Business Accelerator Joins Estill Groups to Spur Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth

ribbon-cutting photo

­Business owners and entrepreneurs in Estill County now have another convenient resource to help them achieve their dreams.

Grand opening ceremonies were held Friday, June 15, for the new Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (ICE) Box at 177 Broadway in downtown Irvine. The business incubator, which includes space to house five new ventures and supply them with the tools they need to get off to a good start, is a partnership between Eastern Kentucky University’s Business and Technology Accelerator; the Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET) at EKU, Estill Development Alliance, Estill County Chamber of Commerce and Estill County.

The Business and Technology Accelerator, Estill Development Alliance and the Estill County Chamber of Commerce all maintain office space in the facility.

“By tying together our programs with the space available here, it will make them that much more accessible to Estill Countians,” said Ian Mooers, director of CEDET. “More than 50 percent of new businesses fail in their first five years, but 70 percent of the businesses that go through programs like this are successful. That’s why these programs exist.”

Clients will also have access to business coaching and mentoring services available through the Small Business Development Center and the Innovation and Commercialization Center at EKU.

In addition to providing office space for start-up ventures, the facility will also host business development workshops, beginning later this summer.

"EKU has been involved over the years with efforts like this, and this a wonderful opportunity to work with the folks in Irvine and Estill County,” said Dr. Bob Rogow, dean of EKU’s College of Business & Technology. “We want to help create opportunities for our young folks and for everyone else.”

Joe Crawford, executive director of the Estill County Chamber of Commerce, called the facility the “fruition of a dream. This is going to be a successful venture, no doubt about it.”

To learn more about the services available at the ICE Box, visit www.EstillCountyKY.net or call 606-723-2450.

Published on June 19, 2012