FARGO-Two companies that got their start with help from the North Dakota State University Technology Incubator are leaving the nest.
One company, c2renew, which was incorporated in 2011, is expanding and moving its offices into the company's manufacturing site at 2222 7th Ave. N., in Fargo.
The other company, Discovery Express Kids, was started in early 2014 by Erin Nyren and is now moving to a location in downtown Fargo.
c2renew is a material designer, custom compounder and engineering service provider.
In addition, the company helps guide other businesses through the design and creation process of composites and it creates bio-composite material from recycled plastics and local agricultural by-products to support both the environment and local community.
Discovery Express Kids focuses on educating preschool children and facilitating science education in after-school programs.
The new location for Discovery Express Kids will be in the area of Block 6 in downtown Fargo where the deLendrecie's department store once was.
Corey Kratcha, co-founder and CEO of c2renew, said the company's tenure with the technology incubator was a priceless experience that permitted the company to grow while at the same time creating connections that will continue on for many years to come.
"There is no other space that allows you to do that," said Kratcha, whose company now employs nine people, including himself and fellow co-founder Chad Ulven.
Kratcha added that he is pleased that the technology incubator is continuing to foster young businesses that are following a path similar to the one c2renew took in its formation.
He said that evolution included growing from a one-room office to progressively larger spaces at the incubator.
As it consolidates its operations, Kratcha said c2renew will co-locate with 3DFuel, which c2renew supplies with filament for 3D printing that is made from recycled composites.
Nyren, also known simply as "Dr. E," said the incubator provided her company with flexibility and support during important transitional moments.
"The Incubator provides tremendous value for entrepreneurs in that they are understanding and flexible of your constantly shifting needs," Nyren said.
"I know I moved twice while I was there, and I know other businesses have had to move even more due to an expanding workforce. They are also very willing to provide you with resources that an established business might not need, like certain pieces of equipment," according to Nyren.
"Their advice was extremely helpful too," she added. "Most of the administrative staff are either past entrepreneurs, or have dealt with many entrepreneurs in the past, so they are full of helpful advice for startups."
Other companies that have graduated from the incubator include: Intelligent InSites; Pedigree Technologies; Appareo; Myriad Mobile; and Fargo 3D Printing, all of which are located in Fargo.
"We are very proud of both companies as they are great examples of what we are trying to accomplish at NDSU," said Chuck Hoge, executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park.