Is a new wave of entrepreneurship about to hit? Perhaps, if new business starts at the North Carolina Technological Development Authority’s RTP incubator is any indication.
“We have seen a surge in tire-kicking,” said David Emmett, president of the TDA. “We certainly are seeing more showings.”
And more people are buying — as in leasing space at the First Flight Center to get newly incorporated businesses off the ground.
The TDA announced three new tenants on Monday. “They are all fresh startups,” Emmett said. More good news is on the way, he added. “Another company is pre-corporation.”
The three new firms are:
Pointing out that the economic climate has produced a “tough market” for entrepreneurs, Emmett said a good number of people want to launch their own businesses.
“We’re seeing a little more action than in the past eight months,” he explained. “We’re seeing more recycle entrepreneurs — people who have started a business before and are starting again. We’re also seeing people who were part of down-sizings and now are hanging out their own shingles.”
The startups are welcome news for the TDA, which continues to search for funding after its state budget support was frozen last year. The loss of $1.5 million forced Emmett to reduce much of the TDA’s staff and make other cuts. The state froze funding following an audit, but Emmett said changes have been made to address the concerns raised by the audit and he is on the trail of funding for this year.
“We have a proposal before the Department of Commerce which has been well received,” he said. He also said the TDA is “absolutely” looking for private funding. He said he hoped to have an announcement about funding “within the next 30 days,” adding, “A lot of things are still up in the air.”
The TDA runs 23 incubators across the state.