It was just this past summer that the Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida and the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University were celebrating their C. Scott Ellington Technology Business Incubator’s move into brand new, expanded space. But just months after the ribbon was cut on their new digs, they are expanding again — back into their old headquarters space.
The old headquarters space at the research park will be modernized, including the addition of co-working space by Caffeine Spaces.
The co-working environment will allow the opportunity to include independent programmers and service providers for the startups to bond with, and draw talent from, continuing to build the culture for startups to thrive, said Rob Strandberg, president and CEO of EDC.
With both spaces, that will just about double the number of entrepreneur teams that can be served at the Boca research park’s incubator. Right now the incubator serves about a dozen entrepreneur teams, some with five or six members and growing, as well, as some service providers. It also houses offices for groups such as the New World Angels, the Institute for Commercialization of Publicly Financed Technology and universities. But the incubator almost immediately had a waiting list. The new space is set to open next month.
"We are trying to expand cautiously. We don’t want the quality of our services diluted," Strandberg said.
The EDC is also teaming up with Broward College to open an incubator on the first floor of a Broward College building next to the Citrix headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. That project is moving along and should open in the first half of 2013, Strandberg said.
"It’s a very good strategic location so there has been a lot of interest from startups around the region," said Strandberg.
Also, a group of successful Coral Springs business people are helping to make possible an EDC incubator in their city. "They want to give back to Coral Springs" and they are offering a fantastic space that will be a mix of offices and co-working space, Strandberg said.
In Miami, Strandberg said he is interested in continuing to be a resource to entrepreneurs and groups serving entrepreneurs, such as the Knight Foundation, Incubate Miami and others. Strandberg said about 30 percent of the companies the EDC now helps are coming out of Miami-Dade. "I just think Miami has huge potential," he said.