Delaware County Council launches

the Delaware County Edge Accelerator

Helping Small Business Leverage the Edge.

Delaware County Council held a press conference on Oct. 19 to announce an innovative and exciting new program for Delaware County small business owners- the Delaware County Edge Accelerator.

Councilman John McBlain joined Patrick Killian, Director of the Delaware County Commerce Center, John Tooher and Dan Leivens, Managing Partners of HeadRoom, John Lippman, Co-Chairman of the Delaware County and Chester County Chapter of SCORE and Trish McFarland, President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce at HeadRoom in Media to announce the details of the program, including how small business owners can apply.

Under the direction of Delaware County Council and the Delaware County Commerce Center, the county continues to implement the priorities of the Local Economic Development Strategy, which was unveiled in 2014. The first priority identified was the need to develop a marketing impact for the county's economic development efforts. This resulted in the development of the "Get the Edge" marketing slogan which was announced last year. The second priority identified was the development of a facility for a Delaware County Innovation and Growth Accelerator Center. This recommendation evolved from the county's 10-year economic development strategy entitled "Growing from Within."

The Delaware County Industrial Development Authority commissioned Delta Development Group to assist in an assessment of existing facilities, which are often referred to as Business Incubators or Accelerators. Some are University based, some are privately funded and some rely on public subsidies.

After reviewing the assessment, the Delaware County Commerce Center has partnered with HeadRoom, a Media and Radnor Township based small business incubator, and SCORE, an organization of experienced volunteers dedicated to providing free counseling and seminars to help small businesses. Through that partnership they have developed the Delaware County Edge Accelerator. The goal is to help small business Leverage the Edge.

"We know that Delaware County small businesses are a vital part of our economy and their success is essential to the economic growth and prosperity of our county," said Councilman John McBlain. "Delaware County has been leading the region coming out of this last recession, surpassing our counterparts in nearby counties in job creation. Part of the reason why we are successful in doing that here, is due to the strong and diverse small business community. The Delaware County Edge Accelerator will propel our small business community even further."

Through the Accelerator program the Commerce Center will sponsor qualifying start-ups and small businesses to use HeadRoom's facilities to incubate and develop their businesses, with the ultimate goal of creating employment in Delaware County. SCORE will provide counseling and training to applicants to help them grow their business.

"Delaware County Council is making a commitment to small businesses in our county, and we are happy to team with them and HeadRoom to drive job creation in Delaware County," said John Lippman, Co-Chairman of the Delaware County and Chester County Chapter of SCORE. "The 100 volunteers in the Delaware and Chester County Chapter of SCORE bring broad and deep business experience to aid new businesses through one-on-one business mentoring, workshops, seminars, and other services."

Successful applicants will receive full use of both HeadRoom facilities in Media and Wayne for 50 hours per month. They will have 24/7 access for themselves, their team, advisors and clients. HeadRoom will provide state of the art offices and conference rooms for one-on-one meetings, team meetings, workshops and presentations. Participating businesses will also have access to a broad range of local businesses currently using HeadRoom, which can offer their expertise, additional business, local knowledge and direct referrals. They will also receive mentorship and assistance from SCORE and Headroom's staff.

"HeadRoom has built a community of approximately 70 diverse and dynamic business in Delaware County during the last two years," said John Tooher, Managing Partner HeadRoom. "Companies engaged in our ecosystem benefit from co-inhabiting with a very broad range of subject matter experts and fellow entrepreneurs focused on growing their business. We are delighted to bring new faces and new talent into this pool through the sponsorship of Delaware County and working with SCORE in assisting these businesses to reach their goals."

Applications for the first sponsorship of the Delaware County Edge Accelerator are being accepted through December 1st. Small Business owners can apply online: www.delcoedge.com/accelerator Applications are ongoing. The next application deadline will be March 1, 2017.

The applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of members of the Commerce Center, HeadRoom and SCORE. The goal of the program is to create sustainable employment in the small business sector in Delaware County; therefore, companies most likely to be successful in their application will have a focus on job creation and making a contribution to the local economy.

Companies can remain in the program for a maximum period of 36 months, provided that they demonstrate on-time and successful completion of key milestones in their business plan as presented in their original application.

The Delaware County Edge Accelerator was created through a partnership between The Delaware County Commerce Center and HeadRoom and funded by the Delaware County Redevelopment Authority. No tax dollars are being utilized for the grants.

"The creation of the Edge Accelerator is a concrete example of how creative/public partnerships can be used to address the need of the business community in a cost effective, efficient manner, said Patrick Killian, Director of the Delaware County Commerce Center. "We thank both HeadRoom and SCORE for joining this endeavor."

A 2014 study of businesses in Delaware County found that the majority of Delaware County businesses employ less than 100 people. The study found 21 businesses which employ 1,000 or more employees and almost 7,000 businesses which employ 1 to 4 employees. The clear majority of Delaware County Businesses have under 10 employees.




Accelerator Group

Delaware County Council launches the Delaware County Edge Accelerator

Delaware County Council joined the Commerce Center, HeadRoom, SCORE and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 19 to announce an innovative and exciting new program for Delaware County small business owners, the Delaware County Edge Accelerator. Through the Accelerator program the Commerce Center will sponsor qualifying start-ups and small businesses to use HeadRoom's facilities and services to incubate and develop their businesses, with the ultimate goal of creating employment in Delaware County. SCORE will provide counseling and training to applicants to help them grow their business. Applications for the first sponsorship of the Delaware County Edge Accelerator are being accepted through December 1st. Small Business owners can apply online: www.delcoedge.com/accelerator Applications are ongoing. The next application deadline will be March 1, 2017.

From left: Director of the Delaware County Commerce Center Patrick Killian, Councilman Dave White, Headroom Managing Partner Erin Lievens, Councilman John McBlain, Co-Chairman of the Delaware County and Chester County Chapter of SCORE John Lippman, Managing Partners of HeadRoom John Tooher and Dan Leivens, Vice Chair Colleen Morrone, Councilman Mike Culp and President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce Trish McFarland.