ENTERPRISE CENTER HELPS BUDDING MEDIA MOGULS.
Over the years, Yvette N. Berke came to know many people with big dreams of starting entertainment-related companies, but little in the way of support to help them make those visions real.
So about two years ago, Berke - a former senior buyer in the purchasing department at The Walt Disney Co. - started doing some dreaming of her own about an ``incubator'' in which budding entrepreneurs could grow their businesses.
The result was the Entertainment Technology Enterprise Center that opened in January at the old Adolph's meat tenderizer manufacturing plant in the heart of the NoHo district.
It's a 72,000-square-foot facility meant to promote the growth of independent television, film, music and multimedia companies.
``That's a big incubator, probably one of the bigger ones in California,'' Berke said. ``But we want to incubate a lot of companies, so we need a big incubator.''
In addition to providing space from which a company can expand, the ETEC offers support services ranging from assistance in developing a business plan to finding venture capital.
Thus far, the ETEC has about 12 ``virtual'' tenants - that is, tenants who are receiving services from the center but not working on-site. It is also in the process of moving in three full-time tenants, according to Berke.
Among the virtual tenants is Ray Upton, who turned to the ETEC for help in starting up Intercontinental Media Productions, an e-commerce Web site tied into music, television and live events.
The center helped him develop a business plan that has helped the company attract some funding sources, Upton said.
``It helped us clearly focus on the steps - first step, second step, third step - for beginning the business and what we needed to start the business,'' Upton said.
The center also has three fully-grown and functioning companies on-site that serve as anchors and also can support the growing businesses by, for example, contracting out work to them.
And there is still plenty of space to take in more tenants - some 50,000 square feet are open for rental or leasing to both tenants and anchors, Berke said.
At the ETEC, tenants get a chance to grow and put on some muscle, as well as an opportunity to get matched up with the big studios and established companies that would contract with the budding companies, Berke said.
The center is even developing a kitchen to serve as an on-site commissary and a place where entrepreneurs can develop food-service businesses catering to the entertainment industry, she said.
Meanwhile, the growing companies can maintain their independence.
``The ultimate goal is that they will be resources to feed the big machines,'' Berke said.
The Entertainment Technology Enterprise Center is at 5355 Cartwright Ave. For more information, one can reach the ETEC through Adapt Consulting Inc. at (818) 782-6974.
Other companies opening or expanding in the San Fernando Valley include:
Mosten Mediation Centers, which on Wednesday opened a new center at 23480 Park Sorrento, Suite 121-A, in Calabasas and expects to open another in downtown Glendale in August or September. Mosten mediates disputes between parties involved in lawsuits and already has centers in Sherman Oaks and West Los Angeles. For information, call (818) 380-0456 or (310) 445-2524.
Mutual fund company T Rowe Price Associates Inc. recently opened a new walk-in Investor Center at 21800 Oxnard St., Suite 270, in Woodland Hills. For information, call (877) 218-7272. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and, by appointment, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jul 11, 1999|
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