Guest post from Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO).
Earlier this month, DEDO hosted the second annual Governor’s Entrepreneurial Business Conference. Nearly 400 people attended to hear experts share their experiences as successful economic developers, entrepreneurs and leaders in business.
The energy at the conference was exciting! For the first time, we used our new Twitter account to engage with attendees: by the end of the week, conference participants had created more than 25 pages of content and they kept sharing, even after the conference was over.
In the midst of continued change and volatility throughout the country, I was encouraged to see so many people committed to finding resources and making decisions that will impact the future of their businesses, and of Delaware’s future.
We must continue to make that commitment every day. Delaware has a productive, creative and promising economic system.
There are many advantages to doing business in Delaware:
Delaware’s small size is an advantage too. Government agencies work collaboratively to get businesses the resources they need.
These are all reasons why companies, large and small, continue to choose Delaware. They include companies like Fisker Automotive and PBF Energy Partners. But, they also include companies that begin in garages and basements, in temporary offices and in co-working spaces.
Entrepreneurial activity is – and will continue to be – a key driver of economic growth in Delaware.
That’s why we encourage and support our entrepreneurs. Under the leadership of Governor Jack Markell, Delaware continues to make investments to develop a thriving entrepreneurial culture.
That includes investments in the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology; the University of Delaware Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR); the University of Delaware IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence INBRE; and, the Health Sciences Alliance, to name a few.
In addition, DEDO has implemented a range of initiatives designed to create and retain jobs in a rapidly changing economy.
The Delaware Strategic Fund
is our primary funding source to provide loans and grants to businesses for job creation, relocation, expansion and Brownfield redevelopment.
The Fund has supported the entrepreneurial growth of companies like Modular Carpet Recycling, which opened its first manufacturing facility in Delaware this month. The entrepreneurial clean technology startup manufactures high-purity renewed nylon from post-consumer carpet and other waste textiles.
DEDO recently awarded MCR a $603,000 loan for new manufacturing equipment at the site. The investment will bring approximately 30 new jobs to Delaware within three years.
The Delaware Strategic Fund also supports business research through funding bridge grants that will bring innovative new products, jobs and revenue to Delaware. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2009, DEDO has awarded twelve SBIR grants for a total of $450,000.
It has helped start-up businesses like Analytical Biological Services to continue development on a ground-breaking drug discovery technology. That technology combines computer modeling and lab tests to predict whether or not potential drugs can effectively reach their targets in the human body, such as cancer tumors.
The Delaware Strategic Fund also supports the Emerging Technology Center, which is dedicated to the creation and growth of emerging technology companies.
DEDO can provide assistance to entrepreneurs in collaboration with our many partners. In case you missed the conference, here are a few:
There are many more resources and programs available. For more information, visit http://dedo.delaware.gov. We’re here to help!