Dublin Villager

Dublin Entrepreneurial Center

Open house offers look at new site

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Since the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center opened in 2009, tenants, a green integrator, an international business center and other elements have been added.

A Feb. 13 open house will highlight the most recent change as the DEC showcases its new location at 565 Metro Place S., Suite 300.

The DEC cleared out from its original location at 7003 Post Road so Ohio University could establish a campus for the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine there.

The new Metro Place South location has 11,672 square feet for 45 offices and 19 cubicles. The new location will host 79 businesses.

"It continues to exceed our expectations," Dana McDaniel, Dublin's deputy city manager and director of economic development, said. "Before we cut the ribbon on the original entrepreneurial center, there was one company out there. It grew to over 40 companies. In this case, we started the TechDEC at this same building (in Metro Center) and very rapidly it has grown to 33 companies that are IT-oriented."

While the new location offers benefits such as twice the offices, the programming started at the original location will stay in place.

"Last year we had 150 free events that we provided to the small business community. And you don't have to be a tenant, but a small business owner from anywhere," said Chaz Freutel, who manages the DEC and located his business, Get You Connected there. "Last year we had 3,500 visitors to the DEC that came and attended various events throughout the year."

Amenities that come with the location include a closer proximity to the business community, gyms and restaurants. Having Metro Data Center next door also will benefit DEC businesses with technology, McDaniel said.

"It's a more professional and updated environment," he said. "It's definitely a more technical environment, which is important to these companies."

Along with programming, assistance for start-ups and office or cubicle space, the DEC also offers a sense of community.

Freutel, who worked out of his home before moving to the original DEC, said the atmosphere drew him just as much as the office space.

"I worked out of my kitchen," he said. "I originally saw it as a perfect match to get me in front of business members."

As manager of the DEC, Freutel said he often sees the same things motivating others to move into the DEC.

"What we hear is environment and community. These are people who want to be part of a community and share knowledge and get involved in events," he said. "They want the social events and to get together and bid on projects and to more or less help people grow. The real success of the DEC is the community. It's not an expensive space or amenities. I think what really holds people here is the community aspect."

While both McDaniel and Freutel champion the success of the DEC, the forward motion never stops.

McDaniel said this year the DEC plans to concentrate on a network through DubLink that will share software with connected businesses. Freutel expressed excitement for the fiber project as well as others.

"We're launching a GI boot camp. We're having week-long boot camps for veterans. A lot of these guys over there have a lot of time to think of cool ideas," he said, adding that a program to attract middle and high school girls to IT is also in the works.

The DEC open house starts at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 13 with a ribbon cutting. Tours of the new facility begin at 7:45 a.m. and will continue every 30 minutes until 1:30 p.m.

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