Friday, September 18, 2009

Dublin readies "Green Incubator"

This Week Community News : City readies DEC for green businesses

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:51 PM
ThisWeek Staff Writer
Seventeen tenants have moved into the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center since its opening in April at 7003 Post Road.

According to Dana McDaniel, the city's director of economic development, the DEC has experienced so much success that Dublin will lease the last remaining suite of five offices to retain space for a green incubator.

"I'm pleased to tell you that we're experiencing great progress since opening in April of this year," McDaniel told city council last week.

Council members approved a resolution establishing the green incubator to "promote the creation of new green companies and green technology resulting in new green jobs," McDaniel said.

The city has identified 27 green companies in and around Dublin that could find a home in the green incubator, McDaniel said.

"Five companies have expressed interest," he said.

Dublin will pay up to $25,000 per year for two years to retain the space. The money for the rent is already in the budget, McDaniel said.

Once the city recruits green startup businesses for the DEC, McDaniel said the companies will pay their own rent or the city will help subsidize the cost.

While the city has subsidized the rent of a few tenants at the DEC, McDaniel said he doesn't think that is the reason businesses have been drawn there.

"I really do believe it has not been that we're subsidizing," he told council. "That's only been with a few (tenants)."

McDaniel said the DEC's success rests on opportunities such as networking, co-working, training and more.

"I attribute a lot of our success to social media," he said.

The city has partnered with Sandy Blanquera of Social Boomerang and TechLife Columbus on several social media and networking opportunities that helped spread the word about the DEC, McDaniel said.

As more startups find out about the DEC and current companies expand, reserving space for a green incubator is necessary, the city says.

According to a staff report, "11 additional startup companies, some with multiple employees, have expressed an interest in locating at the DEC. It is possible that all offices on the second, third and fourth floors of the DEC will be leased by year end."

Vitality Distributing, the company that produces the caffeinated water Avitae, "is retaining two offices on the fourth floor and has leased half the offices on the second floor due to its growing staff," the staff report said.

The city is working on offering continuing opportunities and is discussing offering cubicle leases, McDaniel said.

"People are actually interested in that type of thing," he said.


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