|Scottsbluff eCenter to host open house|
|January 15, 2016 Jerry Purvis|
Courtesy Photo by Sean Overeynder Josh Curtis of Clarity Financial is one of the newest tenants of the new eCenter in the TCD building at 17th and Broadway in downtown Scottsbluff.
Starting a business can be a daunting task for new entrepreneurs, but Twin Cities Development can help make that challenge more realistic.
TCD’s eCenter, a startup incubator for entrepreneurs, is hosting an open house this Friday, Jan. 15 from 5-7 p.m. at the center, 1620 Broadway in downtown Scottsbluff. A ribbon cutting is also planned for that afternoon.
According to TCD Community Development Director Sean Overeynder, the purpose of the eCenter is to assist entrepreneurs make business ideas happen.
To assist with knowledge sharing, the eCenter has organized an advisory panel to help entrepreneurs and start-ups with mentoring, identifying financing sources, training workshops and networking opportunities.
The advisory panel has seven members in banking and investments, veteran entrepreneurs, other knowledgeable company owners and business consultants. They also partner with the Nebraska Business Development Center to develop business plans, projections and other documentation an entrepreneur will need to apply for funding.
“The advisory panel doesn’t make decisions, but looks at what they can do to help new start-ups become successful,” Overeynder said. “It doesn’t do any of us any good if a new company starts off strong, but fades out a few months later. We want to get them to the point where they can see the big picture and sustain their own business.”
Both offices and cubicles are available in the eCenter. New business people have access to telephone, Internet, copy and fax. Four companies are already in the space, but there is room for more. “The open house is to get the word out about the eCenter is available to help start-up businesses,” Overeynder said. “People who attend may not be in need of the service, but know someone who could benefit from it. Networking is what it’s all about.”
Brad Justice, owner of Blue Prairie Brands, has an office in the eCenter. He said it’s “excellent for new or small businesses looking for walk-in ready office space. The facilities are excellent and there is a great community of professionals here that get together regularly who make all the difference. Having the ability to tap into other folk’s knowledge and networks is the added value.”
Overeynder emphasized the eCenter isn’t in competition with the private real estate market, but is an enhancement. As the eCenter helps new businesses get on a firm foundation, those established businesses will be able move into their own space. With more business success, they will be stronger and more stable customers for real estate firms.
“If there’s a lot of turnover on leased property, the public starts thinking what’s wrong with the property,” Overeynder said. “That’s the last thing I want for the property owners.”
In addition to the open house, interested persons may contact Overeynder by calling 308-632-2833 for more information or a tour of the facility.