The largest accounting firm in Rhode Island, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co., has made connecting with the next generation of New England entrepreneurs part of its growth strategy. Longtime participants in the Rhode Island Business Plan competition, KLR is now launching an Emerging Business Center incubator space in its offices on North Main Street in Providence.
The idea of hosting shared office space for startups has become popular in Rhode Island recently, with at least four other operations, all with their own specialties, either open or planning to open within the year.
KLR Managing Director Alan Litwin discusses the Emerging Business Center.
PBN: What inspired you to open a business incubator in Providence?
LITWIN: We have been doing a lot of work with emerging businesses both in Providence and Boston, and working with them, we felt we needed to be where they are. Nine months ago we opened an office in the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendal Square. It’s a six-story building with shared office space. … There are [more than] 1,000 companies in the CIC and everything is month to month with no long-term commitment. We had clients in there and wanted to be close to them and have the opportunity to find new clients there. … As we did some research, we saw there are some [similar] things in downtown Providence, but nothing even close to this. … Our goal is to provide service to help these companies grow and be successful. We want to provide space, and we have great space, but also accounting, tax, technology and recruiting expertise.
PBN: The most prominent incubator space in Providence right now is probably Founders League. Are you going to be similar to Founders League?