The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center

Dublin’s Economic Development Department, and TechColumbus have partnered to develop an entrepreneurial center in Dublin, Ohio.The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (The DEC) has been in the planning and development stages for over two years, and has had a home at 7003 Post Road since the fall of 2008.Located in the heart of Dublin’s Innovation Park, the 40,000 square foot building is prime space for growing an innovative, entrepreneurial company. The City of Dublin has planned an Open House for The DEC on Thursday, March 19th beginning at 7:30 a.m., complete with ribbon cutting and catered breakfast. Register officially for the event and also let others know you are joining the celebration at the Columbus Tech Meetup. Feel free to come and go as your schedule permits.

The idea for an entrepreneurial center first took shape when The City of Dublin’s Deputy City Manager and Director of Economic Development, Dana McDaniel, evaluated the Department’s standard focus on attraction and retention for larger companies.He reasoned that his team’s efforts also needed to concentrate on reaching out to, supporting and nurturing entrepreneurs and early stage businesses if Dublin’s business community and economic base was to thrive. Mr. McDaniel frequently points out that if he can nurture the long tail – startups and companies with a just a few employees with growth potential – the next Cardinal Health might already be or soon be planted in Dublin.After visiting Dublin and meeting with Dana McDaniel in the fall of 2008, David Strom captured this sentiment well in his article It Takes a Long-Tailed Village.The Long Tail in Central Ohio is fertile ground, and also full of risk and uncertainty, which are not the normal purview of government economic development efforts.

Enter TechColumbus, which forged an agreement in 2007 to locate a satellite office in Dublin and bring its significant resources, experience and expertise to bear in partnering with Dublin to cultivate the vibrant community of entrepreneurs and growth focused businesses.TechColumbus concentrates its efforts on innovative technology based businesses – those that have potential for rapid revenue and employee growth.The partnership between Dublin and TechColumbus has already yielded significant results, such as investment in a Dublin company via the Regional Commercialization Fund. These results will be addressed in a future DEC update blog. The DEC is modeled on the successful TechColumbus incubator located on Kinnear Road in Columbus, but does not duplicate it. Think in terms of a “graduate center” for companies already having some success and wanting to build on that success by being in close proximity to other entrepreneurial companies. With staffed offices located at The DEC, TechColumbus is uniquely positioned to focus on Dublin’s Long Tail in partnership with Dublin's Economic Development team.

Much of the work of the Dublin Economic Development team and TechColumbus is centered around setting the conditions of place and environment to support and nurture innovative companies as they grow into successful Dublin based businesses. The Key concept behind The DEC is to assemble a number of organizations, people and activities together in one Dublin location that also houses several entrepreneurial businesses – a solid foundation for success.

The DEC is a focal point for entrepreneurs, hosting several entities that provide a myriad of on-site support for innovative companies, including community oriented education and workforce programs, training, Edison Centers as well as being home to multiple early stage and growing entrepreneurial companies (to be covered in a future DEC update blog).Physically, The DEC is taking shape to offer a creative atmosphere encouraging idea-sharing and collaboration as well as a high demand training center.Resources at The DEC include or will soon include:

In addition to these organizations, The DEC offers:

  • Training room accommodating 20+ people (reservations required)
  • Large open spaces for meetings, events and networking (reservations required)
  • Offices available for lease – single offices to multiple offices through Tom Burrows with Commercial One Realtors

The DEC is ideal for hosting training courses, meetings, networking events etc. The DEC will host several co-working and networking events in the near term:

  • Ideas to Deals…LIVE – The SBDC will host its popular Ideas to Deals…LIVE course at the DEC on Thursday, March 19th, 2009, during the Open House. Led by Mike BowersI2DLive is designed for entrepreneurs interested in turning their business idea into an opportunity worthy of angel or venture investment. Additional SBDC courses will be held throughout the year.
  • Monthly Dublin Jellies – Organized by Jelly Columbus – These informal meetings are designed for entrepreneurs to come and work alongside other entrepreneurs, network and learn during special lunchtime topics.The first Dublin Jelly is planned for March 26th, 2009.
  • Business Builders Club (BBC) – the entrepreneurial club at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. Occasional events and meetings sponsored by the BBC will be held at The DEC, such as the IdeaPitch business competition planned for the spring of 2009. The BBC is a catalyst for the development of Ohio State's entrepreneurial student body.

There is much going on and planned for The DEC in 2009 and work to set the conditions for success will be ongoing and involve the broader central Ohio technology community.  MidWest TechBiz will be posting regular updates as we prepare for the Open House on Thursday, March 19th, 2009.  MidWest TechBiz will also be posting updates for The DEC throughout this year, including overviews of tenants, details on the Dublin-TechColumbus partnership, ongoing developments etc.

You can keep up with news and events in several ways:

Join us for the Open House and come see what The DEC is all about and is rapidly becoming. Register officially and join The DEC: Synergy. Innovation. Energy.

I work alongside emerging companies on business formation, commercialization strategies, and capital planning. My passion is to find, support, mentor, coach, incubate, & fund start-ups engaged in innovative technology businesses.

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