Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Dublin Entrepreneurial Center Offering Collaboration and Dynamic Space for Emerging and New Businesses

By Denise Baker

The city of Dublin believes that collaborative space makes dynamic places. No where is this more true than the new Dublin Entrepreneurial Center ( ), 7003 Post Road, which officially opened on Thursday, March 19.

The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center, also known as DEC, is located in the heart of Innovation Park, the City’s planned 1,300-acre tech park. This location is the ideal place to position innovative start-up companies to grow into industry-leading businesses.

“The DEC was created to provide entrepreneurs with as many resources as possible in order to turn great ideas into thriving ventures by providing help every step along the way,” said Dana McDaniel, Dublin City Manager/Director of Economic Development.

However, the DEC is not an incubator. The DEC was designed specifically for those emerging companies who do not need or are past the incubator stage.
“Not every company needs an incubator,” said McDaniels.

The DEC offers new and emerging companies office space, wi-fi and access to all the resources of the DEC and the collective partners and start-up businesses housed in the DEC. “This is not just a bricks and mortar endeavor,” said McDaniels. “It’s about collaborative relationships. That is what gets your idea to market.” According to Brian Pitzer, president and CEO or Avitae, the access to great resources such as Avitae’s business partners and mentors was enough for him to move the company from its former location to the DEC.“In addition, being at the DEC helps us appear to be larger than life and more mature than our former office space,” said Pitzer. “And the space here allows us to quickly and easily grow and physically expand." Since moving the company to DEC in November, Avitae has grown from two offices eight.

The DEC will also be home to the Dublin Entrepreneurial College.This college, established by Bob Mahaffey, president and CEO of Dublin-based Xcelerate Media, offers a three-month program beginning in June that will train students to start their own businesses. Before they can graduate, students submit a business plan, vetted by the college’s faculty, to investors.The college will offer course in products and services, sales, fulfillment, operations, legal, accounting/finance and sales and marketing. These classes will be taught by entrepreneurs and professional instructors – all of whom own part of the college in the true spirit of entrepreneurship.

The DEC is designed to bring needed small-business services closer to the Dublin residents and the 70,000-plus workforce coming to Dublin every day. However, it’s not just for DublinDublin, including Marysville and Bellefontaine. residents. A major partner DEC partner is TechColumbus. With an office in the DEC, TechColumbus is in the perfect location to reach out to communities surrounding Dublin.

Rick Coplin, Business Development representative, TechStart, describes DEC as more of a graduate center. “TechColumbus is a DEC partner because we believe in the mission of DEC,” said Copelin. “This small business development center is set about by its partnerships and collaborative nature.”In addition to the offices and services offered by DEC, the location will also host monthly Jelly meetings on the third Thursday of each month. A Jelly is casual co-working at a public space for work-at-home professional, entrepreneurs, start-ups, telecommuters and freelancers. No more working in isolation at home or at a coffee shop. During Jellies, participants have access to services in addition to working in an atmosphere designed for people to share ideas, collaborate and network. As Bonny Roberts, founder of QWirk Coworking and Collaboration quips, “No more pitching ideas in the living room to the family dog.”

The first Jelly meeting will be held Thursday, March 26 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. While there is no cost to participate in a Jelly, you are asked to make a reservation to ensure adequate space. Please visit for more information. Also, the DEC is open to other ideas for meetings, small business gatherings, meet-ups and Tweet-ups. For more information about obtaining office space, tapping into the small business services or to arrange a meeting, please contact:

Dana McDaniel
Deputy City Manager/Director of Economic Development
One-stop resources available at the DEC:
· Center for Innovative Food Technology – an Edison Center (
· City of Dublin (
· Columbus State Community College Center for Workforce Development (
· Ohio Statewide Development Corp. (
· Small Business Development Council (
· TechColumbus (
Companies already located at the DEC:
  • DHB Networks/AirWiz (
  • Opticon Medical (
  • Runnymede Capital Advisors (
  • Socius (
  • Vitality Distributing (
Partners and collaborators helping to sponsor DEC activities or membership benefits to assist Dublin companies:
  • BioOhio (
  • Columbus Chamber (
  • Commercial One Realtors (
  • Dublin Chamber of Commerce (
  • EnteraTech (
  • Federal Lab Consortium (
  • Japan-America Society of Central Ohio (
  • Ohio Department of Development (
  • Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition (
  • Platform Lab (
  • Polymer Ohio (
  • Qwirk (
  • Social Boomerang
  • State Science & technology Institute (
  • TechLife Columbus ( -
  • Union County Chamber of Commerce (
  • Xcelerate Media (


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