WINSTON-Paul Briggs, director of the Babcock Demon Incubator at Wake Forest University, is looking for new clients at the small business incubator.

In three years of operation, the center has helped launch 13 companies that have raised nearly $3 million in venture capital and have created more than 40 jobs. These startups are seeking an additional $8 million in financing and have generated close to $1 million in annual revenues. Of 14 companies launched, 13 remain in operation.

But Briggs wants the center, which was created by Wake Forest’s Babcock Graduate School of Management, to become an even larger catalyst for business in the Triad.

Local tech Wire recently asked Briggs to talk about what’s going right.

What do you see as being the key factors in the success of the incubator?

The key to the Babcock Demon Incubator’s success is the development of the resident companies and the continued success of those companies after they leave the incubator. When a company leaves the incubator, we say they’ve “graduated.” Also, the entrepreneurs involved with the incubator help teach and excite the Wake Forest MBA students about entrepreneurship.

Is the presence of the incubator helping to produce more entrepreneurs and to get researchers thinking more about business applications at WFU?

There is definitely an increase in student interest in entrepreneurial activities. This may be because they actually have a place to go to develop their ideas. This allows some entrepreneurs to move forward and develop their business instead of putting it on hold for a few years. The faculty has certainly benefited from the activity of the incubator in terms of class participation of incubator companies and research of specific problems like a marketing approach for new products.

How do you plan to increase further interest in the incubator and foster more technology transfer?

Currently, we plan to remain at the present size. To grow we need more funding. Also we are looking into relocating the incubator to the Piedmont Triad Research Park. Doing so will give us a new agenda and new goals.

What does the incubator need in resources and funding in order to accelerate growth and awareness?

To move downtown to the research park, the incubator needs substantial funding, in capital cost or operating cost. We would be interested in considering individual and corporate contributions or naming rights. An expansion would also add to our manpower costs.

Are there more entrepreneurs, financial investors and business people expressing more interest in the Triad?

I do not believe there are any more. We have been searching for fast growth companies with a national perspective for our most recent vacancy. We have a better support system for new businesses and I believe a higher percentage will be successful. This may have something to do with the economy. While we’re making progress, we still have a way to go to provide for the entrepreneur, training, financing, and business support in the region.

For information about the incubator, contact Briggs at:

Tenants and Graduates

The Center recently compiled a listing and details about the firms that have incubated at the Center:

  • Adora Inc., which specializes in selling wellness products, specifically bath and body products, candles and journals

  • Algaen Corp., which has developed innovative biotechnologies to provide a cutting-edge solution for the biomedical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries

  • Altadonics, a company that developed a process for creating and storing impressions of patients’ dentures

  • CVI Development, located in Fort Mill, S.C., is launching a patented industrial process innovation to help eliminate time, space and cost barriers in deploying sewn products from research to replenishment

  • Incapita, which develops and markets proprietary software and services to help biomedical research centers improve workflow efficiency, reduce costs, and protect and better manage their intellectual capital

  • Mobil Data Tools, which develops computer hardware and software that assists in clinical trials and reduces the time it takes for drugs to reach the market

  • Primary Tracking is a leading developer of shipment tracking softwear including RFID technology, document management, GPS, bar coding and legacy system integration

  • SimpliFi LLC, which offers a technology-enabled service to help simplify the financial lives of middle-income Americans. Through its virtual adviser service, SimpliFi gives unbiased, comprehensive financial advice that is affordable and easy to use

  • Small Footprint, an international software development services company providing affordable electronic business application solutions for small and medium-size enterprises in the U.S. and Europe

  • Triad Semiconductor, which develops, manufactures and markets integrated circuits for biomedical applications.
  • Current tenants include:

  • Cervius Inc. is an intellectual property, biotechnology company focused on identifying and marketing breakthrough diagnostic technologies from various research settings. Cervius has exclusive rights to market and develop promising new tests for cervical cancer

  • Just Hispanics acts as a liaison between U.S. retailers that want to successfully develop the growing Hispanic market and Latin American suppliers that want to expand their distribution

  • The Sandbox Learning Company is a service website for professionals and parents working with children with disabilities and specifically autism spectrum disorders. Through its products and services the Sandbox Learning Company offers a comprehensive education solution that serves the educational, informational, and communal needs of professionals and parents.