Business Incubation

Our Purpose

The purpose of the FMU incubator is to provide businesses 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 the business effectively build and grow at a sustainable rate so they will remain successful after completing the program.


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

Traditional Incubation Program

Qualifiers Include:

Traditional Incubation is provided in the Florence or Lake City location and has facility requirements for eligibility.

  1. Eligible businesses meeting facility requirements: research and development, pre-launch, startup, or existing business in growth phase
  2. Invention (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)
  3. 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)
  4. Economic Development Projects (An entrepreneur that is pursuing a major business venture that requires professional office space and assistance in developing the business venture)

Virtual Incubation Program

Qualifiers Include:

Virtual Incubation offers the opportunity to assist businesses that are located in Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Clarendon, and Williamsburg Counties.

  1. Retail and Food Service businesses
  2. Startups or Professional Service Firms
  3. Businesses in pre-launch or research and development phase
  4. Economic Development projects or major business ventures are not qualified for Virtual Incubation

NOTE: There are certain types of professional service firms as well as retail operations that are inappropriate for the facility and are not eligible for the Traditional Incubator Program. Also, competing businesses will not be accepted into the Virtual or Traditional Incubator Programs as well as Business Consultants/Business Consulting Firms.

  • Complete and submit the Client Intake Form.
  • Complete a formal Business Plan, which includes market research, financial projections, and personal financial statement/tax returns. Download our Business Plan Questionnaire to assist you with the writing process.
  • Attend a formal interview to discuss business needs and program expectations.
  • 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 discounted access to workshop opportunities 
  • Synergy Networking and Shared Marketing
  • Monthly program fees 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

Current Clients

The dedicated staff at the Kelley Center provide technical assistance to incubator clients in the area of business plan development, resource identification, and other general business services. The Incubation Program is designed to provide help with overcoming business obstacles, improving competitive advantage, reaching goals, and allowing opportunities for networking and improved visibility.


Click here to see our current clients enrolled in the program.


If you are currently enrolled in the Incubation Program with the Kelley Center and you need assistance, please click the link below to schedule a meeting with our staff.


Incubation Program Client Meeting (clients only) – 1 hour session

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