Business Incubation

Our Purpose

The purpose of the FMU incubator is to provide your business a place to foster within a collective community of support and resources. The structure provides the opportunity to establish objective measures of growth for each business, which will serve to identify growth and progress. The incubator serves as a short-term (1 year) support mechanism to help you effectively build your business and grow at a sustainable rate with the hope that you will find success after completing the program. Therefore, you should work to fully maximize your time while in the incubator program.  Once the one-year program is complete, the incubated business will move into Post-Launch outside of the facility.


Image Gallery

Florence Incubator Office
Florence Incubator Office
Florence Incubator Community Space
Florence Incubator Community Space
Lake City Incubator Office
Lake City Incubator Office
Lake City Incubator Conference Room
Lake City Incubator Conference Room
The break room of the Lake City Incubator
Lake City Incubator Break Room

Potential Clients

Qualifiers include:

  • Research and Development phase 

Businesses that are in the pre-launch phase of their business can utilize the support of the incubator program to further develop their venture. 

    • Invention 
      • The inventor will need to have more than just an “idea” but have already begun the process to validate the idea. The validation could come from market studies, patent searches, consultation with professionals, or a feasibility study. 
    • Research to Commercialization 
      • A practitioner or researcher that needs time to fully develop the research topic or area of interest to reach the point of commercialization. 
    • Economic Development 
      • An entrepreneur that is pursuing a major business venture that requires professional office space and assistance in developing the business venture. 
  • Start-up Business
    • Professional service firms

Factors when assessing the professional service firm

  • Background and experience of the proprietor  
  • Compliance requirements of the type of service firm and use of the facility
  • Primary focus on the requested incubator business 
  • An independently operated business (not as a part of a direct to consumer organization or an agent of another business)
  • Technology driven or new to the market service
  • Pre-Launch businesses (retail or food-related business)
    • Businesses would not operate the proposed business during incubation but would develop the concept and business model prior to opening the external location.

NOTE:  There are certain types of professional service firms as well as traditional retail that are inappropriate for the facility and are not eligible for the incubator program.  Competing businesses will not be accepted into the same incubator. 

  • Complete the pre-qualification application 
  • Complete a Formal Business Plan, which includes market research, financial projections, and personal financial statement/tax returns
  • Formal Interview
  • Dedicated Small Business Technical Assistance Staff
  • Referrals to program partners (Local, State, Federal, or Non-profit)
  • Possible internship or student assistants for project-based work
  • Facility resources (office, copier, meeting space, etc…)
  • Professional Development and Training opportunities 
  • Monthly program fees – $200 (plus ancillary fees such as copier usage)
  • Monthly Reporting 
    • Projected Goals (Short/Long Term)
    • Achieved Goals (Short/Long Term)
    • Professional Development 
    • Networking
    • Financials
  • Quarterly Synergy Meetings
    • All clients meet to give updates and foster community of support for each other
  • Facility usage
    • Must utilize the facility consistently and may only operate the approved business

Contact Us

Photo of Brianna Dennis

Brianna L. Dennis

Executive Director
Kelley Center for Economic Development

Florence Office:
University Place, Suite 207
Lake City Office:
The Continuum, Suite 606
Phone: 843-661-1205

Photo of Avery Covington

Avery Covington

Program Coordinator
Kelley Center for Economic Development

Office: The Continuum, Suite 608
Phone: 843-374-4216

Jamie Howle

Jamie H. Hopkins

Program Coordinator
Kelley Center for Economic Development

Office: University Place, Suite 206
Phone: 843-661-4606