May 10, 2007

Four firms graduate from Small Business Incubator

by Christi Mathis


CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Small Business Incubator program has announced that four businesses have graduated from the center in recent weeks. Moving their successful operations to other locations are: DiscoverPlaces, LLC; Physicians Management Group, LLC; The Southern Illinois Community Foundation; and Survey Design Services.

Physicians Management Group assists physicians in receiving maximum reimbursement for services. The all-encompassing, concierge-type coding and billing service allows physicians to devote their times to patients, medical updates and personal matters. PMG, with Danette Goccio as president, began a year ago and already has nine employees. It is relocating to the west side of Carbondale.

Southern Illinois Community Foundation traces its roots to a project housed in the Department of Agribusiness Economics at the SIUC College of Agricultural Sciences. Funding for rural and economic development projects through the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Resources provided initial assistance and the Small Business Incubator then aided with the transition to a private, non-profit corporation. With Margaret Flanagan as president, the SICF provides leadership in meeting charitable needs in the region. The organization’s mission is fostering and encouraging private philanthropic giving to improve the communities of Southern Illinois by connecting charitable donors with worthy causes and building endowment funds to provide perpetual support. The SCIF is moving to new quarters in Marion.

Survey Design Services evolved as Sharon Voirin was completing her rehabilitation doctorate at SIUC. She enjoyed the research involved and that led to a small, service-based business providing research and evaluation help for non-profits, government organizations, graduate students and individual research projects. SDS, offering an array of services to guide research projects from start to finish, is relocating in Carbondale.

DiscoverPlaces, with Jim Zimmerman as president, is a software-based business providing web portal development and ancillary services to communities around the United States, currently focusing in and around Illinois. Visitors to the Web portal have seen the company’s work. The DiscoverPlaces Web portal system allows communities to present a complete collection of Web sites from a region via a central entry point (portal). This allows a geographic location to generate commercial and public interest by presenting a complete yet centralized community picture with the goal of improving economic and community development, tourism and quality of life. DiscoverPlaces has a strong presence in the Peoria and Champaign areas.

The Small Business Incubator program is a service provided by the SIUC Office of Economic and Regional Development. Located at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, the SBI is in its 16th year of providing in-depth management assistance and rental space to help new and expanding business entities. It offers office space, wet/dry laboratories and light manufacturing space. Kyle L. Harfst is the director of the SBI and also serves as interim executive director for the University-affiliated Southern Illinois Research Park.

For more information about the SIUC Small Business Incubator program call 618/453-3427 or look online at