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Alfresco Pergolas and Design

Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Alan Thorpe, founder

Incubator: Todd Street Business Chambers, Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Revenues: $1.1 million (2008)

Employees: 5

Alfresco Pergolas and Design has carved its own niche in the property construction market by offering a design and prefabricated construction service for both the home and commercial markets. Alfresco expanded into its own commercial development when it constructed 20 business units on a vacant block in Port Adelaide. "This was a risk, but it has certainly paid off," says Alan Thorpe, Alfresco managing director. "The development provides a showcase to new customers as well as significant revenue." Thorpe didn’t have to look far to find businesses interested in its new space: Arborman Tree Solutions and Intramar Freight Forwarders — two other graduates of Todd Street Business Chambers — each bought a unit at the site after they graduated from the incubator.

Incubator’s role: During Alfresco’s time at the incubator, Thorpe met frequently with Manager Lyn Hay and other service providers to receive specialized advice and support services. And with the incubator’s help, the firm has received several business awards, including the Local Business Award for Excellence in 2008 and the Australian Incubator Client of the Year award in 2006. "Todd Street gave me the confidence and realization that working in the Port Adelaide area did provide great business opportunities," Thorpe says. "I would have not invested in my new business complex if I had not had the experience in the incubator — which is just around the corner from my current business location."

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