A new company developing software and records-management services for behavioral health centers will start making calls on possible customers next week, all from its new home in a business incubator on Kansas University’s West Campus.
One employee. One product.
“Within two years, we expect to have at least 10 employees here,” said Bob Etzel, CEO of BrightEHR. “Within four to five years, we should be up around $10 million to $12 million (in sales).”
The company joins Propylon, which creates computer systems for state governments, as the first tenants in the new $7.5 million Bioscience & Technology Business Center, 2029 Becker Drive.
More than 120 business leaders, university officials, government representatives and others gathered Friday afternoon to dedicate the center, one they look forward to filling up with business employees and clients in the coming weeks, months and years.
No longer are businesses opportunities merely an “occasional byproduct” of KU research, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said.
“We are seeking opportunities to foster research collaboration and instill a more entrepreneurial culture at KU throughout the campus,” she told the crowd. “There’s a heightened sense of urgency for this because, in this economy, Kansas needs us to fill this role now more than ever.”
The center aims to transfer campus research and area expertise into products and services that can thrive in a competitive high-tech economy. BrightEHR, for example, is backed by the expertise and investment of Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center in Lawrence.
“It’s going to give them good return on their investment,” Etzel said.
Working together to finance the center are KU, the city of Lawrence, Douglas County, Lawrence-Douglas County Biosciences Authority, Kansas Bioscience Authority and KU Endowment Association.
Such cooperation is key to enabling businesses to commercialize their products and create jobs, Sen. Pat Roberts said.
“This is exactly the kind of partnership we need to continue to move Lawrence and the Kansas economy forward,” said Roberts, R-Kan. “It’s also just one more example of the cooperation we need to complete what I call the Kansas high-tech corridor — to run along K-10 from Johnson County to Lawrence to I-70 in Topeka and on to Manhattan.
“I have no doubt the high-tech job potential of this corridor could and can be a driver in the Kansas economy for years to come.”