A Bluffton business incubator is celebrating one year of helping local companies get off the ground.
The Don Ryan Center for Innovation has helped around ten businesses in our area get on their feet and the owner of 'GreenBug All Natural Pest Control' says she has gained invaluable experience from working with the center.
“It's been very exciting, I'm very pleased, we are not the same company we were a year ago,” said Louise Hodges.
Hodges has been in business for three years trying to sell her all natural pest control system–but it wasn't until she joined the Don Ryan Center for Innovation last year when her business really took off.
“I don't think we would have gotten this far, I think it's impossible for us to have gotten this far, because some of the doors have been opened for us, some of the contacts that we've made, some of the advice that we've gotten, that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise… we would have grown, but we wouldn't have grown as fast as we have.”
Hodges credits the partnership of the Don Ryan Center with Clemson University as a major step in product research for her company. And she says the advice the Center's experts have provided has helped in every aspect of her business growth.
“We've gotten legal advice, we've gotten financial advice, one of the biggest things is that we've revamped our business plan, which has been oriented towards investors, and that has allowed me to get involved in a lot of different competitions, get myself in front of different investment groups to be able to talk about GreenBug.”
And those sorts of opportunities are why Hodges suggests local business owners get involved with the center.
“There are different companies at different stages at the Don Ryan Center, so they can help you from the very beginning, even if you aren't incorporated in it they do offer free advice which is really cool.”
Hodges tells me another bonus of being with the Don Ryan Center is all of the coverage hers and the other businesses receive because they are part of the incubator and that's also helped her grow.
For More Info on the Don Ryan Center and the services offered go to: