The Member Recognition and Awards Ceremony for Business Incubation

It has been InBIA’s esteemed privilege to honor business incubators, entrepreneurship centers and their clients who have proven track records of excellence in growing sustainable companies that drive economic growth. Every year during the International Conference on Business Incubation, we look forward to The Member Recognition and Awards Ceremony where we showcase InBIA member-organizations and the outstanding companies they serve. InBIA’s Member Recognition and Awards Ceremony illustrate the heart of business incubation spanning from urban to rural, specialized, technology and mixed-use entrepreneurship centers.

InBIA’s two largest and most prestigious awards are The Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year Award & the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award. The Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year Award pays tribute to the accomplishments and contributions of honorary life-long InBIA member and pioneer, Dinah. Dinah Adkins entered the industry in 1982 to manage the Ohio University Innovation Center, the nation’s 12th incubator. She was a speaker at the early SBA incubation conferences, became an InBIA founding member in 1985 and took over the fledgling association in 1988 as president and CEO. Each of the two Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year Award winners receive a cash award of $1,000, made possible by the generous donations of contributors to the Dinah Adkins Fund.

Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award is InBIA’s highest honor, dedicated to the memory of Dr. Whaley, the Association’s first chairman of the board, who served from 1985 to 1988. The award is InBIA’s only endowed award and is sponsored by the Friends of University City Science Center of Philadelphia. The University City Science Center is the urban research park and incubator Dr. Whaley managed for many years. The winner of this award receives an additional $500 from the endowment.

Without further ado, below are the outstanding InBIA award winners and a quick highlight of the exciting night they had at the International Conference.

2017 InBIA President’s Award

The InBIA President’s Award recognizes long-time members who have made significant contributions to this association, as well as to the business incubation industry. Thomas Mancuso, President, of Batavia Industrial Center is the recipient of the 2017 President’s Award. In 1956, Massey-Ferguson, the largest industry in Batavia, closed down, leaving vacant an 850,000 square foot complex of multistory buildings and driving unemployment to more than 20%.

The Mancuso family then purchased the building. While trying to find a single company to rent the behemoth plant riddled with maintenance needs, they decided instead to divide the building and rent to separate businesses that would nurture by providing shared office services, assistance with raising capital and business advice. It became the world’s first business incubator!

Tom kept has kept the program thriving after his father’s retirement and has filled millions of square feet of old buildings while helping thousands of businesses create countless jobs.

Member Client Award Winners

2017 InBIA Outstanding Incubator Client Company

Innovation Depot‘s client, TheraNest, is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Incubator Client Company award. Entrepreneur, Shegun Otulana, entered into Innovation Depot as the CEO of Zertis – a software development services company – in 2011. During the early years of Zertis, Otulana identified a need for mental health software. In September 2013, he launched TheraNest to meet this need.

TheraNest provides practice management software and electronic health records for mental and behavioral health practitioners. Marriage counselors, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and other practitioners in mental and behavioral health use TheraNest, because TheraNest helps to ensure that they have the tools needed to deliver high quality care.

Devon Laney, President & CEO of Innovation Depot accepted the award on behalf of Shegun Otulana.

2017 InBIA Outstanding Incubator Graduate Company

Launch Pad FT at Francis Tuttle’s client, LevelOps Energy, is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Incubator Graduate Company award. With experience in the energy and technology industries, LevelOps provides comprehensive solutions Level Ops Oil-Flame Only Colorfrom servers and switches to towers, tank batteries and wellheads.

LevelOps entered Launch Pad in 2014 and earned over $1 million in revenues within their first six months. Their success continued in spite of the market conditions in Oklahoma, and they completed the year with full employment and in the black.

2017 InBIA Mixed-Use Entrepreneurship Center of the Year and

Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year

UND Center for Innovation Foundation is the recipient of both the Mixed-Use Entrepreneurship Center and Dinah Adkins Incubator award. Established in 1984, the UND Center for Innovation Foundation was founded by Bruce Gjovig as one of the first entrepreneur outreach centers in the United States and has grown to become the leading rural entrepreneur facility in the nation. It provides assistance to innovators, entrepreneurs, and researchers to launch new ventures, commercialize new technologies, and secure access to capital from private and public sources.

The Foundation manages two technology incubators, the Skalicky Tech Incubator and the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center. Both are located in the University of North Dakota Tech Park on the western edge of the campus to encourage and foster entrepreneur initiatives and new ventures in the region.

2017 InBIA Specialty Entrepreneurship Center of the Year and

Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year

The Furniture Technology Centre Trust (Furntech) is the recipient of both the Specialty Entrepreneurship Center and Dinah Adkins Incubator award. Furntech was established in 2000 through a bilateral agreement between the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) (which was replaced from June 2006 by the Seda Technology Programme) and the Swedish Industrial Development Agency (Sida).

The Furntech Business Technology Incubation (BTI) program is a sustainable model for incubating manufacturing companies in the South African furniture and wood products sector. The value adding and success of Furntech’s BTI model lies in its flexible combination of skills training and business development processes, infrastructure, and people. It is designed to nurture and protect new and existing small businesses by assisting entrepreneurs with all aspects of starting up and developing their companies into sustainable businesses.

The process promotes entrepreneurship and encourages the formation and development of viable, registered small and micro businesses. It is particularly successful in assisting emerging enterprises in the second economy to develop into sustainable and employment creating participants in the formal economy.

2017 InBIA Technology/Science Entrepreneurship Center of the Year and

Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award

The Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute is the recipient of both the Technology/Science Entrepreneurship Center of the Year and Randall M. Whaley Incubator award. The Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute provides a unique combination of wet laboratories, greenhouses and animal facilities in one location. They also provide over $1.2mm of high-quality shared laboratory equipment for biotech startups to utilize.

The program offers pro-bono legal services to clients one day per week, and “business coach for a day” services one day per week. Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute holds an annual “celebration of biotechnology” for clients and the clients of Progress Park which is attended by 400+ sponsors, vendors and entrepreneurs.

30 Year Members recognized at conference

Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Enterprise Innovation Institute – EI2 in Atlanta, Georgia

Ventureprise Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina

Batavia Industrial Center in Batavia, New York

Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction, Colorado

Honorable Mentions