New center looks to bring startups to town
Village looks to attract new companies by helping small and new businesses
New Albany planners are diversifying the village's business campus with the addition of the New Albany Business Development Center.
Jennifer Chrysler, village community development director, said the center, in an existing multi-tenant building across from Discover Card at 6530 W. Campus Oval, is designed to host small businesses and startup companies, particularly those that focus on technology.
She said the venture is the product of a three-year partnership with central Ohio-based TechColumbus, an organization that helps support technological entrepreneurs.
Chrysler said the partnership has allowed TechColumbus to leverage state money through Ohio's Third Frontier program to get technology jobs.
"We wanted to focus on the startup companies and try to locate those companies in New Albany," she said. "We really thought that one of the things we wanted to do was expand our ability to help small businesses and grow small businesses in our community."
Chrysler said the building unofficially opened a few weeks ago, but TechColumbus representative Stephen Anderson planned to announce the new building and two new companies that have already moved into the building to village council members Tuesday evening.
Both eProximiti and HiringForce moved into the building a few weeks ago and already are up and running.
According to a release from TechColumbus earlier this week, eProximiti provides an electronic-media solution to help businesses better reach local consumers at buying time. The company on Wednesday was expected to announce a new partnership with Glimcher Realty Trust.
HiringForce, founded in 2005, provides a Web service designed to connect employers with candidates for jobs.
Chrysler said the Small Business Development Center and Ohio TechAngels also have opened offices in the building to provide assistance to the small businesses and startups.
Village spokesman Scott McAfee said the development center provides the option for multiple small businesses to sublease space from TechColumbus, which also has a small presence within the building.
Many of the companies already receive or will receive funding and support from TechColumbus.
"It will be used for not only startup companies that are receiving funding from TechColumbus but also for maybe some small business that don't fit TechColumbus' model but want to be there to lease space," Chrysler said. "Our hope is that these companies will grow and graduate into larger spaces and move into other parts of the business park, whether they build their own building or continue to grow into leased space, which would be our overall hope."
She said she wants the New Albany Business Development Center to serve as another facet of the business campus, allowing for a symbiotic relationship with New Albany's larger, existing businesses.
Thus far, village officials have not offered tax incentives to the new companies in the development center, she said.
"It's a value-added thing from the partnership," Chrysler said. "What we would really like to see is if we can tap into some of the resources in our community, like the marketing folks that are able to provide services or the accountants or the lawyers."
Chrysler said she thinks the growing partnership would continue to set New Albany apart from other communities, in terms of business development.
"Overall, it markets New Albany as a place that there is a spirit that you can grow a company in New Albany," Chrysler said. "I think from a regional standpoint, it makes the central Ohio area more competitive, in terms of attracting businesses."