Volume 6, Number 2 March/April 1998
Marshall, High-Tech Incubator Partner
ASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has partnered with BizTech of Huntsville, Alabama, to establish an incubator for new, small businesses with a high-technology orientation. According to Joanne Randolph, BizTech's administrative director, "the incubator will recruit new clients that have the potential to grow and create jobs. As it prospers, BizTech hopes to use revenues from its clients to become self-sufficient. We require that the businesses which apply to BizTech be technology-oriented, have a viable product or service and have a well-developed business plan. We also feel an essential element in client selection is that the entrepreneur be willing to take advice."
"BizTech also provides an affiliate program for nonresident clients. This is a kind of 'outpatient' approach," Randolph said.
BizTech's mentoring program, which is offered to many successful entrepreneurs and senior business executives who have volunteered to serve on a board of advisors, should benefit clients. Through the mentors' résumés and personal profiles, BizTech matches advisors' expertise with clients' needs. "Through another network," Randolph said, "we can link clients with discounted professional services, such as legal, accounting, financial, training and employment services."
Through its co-sponsorship of the small business incubator, Marshall hopes to foster the establishment and growth of many new high-technology firms in Huntsville and Madison County. Sally Little, director of Marshall's Technology Transfer Office and a member of BizTech's advisory committee, said, "Our interests in being a part of BizTech involves making NASA-developed technologies available to their clients for potential commercialization, establishing a presence within the incubator to provide on-the-spot assistance, and to help with local economic development. We're excited about the possibilities of this partnership."
Teaming with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the State of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Development, and the City of Huntsville, Marshall provides matching funds to operate the incubator.
Currently occupying temporary offices at 2111 Clinton Avenue in Huntsville, BizTech will move into its permanent facility in the Calhoun Community College building on Wynn Drive in Huntsville this summer. Eventually, the incubator will have 41,000 square feet of office and light manufacturing space for itself and its clients. The college donated use of the space. Approximately $2 million will be spent in coming years to expand the facility.
For more information, contact Joanne Randolph at BizTech. Call (256)
830-5930, Fax: (256) 830-0922.