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Development Authority Garners $500,000 Grant for Technology Center at CSU

January 2, 2003

The Valley Partnership Joint Development Authority has received a $500,000 grant from OneGeorgia Authority for the creation of the Columbus Regional Technology Center to be housed on the Columbus State University Campus.

The Center is estimated to incubate eight entrepreneurial companies creating up to 720 new jobs in the next ten years. The total estimated project cost is $2.9 million dollars.

An important element of this project is the public-private partnerships that include the Valley Partnership Joint Development Authority, Columbus State University, OneGeorgia Authority, University System of Georgia, Columbus Consolidated Government, Georgia Institute of Technology, Columbus Water Works, Development Authority of Columbus and the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Construction dates are set for the first quarter in 2003.

I am excited to see the Columbus Regional Technology Center become a reality; this grant helps us move forward. said Bob Gilson, chair of the Development Authority of Columbus and the first chair of the incubator project. We hired Georgia Tech to do an incubator feasibility study in 2001. We have come a long way and our partnerships have contributed to this success. I cant wait to see the completed building. This is a regional project that will impact all of the communities in our Valley Partnership. As businesses emerge from the center, they will need new locations and more employees. Subsequently, all of our communities will be successful.

The Columbus Regional Technology Center will provide start-up companies with discounted lease rates for office space, as well as, aid in accessing capital and venture capital funding. It will also help in business plan coaching and consulting, market research resources and networking opportunities with service providers such as legal, human resources and financial services. The facility will share common administrative services, such as the phone system, fax and photocopier. It will be accessible to co-op students and University faculty. The center will also provide graduates with consulting to permanent business locations within the Valley Partnership region.

I have served as a volunteer for economic development for more than 30 years here at the Chamber, said Jimmy Yancey, chair of the Columbus State University Capital Campaign. As such, I truly believe that this project will be one of the keys for our future success in economic development. As a member of the Board of Regents for our University System, it greatly pleases me to see the cooperation and collaboration of several universities working together in such a unique way.

The Columbus Regional Technology Centers mission is to accelerate the development of technology enterprises and increase technology-related entrepreneurial activity in the region by providing an environment that will nurture startup and young technology-based companies.

The Columbus Regional Technology Center will:
Promote creation of technology jobs
Nurture and assist startup companies with high-growth potential that specialize in some phase of technology so that they can become successful stand-alone operations within a specifically-defined period
Provide incubator clients with facilities, networking opportunities and linkage to local service providers
Provide locations, space and assistance to technology companies seeking to establish a market presence in the Southeastern United States.



Contact: Michael S. Dunbar
Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Phone: 706-327-1566


John Lester
Columbus State University
Phone: 568-2030