February 2019

A Note from Bluffton's Mayor

Author: Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Photography by Krisztian Lonyai

Don Ryan Center Enhances Vibrant Business Climate

The new year is off to a good start in the heart of the Lowcountry. This season represents a blank slate, looking ahead and setting goals. It’s the time to take action. As Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

To help you take the leap, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation (DRCI) announces its first-ever business acceleration cohort, “LAUNCH,” which began January 29 and is designed to provide entrepreneurs with tools, insights and resources to start and grow successful businesses. LAUNCH is the perfect introduction to the entrepreneurial lifestyle and was created to help participants develop the tactical skills necessary for success. Industry experts and business mentors will lead 10 classes as participants meet weekly to map out business plans and startup goals. LAUNCH is another example of how the DRCI is fostering opportunities for emerging, innovative leaders and enhancing our already vibrant business climate. Registration is available at www.donryancenter.com or by calling (843) 540-0405.

Entrepreneurs who wish to take the next step in building their business can apply for the DRCI business incubator, a more in-depth and personalized program. The incubator nurtures scalable businesses and assists companies with issues such as market entry, creating a minimal viable product (MVP), cash flow generation, preparation for outside funding, and more. Charles Wohl, the DRCI’s vice president of innovation, will lead the cohort and business incubator. Additionally, Charles is building programming for our growing group of business mentors, advisors and alumni.

In 2019, the Don Ryan Center for innovation will also move into its new state-of-the-art space known as The HUB, which will be located in Buckwalter Place Commerce Park. The HUB will be designed to inspire creativity, focus and connection for entrepreneurs and local businesses. It will house the Town of Bluffton’s economic development headquarters and business incubator, while offering coworking and meeting space. The HUB will also be home to the DRCI community and a place for collaboration in a high-tech, open environment. There’s no doubt The HUB will quickly become an asset for Bluffton and the region.

The DRCI continues to offer its monthly event, SESSIONS, upstairs at Corner Perk Café on the last Thursday of the month from 8-9 a.m. The event series is a “must-attend” for entrepreneurs and professionals at all stages.

We have recently added “Open House Office Hours” on Thursdays, 8-10 a.m. It’s a casual, drop-in format at the DRCI’s temporary space next to the Town of Bluffton Law Enforcement Center in Buckwalter Place Commerce Park. You can meet the staff, hear more about The HUB, and learn about various programs and resources available. I encourage you to stop in for a cup of coffee and some conversation to learn more about the organization and how you can plug in.

Membership in the Don Ryan Center community continues to grow and offers unique privileges such as complimentary access to events and workshops. Members can also utilize a collaborative online community, will receive priority access to The HUB, and more. Most important, joining the Don Ryan Center contributes to the entrepreneurial spirit of Bluffton and helps ensure a vibrant business climate for our future.

To learn more about the exciting things happening within the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, I encourage you to follow the DRCI on social media or call the office at (843) 540-0405.

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