RBIC offers services local entrepreneurs

The Regional Business Innovation Center gives locals the opportunity to rent space and attend classes to get small business careers underway || Lidia Vasquez/The News

Samantha Villanueva
Staff writer

A client of the Regional Business and Innovation Center (RBIC), which is located next to the CFSB center, has received a $30,000 grant from the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

Scott Allen, who heads Wisdom Tree Technologies, developed the defense and aerospace contracting company in hopes of continuing serving the military after serving 22 years. The grant was given to Allen through a recommendation of the RBIC.

“What the grant will do is help us to continue our research and help develop tools (that) we use in our company,” he said.

Allen, who is a native of Murray, hopes his business will help stimulate the local economy. He said the great support from the RBIC and the local community is greatly appreciated.

The RBIC has been aiding Murray-based businesses and other in the 20 most western counties of Kentucky get their foundation in the technical business world as well as providing them with the step-by-step assistance to maintaining their stability.

Loretta Daniel, director of the RBIC, said although the center is geared towards helping student, the center does assist community members as well. She said the center focuses on either helping potential business owners with either developing a basic idea or, if they come in with a far more advanced idea, help them

Daniel said the RBIC has numerous ways of assisting their clients, even if they don’t walk in with a stable plan.

“The services are totally dependent on where the client is on their idea,” she said. “ We can help them with developing, making a prototype, define their market, and even provide them with investors and funding.”

The building the RBIC is located in is also a tool the business owners can use, Daniel said. The building works as an incubator, allowing their clients to rent office space within the building and for the next three years or so, work to secure their business while having the RBIC at arm’s reach.

“It’s an easier way for the businesses to grow at a much reduced rate then if they were to start off in a commercial space,” Daniel said.

Beth Ward, assistant director of the RBIC, said the center has a big impression on not only the school, but the community as well.

Ward advises the Students of Free Enterprise, who are learning to become socially responsible business leaders by specializing in how to start and maintain their own entrepreneurship.

“It is a program where Murray State students learn how to maintain their own business and in turn use that for improving their community,” Ward said.

The SIFE is not only for business-major students and the University chapter of the SIFE meets every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. in the Curris Center Mississippi Room.

Chris Wooldridge, the district director for the Small Business Development Center, which is housed in the RBIC, extended the services of the RBIC past the technical detail.

Wooldridge, who helps business ideas like restaurants and retail stores develop, uses the same method to helping his clients like in the RBIC.

Said Wooldridge: “What our goal really is for the Small Business Development Center is to give a helping hand to those who wish to improve Murray and surrounding counties by going forth with their ideas. We have some really great programs and it’s up to the client to determine how we can help.”