Let’s give the Don Ryan Center for Innovation a warm welcome to Beaufort

24 Jan Let’s give the Don Ryan Center for Innovation a warm welcome to Beaufort

As a compliment to the new Beaufort Digital Corridor in our efforts to stimulate better jobs closer to home for those who grow up here and those who move here, the City of Beaufort and the Town of Bluffton’s Don Ryan Center for Innovation will be opening on the first floor of City Hall.  Join your City Council in welcoming them and embracing this new opportunity.

Successful small business incubator to open Beaufort branch at City Hall

The Don Ryan Center for Innovation-Beaufort launches this month to help new businesses take root and grow.

The project is a branch of the main center in Bluffton which has helped more than 90 businesses since 2012. The center is headquartered in the first floor of Beaufort City Hall and will assist qualifying businesses with their start-ups.

The grand opening of Beaufort’s Don Ryan Center is set for Jan. 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Beaufort City Hall, 1911 Boundary Street.

“Having the Don Ryan Center of Innovation set up in downtown Beaufort, in City Hall, is a huge step for us,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said. “Their team has done great things for new businesses in the Bluffton area, and we anticipate equal successes with entrepreneurs in Beaufort.”

How it works: Entrepreneurs propose their idea to the center for review. A full business plan isn’t required – the pitch process helps determine if the original idea can be grown through the help of the Don Ryan Center resources.

Once accepted into the program, entrepreneurs have access to a range of resources including

research and development, market development research, angel funding, creative workspace and human resources.

“This is a hands-on approach to economic development for new businesses, and goes hand in hand with what the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission envisions for growing and diversifying our economy,” said Linda Roper, Beaufort’s court and contracts administrator who will be the city’s liaison to the Don Ryan Center.


The Don Ryan Center for Innovation is designed for entrepreneurs who anticipate a 12-18 month development cycle. Its Beaufort work is focused on non-technology businesses – those will be referred to the Beaufort Digital Corridor at 500 Carteret Street.

“We are looking forward to great things happening” in the center, Roper said. “We all hear from people who have great ideas for new businesses, and now we have local and expert support to move those ideas into reality.”

Since 2012, the Don Ryan Center has helped more than 96 companies. David Nelems is executive director for the Don Ryan Center. He can be reached at dnelems@townofbluffton.com or 843-540-0405. Visit their website at www.donryancenter.com.