November 9, 1998
Purdue helps businesses soar out of nestWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Construction began today (Monday, 11/9) on a new building that will house graduates of the Purdue Research Park business incubators.
The 48,000-square-foot Innovation Center, expected to cost $3 million, will open one year from now at 3065 Kent Ave. All the space has been leased already.
"The community will benefit in two ways," Mithoefer said. "We will retain high-tech jobs and pay full property taxes."
The Research Park boasts two incubators on Cumberland Avenue. A 28,000-square-foot center opened in 1993 and is now at capacity with 29 businesses. The second incubator, a 60,000-square-foot building now under construction, will open next June.
The new incubator will offer a more sophisticated office decor, a much larger, 75-seat conference room, and two-way video conferencing capability.
The number of small business incubators in the United States has grown from 12 in 1980 to more than 600. Businesses begun in such nurturing facilities experience a 75 percent success rate.
PRF's version of an incubator provides start-up businesses, mainly in the high-tech arena, with a shared office concept, flexible leases, attractive rental rates, and some shared office services including the use of a copier machine and administrative assistant. PRF also plans to help these fledgling companies write a business plan, market their product, connect with mentors, and utilize the expertise of accountants, bankers, attorneys and other professionals.
"Once inside the business incubator, many of these new companies grow very fast and don't have a lot of cash reserves," said Jeffrey Wilson, PRF senior vice president and treasurer. "We believe that what reserves they do have should be spent on scientific equipment and product marketing rather than purchasing expensive real estate."
The Purdue Research Park, which opened in 1961, is home to 81 companies that employ 2,500 people. It covers almost 700 acres, of which 120 have been developed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the nonprofit corporation that sponsors the park.
Sources: Stan Mithoefer, (765) 494-1727; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey Wilson, (765) 494-8642; e-mail: email@example.com
Writer: Jeanine Smith, (765) 496-3133;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail, email@example.com