Full-service business incubator launched in Auburn Research Park

AUBURN - The Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, through its operating agreement with Auburn University, has established the Auburn Business Incubator. The full-service, mixed-use business incubator is designed to help with commercialization of university- and community-derived technologies and services through new business ventures.

The Auburn Research and Technology Foundation is a university-affiliated, nonprofit 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.

“This new incubator fills a void in the local economic development infrastructure for supporting the transition from concept to business development and commercialization,” said John Weete, executive director of the foundation and research park. “Formation of the incubator reflects the collaborative initiatives between Auburn University, the City of Auburn and the State of Alabama. Key in making this happen are John Mason, Auburn University vice president for research and Mike Hubbard of Auburn, speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives.”

“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,” said Hubbard. “We are constantly looking for ways to help businesses not only survive, but also 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.”

A key development for the incubator and new startup 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,” said Jim Corman, founder of the Auburn Angel Network. “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.”

The goal of the incubator, as it grows and matures over time, is to provide a network of support services tailored to the needs of start-up and early stage companies. Services may include, but are not 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.

“I’m really pleased to see the incubator coming online,” said Mason. “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.”

The incubator will work closely with the economic development department of the City of Auburn. Phillip Dunlap, the department’s director, describes the Auburn Business Incubator as “an asset that will enable us, in partnership with the Auburn Research Technology Foundation and Auburn University, to place an emphasis on the recruitment of knowledge-based projects to our community.”

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.

For more information and online application to the incubator, go to www.auburnbusinessincubator.com; contact John Weete at (334) 844-7480 or weetejd@auburn.edu; or contact assistant director Phil Dunlap at tpdunlap@auburn.edu or (334) 844-7462.

Contact: John Weete, (334) 844-7480 (weetejd@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)