On December 1st we officially had the Ribbon Cutting on what now is our first collaboration with a small rural MN town with an Incubator office building, where their City and EDA (Economic Development Authority) are the landlords (in this case with the purchase of a building) and we are the Management. We have a contracted agreement where we receive a monthly management stipend for providing services and have also provided for all of the interior fit up and infrastructure, THANKS to the Coleman Foundation funding and Elevator Grant.
Prior to officially opening, two tenants had signed lease agreements and upon the announcement of these tenants, they instantly were welcomed in to this little community of Frazee (pop 1200) and became front page news! (see attached article) Not only has this "free press" been a boost for the entrepreneur (gaining them new business and recognition) it's been invaluable in getting out the word about the incubator and its offerings. The calls and showings of the spaces available have been weekly.
Additionally, we have had private sector industry step up and get involved with the donation of equipment, furntiure, labor for fit-up of the space and volunteers to serve on our Advisory Board for the Frazee incubator.
We are running to catch up to the rapid pace at which this incubator and economic development opportunity is growing and I'll update you more in my next blog on how it has extended itself beyond just the walls of our incubator offices and campus.