TECHudson needs to reach beyond Hudson businesses

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- The Technology Entrepreneurial Center of Hudson, a nonprofit business incubator in Hudson, is seeking a partnership with an academic institute or another incubator or both.

Businesses and foundations want a link between TECHudson and an academic institution, George Buzzy, entrepreneur in resident for TECHudson, told Council Aug. 13.

"Potential donors want a broader reach than Hudson," Buzzy said. "We need to serve the surrounding communities."

TECHudson is having discussions with Kent State regarding a potential partnership, but funding is an issue for both parties, Buzzy said.

For the first six months in 2013 revenue has totaled $112,727 with expenses totalling $82,370. The balance of $30,357 and the 2012 rollover of $42,361 leaves TECHudson with $72,718 in assets as of June 2013.

The current funds will cover expenses until January 2014, but TECHudson needs $150,000 a year to cover minimal support and provide modest services to its new business entrepreneurs, Buzzy said.

Additional funding would allow TECHudson to develop programs and support for its clients.

Council member Dan Williams said the budget cycle begins soon, and they would have to make some decisions about TECHudson's funding.

The city has provided $374,000 in the past, and this year the city paid $50,000 to support the business incubator and provided a matching one-to-one grant up to $25,000.

In addition, TECHudson received a $10,000 grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in a matching grant of $10,000 with donations from the TECHudson board members, the Hudson Community Foundation, COMS Interactive, Tribute Software, Morgan Bank, PNC Bank, Day Ketterer LLC and Global Management.

Buzzy told Council he has cut as much in expenses as possible.

"We haven't paid for any outside services or printed brochures," Buzzy said.

The Youngstown Business Incubator and Jumpstart help with the Internet site and press releases, he added.

Buzzy is talking to Kent State University and Youngstown Business Incubator to develop possible partnerships. He said the University of Akron or Hiram College were other possible partners.

Council member Dennis Hanink wanted to know if TECHudson had reached out to the community for volunteers.

Seasoned business owners can provide coaching and advice, but new businesses need help writing a business plan and researching competition, Buzzy said.

"They need grunt work of 30 hours a week for no charge," he said. "Early stage companies need help with marketing, research and patents, which can be done by students."

Students have an incentive to do the grunt work by gaining experience they can put on a resume, said Chuck Wiedie, economic development director.

TECHudson has added three new clients since January 2013 -- The Cutter Croix, The Northland Realty Group and Pinklejinx, Buzzy said. A fourth company is planning to move in Sept. 15.

Council members wanted to know the future progress TECHudson makes with any partnerships or concrete developments.

"Good and bad," added City Council member Alex Kelemen.

"As conversations occur, we'll update Council and appraise you of the progress," Wiedie said.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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