Southeast Business Incubator Opening April 1

Photo of the Southeast Innovation Center

The incubator is located at 920 Broadway, part of the former First Baptist Church property. The Innovation Center encourages development of new businesses and technologies.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Feb. 19, 2007 – Start-up businesses looking for office space while they get their feet on the ground should look no more.

That’s because Southeast Missouri State University’s Business Incubator will again have space available when it opens its remodeled third floor on April 1.

The incubator is located at 920 Broadway, part of the former First Baptist Church property. The Innovation Center encourages development of new businesses and technologies.

The incubator space, which currently is being renovated, will offer 12 new office spaces totaling 4,200 square feet.

Gina Harper with Southeast’s Innovation Center says the spaces in the incubator vary in size and configuration from 80 to 1,100 square feet each.

“An incubator is a facility where a start-up business can be nurtured until it is a viable company and can move out into the business community on its own,” Harper said. “We are here to help the business owner with resources to nurture and grow their business.”

Most start-up businesses remain in an incubator for an average of three years, she said, adding small business that get their start in an incubator have a significantly higher rate of survival than those locating outside an incubator.

“We welcome all businesses to apply,” Harper said. “The goal is to attract businesses in the areas of research, light manufacturing, technology or service.”

There are already five business committed to location in the newly remodeled area.  The winners of Southeast’s Student Entrepreneurship Program also will be housed in one of the incubator office spaces.

A single office rental fee includes daily mail service, weekly janitorial services, all utilities, free parking near the building and 24-hour building access. Other amenities included in the office price are access to a business receptionist with building scheduling services, and use of a conference room and state-of-the-art training room. Start-ups can be networked to the building copier/printer and use the building fax machine for a small per-page fee.   The University also has many academic resources that a small business owner might find helpful.  Businesses will be required to cover phone services and the one-time LAN line installation, but for only $5 a month, they will have access to the Internet.  For an additional nominal cost, the incubator offers furniture rental to start-ups, subject to availability.

Start-up businesses locating in the incubator will have several advantages, Harper said. In addition to physical space, the Business Incubator will offer business development and planning, off-site equipment and product testing, intern support, referrals to professional services and access to investment capital. They will be encouraged to access the resources of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Missouri Enterprise, all of which are housed within the Innovation Center.

“This is an exciting opportunity for new businesses,” Harper said. “We are offering a facility that is not just overhead lighting and four walls, but instead it is intended to be a ‘home’ for start-up businesses.”