The Don Ryan Center for Innovation is a business incubator charged with growing Bluffton's and the surrounding regions economic base by helping innovative start-up or early stage companies.

We offer space, resources, hands-on consulting support, and can link you to business mentorships, technology evaluation, product development services, marketing services, intellectual property research, and seed financing introduction.


Entrepreneurs can propose their idea to the DRCI "pitch pool" for review. A full business plan is not a prerequisite; this is an exploratory process to determine if your idea can be grown through the utilization of our resources.


Upon entering the program, entrepreneurs have access to a range of resources including R&D, market development research. angel funding, creative workspace, and human resources. We are here to support and foster your idea development. We use BaseCamp to keep all team members on task and informed.


The DRCI is designed for entrepreneurs who anticipate a 12-18 month development cycle. Once we have helped you launch your idea to market, the sky's the limit.


Our program is not a "cookie-cutter" one in which we treat every company the same.  We work to help you in the areas that you are weak.  Some companies need help in many areas, others need just one.  Below is a list of our most commonly provided services:

  • Business licensing and company formation advice
  • Sales advice
  • Marketing advice
  • Accounting/Financial advice
  • Mentors
  • Funding Introduction
  • Other services as required by innovator
  • Ongoing business/technical consulting
  • Office space & Infrastructure
  • Structured bi-monthly team meetings 
  • 18 month goal planning and execution
  • Business Plan development/execution
  • Social media advice and planning
  • Website advice and development


There's no such thing as one right way to do a startup. You just have to do it—to work as hard and smart as you can to take your company from concept to reality.

It’s not easy, but it is possible. But you have to be focused.

If your start up is a "hobby" we are not for you.  

If you are not goal oriented, we are not for you.

If you are not a self starter, we are not for you.

We can help. We are going to build a team of talented people around you.  We are going to help you make it work - but YOU have to be committed.

  1. Be a for-profit business in a high-growth field;

  2. Have a product or service that can be commercialized within a reasonable amount of time;

  3. Be in the early stages of business development;

  4. Demonstrate strong market for products or services;

  5. The company should intend to remain in the region;

  6. Have a basic business overview or a written description of a business;

  7. Have the ability to pay the incubator’s monthly fee;

  8. Agree to meet twice a month with your team to set goals and objectives and to evaluate business conditions.
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