An excerpt from the Oklahoman article “Business Incubators Still Well-Kept Secret in Oklahoma” by Brianna Bailey
When entrepreneur John Westfall founded his own allergy testing company, he had a few clients lined up, but no office space or written business plan.
With his firm now located in the Moore Norman Technology Center’s Business Development Center, Westfall said the program has helped him with everything from giving him a brick-and-mortar office to meet with potential clients to helping him find an attorney to draw up service contracts.
“I kind of just showed up on their doorstep,” said Westfall, owner of Immunology Solutions. The company provides allergy testing services primarily in rural areas of the state. “They helped me write a business plan, which I, I had a plan in my head for about six months, but not much further than that.”
Situated at Moore Norman Technology’s south Oklahoma City campus, the nonprofit Business Development Center incubator program offers local business below-market rate rents for office space, as well as helping with everything from bookkeeping questions to marketing.
The Business Center is home to six businesses that range from an energy sector software company that has international clients that include Fortune 500 companies to Bison Archeological Consulting Services Inc., which conducts archeological survey work.
Kevin Sutter, CEO of GreenOkie.com, which designs and builds custom pergolas and fireplaces, said that locating in the Business Development Center has allowed him to expand the company from just two people to nine employees in the span of a year — five of whom are Moore Norman Technology Center graduates.
The program has helped him with everything from finding interns to help with obtaining a grant to take a computer course.
“They are going to have to boot us out the door of this place,” Sutter said.
However, the Business Development Center incubator program still has room for more businesses.