Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are You a Virtual Tenant?

“Our virtual community was born the moment we began sharing the grand opening of the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (DEC) online,” says Dana McDaniel Director of Economic Development for the City of Dublin. “We reached out to collaborators, start-ups, businesses and local organizations to join us in our desire to grow small business. Ten months later, our virtual community is a thriving organism vital to economic growth throughout Dublin

and the surrounding areas,” he continues.

The DEC provides tenants free professional programs and training to assist them in gaining new skills and knowledge for success. Many businesses that are not located at the DEC can also benefit from those services. “We’ve opened our doors to the public and new collaborators for mutually beneficial good. This has led to a new kind of tenant we like to call our virtual tenants,” continues McDaniel.

The virtual community consists of many kinds of individuals. Independents and home-based business owners love to co-work at jellies. Small businesses, start-ups and future entrepreneurs enjoy the variety of business classes and networking events offered. Collaborators look for ways to give back to the community by sharing their expertise in the form of training, workshops and presentations. Carolyn Worley is a lawyer and owner of Worley Law, LLC, who is offering her time and expertise to host a “legal clinic” featuring day-long legal presentations at the DEC. “It is only through the generous contributions of our collaborators that we are able to offer our virtual tenants such valuable business expertise like the upcoming legal clinic,” says Sandy Blanquera, the DECs head of engagement and communications.

“The virtual community recognizes the DEC as a community/common space to meet for a variety of reasons,” says Rick Coplin, a Venture Developer from TechColumbus. “The virtual community is providing participants with a new range of contact potential,” he adds, referring to the networking power supported by the DEC.

Members of the Virtual Community can lean on each other for support and referrals as well. Zach Griffin of Evolved Energy Solutions states, “A few business opportunities have come as a direct result of discussions held with DEC affiliates during on site events.” The DEC can serve as a location for Virtual Members to meet-up and work with one another too, “Regardless of one’s affiliation, everyone at the DEC has always been open to engage in conversation and collaboration,” Zach states, speaking about co-working events.

“The DEC provides a sense of community and belonging – I like seeing the interaction between people and groups,” says Tom Williams of InnoGage. Tom is a member of the Virtual Community and has hosted events at the DEC in the past, such as the AMA Social Media SIG event held in early November. “The DEC provides the “brick and mortar” component to the community; a great location that takes our Virtual Community and makes critical connections between entrepreneurs at events, training sessions and even co-working,” he adds.

The shared online neighborhood is located on various social sites. If you would like to become a part of our community and engage in upcoming events, please check these sites for further information:



Facebook (TechLife)

Facebook (DEC)


Tune in next time. ~ Kevin Uland


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