Did you know that we have office space available to rent at the Center for Business Development in Stillwater and The Peak in Guthrie? Our incubator has a variety of office layouts and sizes, as well as conference spaces and a business center for you to use. The incubator is more than just office space, though. It’s a community of entrepreneurs committed to pursuing their goals. By becoming a resident, you get to work alongside people with similar dreams, goals and struggles. You get to bounce ideas off of each other, learn from professional business consultants and make connections that will last a lifetime.
Types of Tenancy
Interested in joining? We have two types of tenants: residential and virtual. Our residential tenants rent office space, while our virtual tenants can drop by to use our facilities during normal business hours. With either option, you’ll have access to all of our services.
Lease office and/or light industrial lab space with 24/7 access
Priority use of facilities
Drop-in office space during normal business hours
Business consulting/coaching sessions with Business and Entrepreneurial Services staff
Use of conference rooms, subject to availability and scheduled in advance
Use of break room and business center
Access to administrative and bookkeeping services (fee-based)
Access to Business and Entrepreneurial Services programs and events
Referrals to business services and providers
Business address and mailbox
We know your needs will change as your business does, so we make it easy for you to move between both residential and virtual tenancy.
If you have a business idea that isn’t fully developed or have a newly established company that still needs a little input and guidance from experts, virtual tenancy may be a great fit for you. As a virtual tenant, you get to learn from other entrepreneurs, access business expertise, and utilize the services at the Center without renting a designated office space. You can stop by during normal business hours and use our drop-in office space or reserve a conference room for a meeting. Residential tenants that graduate from the incubator and still need to access services may also transition back to being a virtual tenant.
Residential tenancy is for businesses close to launching their product or that have a product they are already actively selling. As a residential tenant, you’ll be renting your own office space and have access 24/7 to the facility, in addition to all of our consulting services. We offer a variety of space options and configurations ranging from individual offices to light industrial lab space.
How to Apply
Because space is limited, and because different types of businesses are more successful in the Center than others, there is an application process to become a residential or a virtual tenant.
Prospective tenants need to meet the criteria below, submit a business plan with financial and growth projections, and complete the Residential Membership Application. To receive the Phase I application form, please email us at BES@meridiantech.edu.
Once the initial application is accepted, you’ll be asked to complete the Phase II application, which asks for additional information including financial and business references. We’ll also need to run a background check.
Viable product or service: Your business’s product or service should have an identifiable market with plans to operate as a full-time business. That means you should be at the Center regularly working on your business.
Business plan: We want to see that you have a good guide in place, so you will be required to submit a business plan along with your application. We’ll go over the details of the business plan requirements during your initial consultation meeting.
Entrepreneurial capabilities: You should have adequate business experience or technical education to pursue the technology or business idea that you present.
Job creation: The mission of Business and Entrepreneurial Services is to strengthen our local economy. Because of this, we’ll be looking for businesses that will create local jobs with better-than-average wages and contribute to economic development.
Growth potential: We are a springboard, not a landing place. We want to see you move on and succeed on your own. Because of this, we’ll be looking to see if your business has the potential to reach significant revenue levels. It should expect to have growth sufficient for it to graduate from the incubator in two to three years and continue growing after leaving.
Coachable: A vital part of tenancy is the coaching and consulting you’ll receive. So, you’ll need to be willing to accept business development assistance and take part in monthly coaching sessions. Otherwise, we’re just another office building.
Liability insurance: A $1 million liability insurance policy with Meridian Technology Center listed as the insured will be required before move in. It isn’t required for the initial application, though.
Companies Not Eligible
The following businesses are generally ineligible to become residential tenants but may be able to work with the Center as virtual tenants: restaurants, retail, resellers (unless there are significant consultant or training services), franchises, multi-level marketing, oil and gas exploration businesses, real estate management or investment, sales or branch offices, and personal service businesses – although consulting services specifically focused on technology including grant writers, website developers or CFO/COO consultants may be acceptable.
The state of Oklahoma provides special tax incentives for our residential tenants. Business and Entrepreneurial Services is an Oklahoma Department of Commerce-certified business incubator program, which qualifies residential clients in good standing in the incubator or approved graduates of the incubator for up to a ten-year state business income tax exemption.
We want to help you avoid making the common mistakes that many entrepreneurs make. For example, are you struggling to know if your business will attract customers when it opens, or are you wondering why your current customers don’t seem quite satisfied with your product or service? Assistant Director Brad Rickelman has some advice about this issue in the video below.
Do you have other questions that you have been wanting to ask about your business or business idea? We’d love to talk with you.