and Lack of Economic Development Support
I’m wondering, do all the states emerging technology centers, economic development offices and Small Business Administration offices operate as inefficiently as here in Delaware? I would think that being such a small state we could maintain exemplary status quite easily. So, if entrepreneurs and small businesses can’t seem to get the needed assistance when they need it here in a small state, what about larger states?
The Delaware Emerging Technology Center profiles page (http://www.delawareetc.org/profiles/) contains an introduction and three emerging technology projects on the page. The introduction states: “Delaware is home to dozens of emerging technology companies that are poised for growth and will change the world in the process. This section will provide profiles of those companies as examples of the innovation and determination that are alive and well in our community.”
One of the three projects set aside as exemplary projects just happens to be a small business that I highlighted as Company of the Week last June after winning two major awards at the Annual INPEX Inventors convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Jerry Hickman and his 911 Locator Systems looked to be well on his way to great success. After all, he had won the 2009 “Best Overall” Governor’s Entrepreneurial Business Plan Award in Delaware just one year previous.
Here is the description of Jerry’s business as listed in The Delaware Emerging Technology Center profiles:
911 Locator Systems Inc. 911 LOCATOR SYSTEMS INC. is a early stage small business from Sussex County, Delaware that has developed products to assist emergency crews to locate homes and businesses quickly in emergency and life threatening situations. Police, firefighters and EMT emergency responders know seconds count when responding to 911 emergency calls. The National Fire Protection Assoc. (NFPA) says more than 65% of all Fire & EMS companies cannot meet the mandated #1710 standard of 6 minutes response time. Seconds are critical, Awareness Demanded a Solution!!
911 Locator Systems, Inc., has patented and patent-pending technologies that expedite the arrival of first responders. All of their electronics and accessories are manufactured in plants under strict ISO9001-2000 and IPC-A-610 Workmanship Certifications.
Jerry Hickman, President and CEO of 911 Locator Systems, has more than 20 years front line experience as a firefighter/EMT/ instructor. His company has won local, national and international awards including, the Delaware ETC and Business Plan Competitions 2009 Best Overall Business Plan and received the award at the Governor’s Entrepreneurial Business Conference, and the International Bronze Medal and International Humanitarian Award at INPEX® 2010, at the Invention & New Product Expo.
911 Locator Systems are endorsed by EMS/firefighters and police nationwide.
INPEX International Jury President, Andrej Skrinjar with Jerry Hickman
Jerry Hickman with Nicole Hait, INPEX Trade Expo Director
Speaking to Jerry this past week, I found that he has received absolutely no assistance from any of the various agencies in the state (This assumes that lip service doesn’t count as assistance.). The banks will not qualify him so the SBA loans are not available to him. He says that for some reason the economic stimulus funds seemed never to have gotten to the entrepreneurs or small businesses where it is so greatly needed. So the only avenue he has is through investors… and that process is even slow right now.
In spite of it all Jerry continues to press forward. At present he has 9 dealers across the country. If he had the capital to produce greater volume, he has 47 dealers waiting. And with a major deal in Ohio his business could quadruple.
He has developed a new wireless line that will be the model placed in stores such as Home Depot and sold on QVC. With the proper capital ($1.5 million) he has the property and a proposed 10,000 sq ft building ready to be built where he will employ as many as 75 workers, producing 3/4 million units per year to start. Within 18 months he could be employing as many as 400 more workers through his dealership network.
All of this could be in place now if the funding he had been “promised” had come through.
So, I am wondering… with an award winning project that shows great potential in hiring nearly 500 people total in less than 2 years can’t seem to gain economic stimulus support… is there anyone out there tapping into the funds? If there is, I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know that it’s not just more governmental “hot air” that we continuously hear but there are those projects that are getting assistance and moving forward. I want to highlight some of these projects here on the TNNWC Company of The Week. Send all reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact Jerry Hickman and 911 Locator Systems:
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