Entrepreneurs seeking entrance in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center business incubation program are required to submit a completed business plan outlining the way the business will grow in its time within the program. The company founders then present the business plan the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center Advisory Committee, an oversight committee consisting of successful entrepreneurs and future mentors for the company. The Advisory Committee makes a recommendation to AEDC’s Board of Directors as to whether or not the company should be admitted into the program.
Upon acceptance into the business incubation program, AEDC staff members work with the founders to help them make the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center the company’s new home. Staff and Advisory Committee members meet with the company on a regular basis to analyze revenue growth, help identify and correct problems, and ensure that the company becomes profitable and self-sustaining.
Businesses typically spend four to seven years in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center before graduating the program. Although each company’s progress differs, graduation typically occurs once a company has achieved certain milestones. These include:
- Equipment footprint requirements have outgrown the company’s allowed space within the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center;
- Workforce requirements have outgrown the company’s allowed space within the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center; or
- The company has exceeded $1.0 million in profitable revenues for at least two consecutive years.
Once a company has been deemed a candidate for graduation, AEDC will work to find a suitable space within the City of Allentown, or the greater Lehigh Valley, that is most suitable for the company’s next stage of growth. Our organization works closely with the graduating company’s management to help it transition into its new home smoothly and efficiently.
When the researchers, scientists and engineers need to reach those frigid temperatures, they turn to ColdEdge Technologies in Allentown. For the past four years founders Ajay Khatri, Jeff Romig, Eric Lecher and Terry Rufer have been supplying the equipment that can reduce the testing temperatures to -455 Fahrenheit or -270 Centigrade – about as close to Absolute Zero as possible.
Working with a staff of four full-timers and a handful of part-timers, ColdEdge uses equipment purchased from the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Cryogenics Group – also based in Allentown – and modifies it to reach the frigid temperatures needed for materials research.
“We started across the hall in a much smaller space and as we have grown and needed more space, AEDC has worked with us to accommodate the growth. The facilities are very good, you can expand quickly, they will work with us on cash flow and we have access to experts.”