Tony Tadasa, director
Year established: 1989
Incubator size: 26,000 square feet
Incubator clients: 13
Incubator graduates: 22
Achievements: Tyler Area Business Incubator in Tyler, Texas, is not the largest incubator in the world, but measured by its effect on its community, it is certainly one of the most essential. Sponsored by Tyler Junior College and tightly allied with the local Small Business Development Center and SCORE chapter, TABI has leveraged limited resources to achieve remarkable success, spawning two NBIA Outstanding Incubator Graduate award winners: Exceptional Home Care, the 2007 honoree in manufacturing and services, and Edge Medical Supply, the 2010 winner in the nontechnology category.
In the process, it has paid off a loan from the city of Tyler that helped finance the incubator building, and since 1999, the program has been self-sufficient.
Originally envisioned as a biotech incubator, “the market was small, and there wasn’t enough demand,” says Tony Tadasa, TABI’s director and lone staff member. “Consequently, we changed it to a mixed-use incubator.” Asked to give the single greatest key to the incubator’s success, he says, “Having an excellent relationship with the SBDC.” Indeed, SBDC counselors work with clients on business plan development and strategic planning, a quick-turnaround process that codifies business plans in under a day. Together, TABI and the SBDC's clients have achieved $150 million in loans and investments over the last 16 years. Mentoring is provided by SCORE. New clients are offered – and required to take – a six-week management skills class covering topics such as accounting, strategic planning, financial analysis, legal and tax issues, marketing and banking.
TABI also networks with the North Texas Regional SBDC, Tyler Junior College, and the incubator’s recently formed resident angel network for training and finance assistance.
Phone: (740) 593-4331
Fax: (740) 593-1996
PO Box 959
Athens, OH 45701-1565