Hamilton County Business Center expands out of incubating

Like the start ups that have grown out of its incubators, the Hamilton County Business Center is expanding services, offering office space to companies that want to stick around after their incubation phase ends.

HcBC is leasing space at its 1775 Mentor Ave. building in Norwood to growing companies. The 1775 building is just across the street from HCBC's main building. So far, three companies are currently in the building: Sheet Dynamics, MobileTEK Consulting, and  Transmissions LLC.

"All three have graduated from the incubator program in the last nine months, and this allows them to continue to be in an environment where they can have conversations with us. They're also giving back to our companies by being mentors. So we have plenty of plusses for everyone," said HCDC Director Patrick Longo.

MobileTEK distributes computing products to police, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders who need rugged, mobile computers. The company joined the business center in 2005 and grew from one to four employees before moving into the new 1775 Building space.

“The Business Center provides an environment that is very conducive to growth and planning,” said MobileTEK owner Howard Mandel. “And resources that you can tap into for help.”

The center leases the space at market rates, provideing HCDC with a new, sustainable revenue stream. The center, which receives state funds, has had its budget cut like many other programs.

"This is a way to stabilize the program so we don’t have so many ebbs and flows," Long said.

For businesses in the new space, its value is beyond the physical space itself.

"Right now we have 49 companies under one roof. That is pretty exciting space. Graduating companies like the idea that they can turn to us for a quick coaching session, and be around other entrepreneurs. Our space is similar to other spaces, but that entrepreneurial creative space is something other places don't have," Longo said.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Patrick Longo, HCBC Director
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