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Castle Branch Proceeding With Plans For Tech Space

By Jenny Callison, posted Apr 16, 2014
As the completion date draws nearer for Castle Branch’s new 60,000-square-foot facility on Sir Tyler Drive, the company is dropping hints about its plans to devote the top floor of the building to space for entrepreneurial startups.

The space now has a name: Tek Mountain, and a website, www.tekmountain.com.

The site’s single page invites people to enter their email address to be notified when the website launches. It does not include any further information.

Company officials likewise declined to provide details about the project at this time, but Tek Mountain is clearly in the works. When he appeared at last week’s WITX conference at University of North Carolina Wilmington, Castle Branch president Joe Finley mentioned Tek Mountain briefly; the company’s booth also displayed the project’s logo and website.

Castle Branch CEO Brett Martin announced his intentions for the space at a Greater Wilmington Business Journal Power Breakfast event in October, at which executives of five fast-growing Wilmington companies talked about growth strategies. Martin, one of the breakfast panelists, said in response to a question that the technology community in Wilmington is “too small.”

When his company needed to build a new platform for its software systems, Martin said, he looked locally and regionally for a company that could do the work, but without success. Castle Branch ultimately had to hire a firm in India to build the platform.

As a result, Martin said at the event, “I’m committed to building [a technology culture] here.”

He announced that the top floor of Castle Branch’s new building, which is currently under construction next to the company’s existing facility at 1845 Sir Tyler Drive, would be fitted out as a technology incubator. Occupants, he said, could be either tech startups or tech professionals working remotely for companies located elsewhere.

“The incubator will provide a landing zone for them,” Martin said. “I expect that the new companies will graduate from the incubator in two years, which is typical, and they will sell Wilmington [to their counterparts elsewhere].”

Work on the new three-story building started in May. Company officials expect to move in to the facility by June.

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