The Don Ryan Center for Innovation is a business incubator charged with growing Bluffton and the surrounding regions’ economic base by helping innovative start-up or early-stage companies. In light of the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses, and in conjunction with the Town of Bluffton as the Town’s economic development arm, we are now expanding our mission and are also now serving as a resource clearinghouse of local, state and federal resources to help local small businesses throughout the region. As part of our commitment and work to help small businesses rebuild and rebound, we are also now waiving our membership fee for 12 months (through April 2021) - as well as waiving the cost of rent at The HUB, a co-working space, for 12 months. The Don Ryan Center for Innovation is a business incubator charged with growing Bluffton and the surrounding regions’ economic base by helping innovative start-up or early-stage companies.
To help innovators, start-ups and early stage businesses launch and grow their companies, providing the resources and experienced business guidance needed to help them achieve their goals – and help create a vibrant entrepreneurial business climate throughout the region
Create a vibrant entrepreneurial business climate within the region through economic development emphasizing organic, sustainable growth. Enhance the economic vitality, diversity, and dynamism of the region.
The Don Ryan Center for Innovation (DRCI) was established in mid-2012 as a 501(c)(3). The corporation’s mission was to function as a business incubator to grow Bluffton’s and the surrounding regions’ economic base by helping innovative start-up or early-stage companies. The organization incubated 29 companies and expanded into partnerships with Beaufort County Schools, USCB, TCL, SCAD and the City of Beaufort to promote and support innovation and entrepreneurship for the purposes of economic development.
The Bluffton Public Development Corporation (BPDC) was the Town’s 501(c)(3) established in late 2012 by town leaders to pursue economic development within the Town. The corporation’s mission was to accept, buy, sell, develop, mortgage, and transfer real and personal property including development rights.
Its two other objectives were to assist in the town’s economic development and undertake activities designed to promote and support the May River and other watershed cleanup efforts of the town. The corporation was an arm of the Town and was formed because, by law, a municipality cannot execute specific financial transactions.
Both organizations matured and evolved to reflect the needs of the Town and the region. Since both worked in the realm of economic development Town Council authorized the merger of these entities by the adoption of a resolution on December 13, 2016, into a single entity known as the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, Inc.
This new entity fosters and promotes economic development in six general areas: