up to 20 persons seated at tables. Both rooms have a built-in projector and screen, large whiteboard, audio system, large screen TV and CD/DVD combo. Conference room 112 is great for smaller meetings and will seat up to 12 persons in a boardroom style setting. Portable projection units service this room and it has a large whiteboard for use. There is also a 16-unit computer lab with projector available for lease. All classrooms can be rented for ½ or whole days and catering is available.

If you are interested in renting one of our excellent classrooms or in exploring the opportunity to conduct your business from our facility, please call 740-289-1605. We think you will discover the OSU Endeavor Center and its staff have a lot to offer your growing business!

Small business Development Center

The SBDC at the OSU South Centers recently was awarded additional funding from the Ohio Development Services (ODSA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). Innovation Challenge Grant funding opportunities were made available to SBDCs across the state to further enhance the offerings the SBDCs provide to their client base. Local needs were identified and a proposal was developed, submitted and successfully funded to secure resources to assist the staff in meeting the needs of the local business community. This funding will increase levels of staff knowledge through professional certifications, learning software, and trainings. It will also provide access to consultants to assist in exploring opportunities to grow local industries in Southern Ohio. 

Human resource issues affect all industries in Southern Ohio. This funding will enable the SBDC to secure Business & Legal Resource (BLR) software to help businesses in the region to simplify compliance with state and federal legal requirements. BLR is the leading provider of employment, safety, and environmental compliance solutions. Employers know that they can count on BLR’s industry-leading compliance and training resources to keep them out of legal trouble, avoid fines and save money. This will afford the SBDC with the opportunity to help grow established businesses that may not have the capacity to handle common HR problems without assistance.

The forest and wood industry is a major driver in Southern Ohio’s economy. The SBDC and the Ohio Cooperative Development Center are exploring the opportunity of developing a cooperative business model which will construct and operate a wood drying kiln. This facility can be utilized by members of the cooperative to add value to their existing market lumber products. The Challenge Grant helped the SBDC secure funds to hire industry consultants to complete multiple designs for the kiln operation based on the data gathered from a previous survey and follow-up visits with potential users. Additionally, funds will be used to consult with attorneys specializing in the co-op model to assist with the development and vetting of the cooperative’s structure. This additional funding will help support the efforts of this project moving forward. The deliverables from this proposal will be used to complete the feasibility report for the operation, to develop the cooperative’s legal structure, and to provide information to potential co-op members. Industry consultants with expertise in kiln build out and operation and attorneys with expertise in agricultural cooperatives will provide consultations to the project team and potential members of the co-op.