13 Jul T.E.C. Center to receive Commerce grant
Madison, Wis. – The Technology, Education, and Commerce (T.E.C.) Center, a high-tech incubator located on Madison’s east side, will receive a $32,000 Community-Based Economic Development grant to improve technology services for tenants.
The grant, which will be awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, will be announced today during the opening for the center’s third building.
Dr. Edward Clarke, president of the T.E.C. Center Board of Directors, said the grant money will be used for one of two things, both related to equipment needed by tenants. He said the center’s early-stage tenants would decide whether to use the money to help supply each lab with equipment like fume hoods, centrifuges, and steam cleaners for test tubes and Petri dishes, or to provide the equipment in a common area.
Either way, he said it is equipment that early-stage companies can’t always afford. “Basically, the goal is to lower costs so that early-stage companies can equip their labs,” he said.
Tony Hozeny, a spokesman for the Department of Commerce, said business incubators that receive funding through the department typically provide below-market rents, management assistance, and technology services.
With the opening of Building 3, the center now has a two-story, 10,000-square-foot incubator, and two larger one-story buildings for incubator start-ups to “graduate” to.
The incubator building contains early-stage companies like aOva Technologies, a manufacturer of egg protein products, and eMetagen, a drug discovery company.
Companies that have graduated from the incubator include acumium, an e-business consulting firm, and Virent Energy Systems, which is developing alternative fuels with biomass material. Virent has moved into Building 2.
The incubator provides space for up to 20 new technology businesses, and tenants share services and reduce their costs with the help of support services provided through the MGE Center for Entrepreneurs. The MGE Center shares office space with economic development organizations like the Small Business Development Center, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., and the Madison Development Corp.
The T.E.C. Center isn’t through adding complementary pieces. Building 3, which will have 40,000 square feet of “flex” space, will be followed by a fourth and a fifth building, Clarke said, but the construction timetable will not be determined until the third building is leased.
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