PLYMOUTH, N.H.- From the minute Tom Armstrong stepped through the door of the Enterprise Center at Plymouth (ECP), he knew the prospects for his growing business became a little brighter. Armstrong, a Plymouth State alumnus, owns Narrative 1, a Holderness-based commercial property appraisal software developer seeking to expand its market share nationally, and the ECP provides a convenient, fully-staffed workspace with access to Plymouth State University's award-winning business faculty and staff.
"We're very excited about the quality of the space, and the technology behind it, this is a facility we badly needed but couldn't find," said Armstrong, who now employs a dozen people. "We sell our software to banks and government agencies and they will come and visit our office before engaging in a transaction with us; this space allows us to show them a professional business atmosphere."
ECP Executive Director Michael Tentnowski said Narrative 1 is a great example of how a business incubator should work.
"Welcoming the first member into the building highlights the progress the facility is making in creating jobs and economic opportunity for entrepreneurs across the region," Tentnowski said.
The ECP, located at 1 Bridge Street, is a joint partnership between Plymouth State University and the Grafton County Economic Development Council (GCEDC), whose goal is to support entrepreneurship, small businesses, and economic development in central New Hampshire. Governor Maggie Hassan, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen and Dinah Adkins, past President of the National Business Incubator Association and expert on rural economic development, will address guests during the 5:30 p.m. grand opening ceremony October 15 in the lobby of the Silver Center for the Arts.
The GCEDC is providing the physical location and building, using $2 million in federal, state and corporate funding; PSU is providing incubator staffing, business services and intellectual capital through the College of Business Administration. Essentially, the ECP provides a "one stop shopping" location for businesses throughout the region seeking advice and counseling, services, leased space, mentoring, and networking.
Unique features of the ECP include a sales skills development video production room and space dedicated to professional focus group services. Both of these are currently provided by PSU's College of Business Administration and are very popular with students and entrepreneurs alike. The ECP will also act as a headquarters for an enhanced business outreach effort in central New Hampshire by PSU staff and graduate students.
The Enterprise Center at Plymouth officially opens Oct. 15. (Courtesy photo)