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A brief history of the Youngstown Business Incubator:



Published: Sun, August 19, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

A brief history of the Youngstown Business Incubator:

1988: Community leaders commit to the development of a business incubator.

1990: State Controlling Board approves release of $300,000 to establish the incubator in downtown Youngstown.

1991: West Federal Properties Inc., a subsidiary of The Vindicator Printing Co., donates buildings and property on West Federal Street in downtown Youngstown for the incubator.

1994: Gov. George Voinovich kicks off the downtown incubator.

1995: Incubator begins as a mixed-use incubator after the building undergoes a $1.3 million renovation through federal, state and local government grants. YBI board established.

1997: YBI undertakes second phase of its building renovation, estimated at $830,000, and funded by a federal grant and private donations. Jim Cossler, chief executive officer and entrepreneurial expert, joins YBI. Cossler had served as senior vice president for corporate services for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.

1998: A $500,000 federal grant is used to complete remodeling of the incubator to make room for 18 new businesses.

2000: YBI announces it is moving away from the traditional approach of housing various kinds of companies and focus only on companies that develop software for other businesses.

2001: Turning Technologies, which develops hardware and software designed to allow remote audience response and gather audience feedback data during presentation, joins the incubator.

2005: YBI, in cooperation with the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp., the downtown property redevelopment agency, announces a plan to build a $6 million, 25,000-foot, free-standing facility west of the incubator.

2007: Turning Technologies is named the fastest-growing software company in the United States by Inc. Magazine greatly enhancing the incubator’s national status.

2008: The free-standing facility opens and is named the Taft Technology Center after Gov. Bob Taft, an incubator booster. Turning Technologies moves into the facility from the incubator.

2009: YBI and the Youngstown CIC use more than $1 million in federal and state money to renovate the Semple Building, between the Taft Technology Center and Home Savings and Loan Co. building, creating a Tech Belt block.

2012: Announcement that the pilot-program National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute will move into a 12,000-square-foot building on West Boardman Street, an annex of the Youngstown Business Incubator.

Source: Youngstown Business Incubator website, Vindicator files


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