PLYMOUTH — As many as 30 new businesses at a time would be able to take flight in a new business incubator that could open here next summer.
The Enterprise Center of Plymouth, located at 149 Main St., will be a partnership between the Grafton County Economic Development Council and Plymouth State University to help create jobs in the region.
Funds have already been obtained for the development of the $1.5 million project that would expand the building from 4,000 square feet to 11,000 square feet.
GCEDC would handle the real estate component of the project while PSU will handle programming and staffing, said Mark Scarano, executive director for the GCEDC.
This will be the second incubator for the organization, which through the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center has created 200 jobs since 2006, Scarano said.
The facility, at the roundabout connecting Route 175A and Route 3, will be able to provide office space for about 10 new companies and will be used for training and networking for as many as 20 others, each for a limited period of time, Scarano said.
“We are overjoyed to be working with Plymouth State University, which has tremendous resources and talented people to help us with this project,” Scarano said last week. “PSU has an amazing level of intellectual capital.”
The GCEDC’s first such incubator, located at Centerra Business Park in Lebanon, has been successful in graduating companies, which add significantly to the Upper Valley’s economy, Scarano said.
PSU is considering candidates for the position of director of the center, and design/build firms are being solicited for construction bids. The hope is to have the facility occupied by July 2013.
Much of the funding for the project has come from raising business tax credits, and they currently have enough to start the project.
Under the program, entrepreneurs are accepted for three to five years, where they are given technical assistance, mentoring and, if needed, office space. After that three- to five-year time frame, they move out to make room for others to use the facility and its resources.
Trent Boggess, dean of the college of business and administration, is working on the project.
The building is currently vacant. For many years, the building was home to Richelson’s ski shop and most recently was rented as a bagel shop.