The three Historic Triangle Economic Development Authorities (EDAs) have executed an agreement with the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to operate and manage the Triangle Business and Innovation Center (TBIC). TBIC is a small business incubator located at 5300 Palmer Lane in James City County that serves the localities of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg. The agreement includes oversight of the incubator management services contract from the TBIC Board of Directors, which is comprised of representatives from the three localities EDAs and Economic Development Offices.
The agreement, which went into effect on November 26, 2014, pools the resources of these organizations in an effort to maximize efficiencies and capitalize on mutually beneficial relationships. For example, some new SBDC clients may be well-suited to locate in the TBIC, while those businesses currently located in TBIC will benefit from the services and tools that the SBDC offers its clients.
TBIC has been in operation as a regional incubator since 2012 and serves both resident and virtual incubator clients as they work to bring their business concept to reality. Various levels of service are provided based on the client’s needs and stage of growth. The SBDC is part of a state and nationwide network of service providers and specializes in providing advice, counseling and training to both start-up and existing businesses. The TBIC Manager will work under contract with the SBDC and will also serve as an SBDC business counselor. A search for TBIC management services was recently completed and Arcphor, a technology-based business located in York County was selected. Arcphor is owned by Tim Ryan and he will be directly responsible to the Hampton Roads SBDC, Director, Jim Carroll regarding contract compliance. Mr. Ryan will also be responsible for serving SBDC clients in the Historic Triangle.
According to Jim Noel, Director for Economic Development for York County,” there is a precedent for this type of dual responsibility in other parts of Virginia and it works quite well”. “We are delighted to leverage the SBDC’s assets to assist with managing the TBIC” said Michele Mixner DeWitt, Williamsburg Economic Development Director. “The SBDC knows small businesses and how to assist entrepreneurs.” “TBIC’s physical space and partnerships with area resources, including the College of William and Mary, Thomas Nelson Community College and other area incubators, provide a platform for entrepreneurial growth to occur. The synergy created by combining resources makes all of them better and supports the region’s economic development efforts.” Russell Seymour, Director of Economic Development for James City County noted that “TBIC is a good example of the strong commitment the region has for small business and entrepreneurial development.”
TBIC is a very unique regional endeavor in that included in its structure is a revenue sharing agreement between the three localities to contribute to its endowment. The SBDC was founded in 1990 and was the first economic development entity designed to serve the entire Hampton Roads region. Since its inception it has served over 10,000 clients and had assisted them in creating or saving over 8,000 jobs and bringing over $350 million in direct economic impact to the region.
Initial priorities for TBIC’s new management will include expanding the client base and continuing to assist existing clients move to the next stage of their business’s growth.