ECU Arts Business Incubator

The vision for the ECU Arts Incubator is to create successful arts entrepreneurs that contribute to Ada's Economy.  We do this by providing opportunities for unique arts-related entrepreneurs to meet needs in the community for economic development, and enhanced learning and cultural experiences utilizing local talent.  Arts-related is broadly defined to include traditional forms of art such as painting and sculpture, but also music, dance, photography, writing, graphic and software design, culinary art, and other mediums for creativity. The Incubator opened in July 2010 and is a 4500 square foot facility, certified by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. 

Benefits of the ECU Arts Incubator Program

  1. The ECU Arts Incubator provides a sheltered environment of low rental rates.  Leases for the space begin at 30% of the full market rate and increase by 10% every 6 months.  This allows a business to launch and grow without the burden of the full market lease rates right from the beginning. As the businesses become self-sustaining, it is anticipated that they leave the incubator program and locate within the Arts District, assisting with the growth and development of the District and providing an opportunity for new arts-related businesses to form.
  2. In the ECU Arts Incubator, income from the business qualifies for tax breaks with the State of Oklahoma. Visit the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website for more information on the Incubator Certification benefits. 
  3. You will receive guidance from an advisory committee comprised of knowledgeable experts who are happy to answer questions from the owners of the Incubator businesses. 
  4. The Stonecipher School of Business Economic Development Director is located next door on the 3rd floor of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center. This office provides direct assistance for entrepreneurs looking to start or expand or strengthen a business.
  5. East Central University will promote the opening of a new business within the Incubator and assist with promotion of special events. 
  6. Your business will be located in a growing hub of cultural activities and businesses adjacent to a University with nearly 5000 students and 500 employees.
  7. ECU provides high speed internet and trash service at no additional charge and water, electricity and gas are included in the lease. 
  8. ECU covers the expense of the lettering for the name of your business on the building signage and all facility maintenance costs.
  9. According to the National Business Incubation Association, business that start in an incubator have an 80% overall success rate. 
  10. A vast amount of ECU parking is available nearby, open to the public after 12:30pm daily. Owners and employees will receive an ECU parking permit.
  11. A shared break room, storage room and restroom facilities
  12. Access to a copy and fax machine

The ECU Arts Business Incubator Suites B and D are available for renting. Get a start on your application and inquire today by contacting Jessica Boles at 580-559-5539 or Whether your plan is to open a business in the coming months or a year or more, it is never too early to begin planning. To begin the application process fill out the following form as Part 1 of the application (Note: you will not be able to save a partially completed form and return to finish it later. You will receive an emailed copy of the submitted form.)

Part 2 of the application requires each of the following:

  1. A resume of each owner and key manager in the business,
  2. A list of 3 credit references,
  3. A business plan including (A summary; Business Description (what the company does and why a customer will purchase);
  4. Market Analysis (who is the customer, market size and trends);
  5. Competitive Analysis (who else is out there and if no one, what do people do now that they will change to buy your product?);
  6. Product/Service Advantages (Why is yours better or innovate and by how much?);
  7. Objectives (quantifiable targets or milestones - sales goals, market growth goals, etc.);
  8. Marketing Strategy (How to reach your market and how to get sales);
  9. Operations (How will you produce & deliver the product/service?);
  10. Organization and Management (Who will run the company);
  11. Timing (When will things happen (Start the business, company growth/expansion goals, exiting the incubator; exit strategy of the business, etc.);
  12. Financial information (Historical financial info - what you've done so far, what you projected vs actual, month by month revenue and expenses projections for the first year, annual projections for years 2 & 3, how much capital is required and how will it be obtained?);
  13. Appendix - photos of product or service and anything else you wish to add.

The written part of the plan should be at least 3 pages long. When you are ready to submit Part 2, click here

The ECU Arts Incubator was featured in the May 2011 edition of the Ada Hub.

Arts Incubator Floor Plan

Front of business incubator

Rear of the Arts Incubator Building
The entrance at the back of the ECU Arts Incubator building faces the alley between East Main Street and East 10th Street.  The parking lot off of the alley is accessible via Center Street and East Main Street.;

The East Main Enterprise Center (EMEC) was made possible by a Rural Enterprise Grant from the USDA Rural Development.  


Tri-County Indian Nations Community Development Corporation


OK Department of Commerce

OSU Cooperative Extension


Contact the ECU Arts Incubator Manager, Bridget Forshay:
Office: 580-559-5296
Fax: 580-559-5767

Office Address:
Chickasaw Business and Conference Center Building
830 East Main Street, Room 111
Ada, OK 74820

Mailing Address:
1100 East 14th Street, PMB E3
Ada, OK 74820