Kansas City, MO (Vocus) September 10, 2010
Bizperc, a new business incubator concept owned and operated by local entrepreneurs, will serve as the keystone of efforts to develop and commercialize new business growth and jobs in Kansas City and nationally.
The business incubator and entrepreneur’s co-working center, which officially opened September 7, 2010 at 1800 Baltimore Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, is a 10,000 square-foot facility that will provide both flexible office space, business assistance, and a collaborative community to entrepreneurs, early stage and startup companies.
The project, launched by local entrepreneurs Herb Sih and Tyler Prochnow and co-founders of Think Big Partners, is designed to build on Kansas City’s historical support for small businesses and the incredible power that collaboration can bring to emerging companies.
“With the bizperc office space and the services provided by Think Big Partners and experts from all over the metro area, we have made it easier for businesses that are conceived and started here in Kansas City to find a home in the world marketplace,” said founder Herb Sih. “In doing so, we benefit not only our city, but the entire region by fulfilling our strategic goals in creating jobs, cultivating innovation, and creating a sustainable model for new business development. If we do our job right, we can take a startup concept through launch to needing permanent office space in six months or less.”
Companies will house their operations and business offices in the incubator space, and may be able to move other elements of their businesses there as well, according to Tyler Prochnow, co-founder and senior partner of the bizperc incubator. Think Big Partners and bizperc is now taking applications from companies for the new facility and expect space to fill up in les than 60 days.
“Our potential tenants have a great deal of flexibility in the use of their space,” Prochnow said. “No two companies will have the same needs, and it is vital that we have a facility that can adapt. In many cases, the founders of companies have unmatched expertise, reflected in the new products or technologies they develop. They may not, however, have training or experience in the business fundamentals that play a major role in taking groundbreaking new businesses to market.”
Across the country, business incubators provide support to existing and startup companies, helping them to grow and create jobs. According to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), there are some 41,000 startups using 1,200 incubators across the country. Participants who utilize incubators have a survival rate after five years of approximately 87 percent, compared with 44 percent for companies that do not use incubators. NBIA Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President Tracy Kitts attributes the surge to the recession’s impact on employment and a recent study by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration. This study found that, when it comes to producing jobs, investments in incubators have a higher return on dollars spent than public-works projects such as road building. In 2009, the EDA invested $80.7 million in incubators, which resulted in 8,746 more national jobs.
“From my vast experience in representing and working with entrepreneurs, I believe a resource center that provides guidance in all facets of starting, organizing and running a business is a tremendous asset for any community. What Think Big Partners and bizperc has done by not only conceiving this notion but putting it into practice – and all under one roof – will prove to be invaluable for our community,” said Thomas Brown, a Kansas City attorney that has spent nearly 40 years representing and working with entrepreneurs in both starting and growing businesses. Mr. Brown is also the former Chairman of both the Growth Opportunity Connection (the Small Business Administration’s micro loan program) and the Missouri Women’s Business Center, and is the author of a forthcoming book entitled “How to Start a Business and Not Get Sued: A Simple Guide to the Essential Legal Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Ask Before Starting a Business in Order Stay Out of Trouble.”
The combination of Think Big Partners and bizperc incubator, which includes tenant space based on productivity science, complete back office services, state-of-the-art meeting space, business event space, Internet, phone services, and educational programming is designed to take the time consuming day-to-day tasks out of the equation and allow entrepreneurs to focus on the tasks of launching, running and growing their businesses. Additionally, through a wide ranging partnership with multiple service providers, Think Big will provide on-demand nationwide office space, along with the much-needed business advice and assistance to help the tenant companies grow.