The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

February 9, 2013

Business incubator continues its growth

Project should help bring more business to area

OTTUMWA — Starting a business can be a confusing, risky and lonely experience. Having people care about your success can make the challenges a little easier.

“You don’t need to go it alone,” said Kelly Gale, a coordinator in the Regional Economic Advancement Department at Indian Hills Community College.

The upcoming construction of a “business incubator” means those accepted into the program will have low overhead for rent, a certain amount of attention from the public and mentors who can help them through the rough spots of starting a business.

On Monday, the IHCC board of trustees is expected to approve the design of the incubator building.

“We’re looking at breaking ground in the spring, and then, a nine-month build, depending on weather, of course,” Gale said.

“We’re hopefully going to have a light manufacturing emphasis, [but] it’s mixed use.”

There are certain businesses that would make more sense going in elsewhere, Gale said. The incubator isn’t really for a retail shop, nor would it make a good restaurant.

There’s plenty of room out in the proposed building, Gale said. While the initial goal is for four businesses, the place can be divided up into more.

But the incubator is more than a building. Yes, the place will have a maintenance person, someone will pay the light bill and there’s a conference room users can book.

But it’s more about people — the right people.

Time will be donated by different groups specializing in mentoring entrepreneurs as they start or expand a businesses. For example, retired executives have been through the ringer, so to speak, and, acting as mentors, can share the mistakes they made, or the processes they learned the hard way.

They may also be able to talk about which investor groups are willing to consider partnering with an entrepreneur. And they can be honest with the small business owner, talking to them about how to improve professional behavior, attention from buyers and presentation.

For more specific questions, there will also be access to the experts. Accountants or attorneys may share their time doing a presentation on how to incorporate, or, perhaps, a class on which people need to enter into some sort of limited liability arrangement.

Those small business owners who have a location but need advice like that or a mentor — or a conference room — can become affiliates of the incubator without having to move in. For example, an entrepreneur starting a part-time, home-based business might need advice on marketing, or they might just need a conference room so they can meet with potential clients or investors somewhere other than a kitchen table.

All of these benefits may result in more “business” than can fit even in a 10,000-square foot space. But the people with ideas have not started submitting requests for space just yet.

“Right now, we’re just trying to increase the awareness people have about what the incubator offers,” Gale said. “It’s not just cheap rent. You have access to all these people who want to see you succeed.”

1
Text Only
Ottumwa
  • The most fun you ever had

    OTTUMWA — Not every child's idea will be possible — but every idea was recorded. "Kaboom" project manager Brenna Hull of the nonprofit group's San Francisco office was in Ottumwa Tuesday. She asked students at the Ottumwa school district what they'd like to see in a playground.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423 OTT Recycle center color photo 2 -T -M Where every day is Earth Day

    OTTUMWA — Putting cans in the correct bin, saving electricity and adjusting the thermostat are not new concepts to the Ottumwa/Wapello Recycling Center staff. "We try to practice what we preach," said Janice Bain,

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0423 OTT lottery retailers graph -T -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 2

    OTTUMWA — We’ve all heard countless stories of lottery winners and losers. The winners, some of whom hold down multiple jobs, have modest dreams for now. One wants to buy a new home or car, another wants to pay of their debts or give to charity and e

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 0422 OTT Lottery graph -T -L -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 1

    OTTUMWA — Despite a struggling economy — or perhaps because of it — Iowa lottery tickets sales have surged over the past decade in southeast Iowa. Since the lottery began 1985, its players have won more than $3.2 billion in prizes while the lottery h

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth

    OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 Right side up monster truck pic Nice driver --- mean machine OTTUMWA --- Drivers sat at one end of their vehicles during the "pit party," meeting fans and signing autographs before the motorsport and monster truck exhibition at Bridge View Center this weekend. Monster truck driver Orville Hill let kids --- and

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National