The Innovation Center has provided support for Coastal Bend businesses at every level of development for the last five years; however, there comes a time when client companies are ready to graduate.
On Feb. 17th, 2015, the Innovation Center held its second client graduation ceremony to celebrate eight clients reaching this point in their business development. The eight client graduates included: Anita Mallory Designs, Breathe Max, Ensemble Group, RHM Chemical, Toby Globy Eco Action, Third Coast Controls, SCORGolf and Sub-See Adventures.
“The Innovation Center has actually helped us through every portion of this…by ourselves it would have taken twice as long,” stated Douglas Oxborrow, owner of Sub-See Adventures.
Before clients are ready to graduate they complete at least three years in the program and accomplish specific milestones for their company that prepare them for real-world competition.
“Naturally, it’s going to be up to you, each entrepreneur to succeed or not,” stated Humberto Almaraz, Founder and Executive Director of Toby Globy Eco Action. “But here at the Innovation Center you’re assisted and counseled by very helpful, friendly, professional personnel.”
Other reasons behind this achievement include significant levels of revenue growth or profitability and the client’s need for space has outgrown the physical capacity of the Innovation Center.
Even when clients graduate from the program, the Innovation Center is committed to aiding entrepreneurs beyond this milestone through educational workshops, networking events and funding opportunities, which are made available to post-graduate clients.
“’What do you need? And how may we be of service?’ I think that would be the mantra or motto of the Innovation Center. And we appreciate that,” said Jose Olivares, co-founder of Breath Max, Inc.
Out of the eight graduates, Ensemble Group still resides at the Innovation Center and serves as an anchor tenant: a business or organization that leases space from an incubator but does not receive incubation services. Anchor tenants are chosen because they offer products and/ or services consistent with the mission of the Innovation Center while agreeing to provide resources at preferential rates and mentoring existing clients.
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