High-tech companies growing in Florence County incubator - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

High-tech companies growing in Florence County incubator

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The push to get more manufacturing jobs to the Pee Dee is seeing some results in Florence County.

While the Gould Business Incubator has spent its time and money opening up work spaces and machinery, it's making even more of an investment in people and their ideas.

Elliott Fight Dynamics is one of the 14 manufacturing businesses housed in the Florence County Incubator. It has developed a sensor that tracks each punch a fighter takes, so coaches and tv crews can see things they never have before.

Now, Florence is one of two cities the company spends all its time in.

“We have power, we have internet, phone, we have the space we need,” said Bill Bennett, with Elliott Fight Dynamics. “They've helped us procure furniture and services locally.”

Elliott Fight Dynamics isn't alone in the incubator. In the past year, the number of companies inside the building has tripled.

Some like Epic Opt ix are even using the building and its resources to develop its prototype, an inexpensive and portable projector.

“We help them reduce their overhead costs while they're starting up, so ultimately that increases their success rate,” manager of the Gould Business Incubator.

The incubator believes one of its biggest assets it what's inside the building next door.

Businesses participating have all of the equipment at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing Technology at their disposal. That means they can use the machinery and personnel to create new products and develop old ideas.

“Literally you have so many resources at your fingertips, you almost have to try to fail,” said Dingle.

Whether it's the dozens of state-of-the-art machines or the cheap rent and free utilities, companies like Elliot Fight Dynamics have room to grow, and will maybe one day stay in Florence County.

While the business incubator here is rapidly growing, there is more room to grow.

The building is just over 50 percent full.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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