New Business Incubator Launched in the Auburn Research Park

5/10/2011

Auburn, AL—Through its operating agreement with Auburn University, the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation (ARTF) has established the Auburn Business Incubator. This incubator will be a full-service, mixed-use business incubator with the overall mission of facilitating the commercialization of university and community derived technologies and services through new business ventures.

The ARTF is a university-affiliated non-profit corporation formed to support the mission of the University, particularly in the areas of research and economic development, and is developing and operating the Auburn Research Park.

The first phase of the incubator is located in Building 570 in the Auburn Research Park with subsequent phases to follow as the demand grows and resources become available. The incubator has closed offices and open cubicles, receptionist, kitchenette, high speed copier/printer/fax machine, individual telephones, and both wired and wireless internet connectivity. In addition, shared use conference rooms with teleconferencing and audiovisual capabilities are available.

“This new incubator fills a void in the local economic development infrastructure for supporting the transition from concept to business development and commercialization. Formation of the incubator reflects the collaborative initiatives between Auburn University, City of Auburn, the State of Alabama,” according to Dr. John D. Weete, executive director of the ARTF and research park. “Two key individuals responsible for making this happen are AU vice president for research Dr. John M. Mason and Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.”

Dr. Mason adds “I’m really pleased to see the incubator coming online. It is a critical component of our efforts to leverage research expertise in order to facilitate technology transfer, develop industry partnerships, form and nurture new business ventures, and attract knowledge-based companies to the Auburn Research Park.”

As it grows and matures over time, the aim is for the incubator to provide a network of support services tailored to the needs of start-up and early stage companies. These services may include, but not be limited, to cost-effective space and flexible leases, networking opportunities, shared business services and equipment, assistance in accessing investment and grant funds, management assistance, connectivity to resources at Auburn University, and generating an integrated network of entrepreneurs in the Auburn/Opelika and regional communities. The incubator will work closely with the local angel network and other investors to assist incubator clients to obtain investments.

“As someone who started a business and built it from the ground up, I know how challenging it is to step out and take that risk,” Speaker Hubbard (R-Auburn) said. “We are constantly looking for ways to help businesses not only survive, but thrive in this state. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to put together at the Auburn Research Park because I know it is going to make a real difference. That next big idea that changes the world just might be hatched in the Auburn Business Incubator.”

The incubator will work closely with the economic development department of the City of Auburn. Phillip Dunlap, director, believes that “the Auburn Business Incubator is an asset which will enable us to place an emphasis on the recruitment of knowledge based projects in partnership with ARTF and Auburn University to our community”.

A key development for the incubator and new start-up companies that require early stage investment is the Auburn Angel Network. "We believe that the establishment of the Auburn Business Incubator is major step forward in creating a dynamic entrepreneurial environment for the entire East Alabama region. We look forward to locating the Auburn Angel Network office in the incubator and are excited about the possibility of providing equity funding and advice to many of the early stage companies that will be based out of the incubator", said Jim Corman, founder of the Auburn Angel Network.

Further information and on-line application to the incubator can be found at www.auburnbusinessincubator.com or by contacting Dr. Weete at 334.844.7480 or weetejd@auburn.edu or assistant director Phil Dunlap at tpdunlap@auburn.edu or 334.844.7462.