Hudson business incubator taking steps toward independence

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- The new leader of the Hudson-based business incubator says it should be able to fly on its own after the city reduces its funding.

The city of Hudson has been the main financial supporter for the TECHudson business incubator, providing $374,000 in the last two years.

This year, the city will provide up to $75,000 in funding, down from a previous proposal of $125,000; $25,000 of that is dependent on the incubator receiving matching funds. City funding for the business incubator is budgeted for $75,000 in 2014 and $50,000 in 2015 in the five-year plan, but neither amount has been approved.

TECHudson will also receive $100,000 from the Ohio Third Frontier, and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation will provide $10,000 if

TECHudson raises $20,000, according to its new executive director George Buzzy.

"We should have enough initial funding to raise more long-term sustaining funding and not rely on the city 100 percent," Buzzy told Council Jan. 22.

Buzzy asked for the city's $50,000 commitment in one lump sum instead of spread out in payments.

The city will work on a new contract to update the changes, according to Hudson Economic Development Director Chuck Wiedie.

Buzzy said he would provide a written report with a revised budget when the new contract is reviewed by Council.

TECHudson is a Hudson-based entrepreneurial center for new technology-based businesses at 105 Executive Parkway, Suite 400, and a member of the Youngstown Business Incubator Tech Collaborative. TECHudson provides support, business expertise and a work space to attract new companies to grow and stay in Hudson and Northeast Ohio.

Buzzy was named the acting executive director beginning Feb. 1, replacing TECHudson founder James Phipps. Former City Councilman George Roth is the president of the incubator's board of directors.

TECHudson wants to pursue grants and other funding opportunities for its clients so it isn't just a "landlord," Buzzy said.

"We want to help people to establish and grow businesses here in Hudson," Roth said.

Mayor William Currin said local companies create one job at a time but are more resilient and sustainable than one large company coming to town.

"We support creating jobs and manufacturing jobs in Hudson," Buzzy said. "In addition we want to attract businesses by getting funding from the state."

TECHudson would like to set up an investment program to help new businesses grow, and investors could share in the entrepreneur's success, Buzzy said.

TECHudson has the support of regional organizations but would like more local involvement, he said.

"There are lots of entrepreneurs and executives in the community," Buzzy said. "We could use more citizen support."

More information is available at www.techudson.org.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

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