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Business Growth Center Successes


BLACK WIND TURBINES: Success in Antarctica

On Black Island in Antarctica, category five hurricane winds are routine, and temperatures can fall to minus 57 degrees. But even in these conditions, one wind turbine prevails – that designed by Black Island Wind Turbines of Hadley.

While this company has a global reach, it got its start here at the Business Growth Center, back when we operated solely as an incubator space. When we met co-owners Patrick Quinlan and William Stein, their business was a fledgling start-up housed at the Growth Center at Springfield Technology Park. Several years ago, Black Island graduated and moved to its own space in Hadley, but Pat and William’s work with the Growth Center was so valuable, they continued the connection, staying as members in our Growth Advisory Program.

Black Island is experiencing steady progress, in part as a result of its ongoing consultation with Pat and William on strategy and growth. Their intention is to expand into a new, non-governmental market, offering their turbines for commercial sales to satisfy the most difficult site and customer demands around the world. In April, 2014 the company received a $150,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center , one of the Growth Center’s funding and clean energy partners, to expand its markets and manufacturing capacity for its super-high reliable wind turbines.

As Pat and William say about their product, they’re “the toughest wind turbines on the planet.” We know the entrepreneurs behind them are tough as well, working hard to achieve success.

PSI 91: Innovative sports balls for Under Armour

Daniel Touhey and John Frank of PSI 91 sure got the ball rolling on their business success, and all along, they’ve had the Business Growth Center behind them.

The two partners formerly worked together at Spalding Sports Worldwide of Chicopee, but when it closed in 2009, Dan and John punted, developing innovative inflatable basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls and footballs and began shipping them exclusively for the Under Armour  brand in 2011. What makes their product line unique and sought after is found in the details; their football, for instance, is made of leather that is tanned with 20 percent more tack than the typical football in the marketplace, so the grip is superior.

Since 2010, PSI 91 has been located in the Business Growth Center at Springfield Technology Park. They first consulted with Center Director Marla Michel and took advantage of the pre-startup company program for use of conference rooms  , in which they signed their first contract. They then signed on for the Growth Advisory Program as an incubator client, meeting for two and half years with the team of advisors the Growth Center convened. Pleased with their Growth Center office space and support, they have no plans to move away from this business strategy hub.

PSI 91’s balls are used by college sports teams in tournaments and other high-level competitions, and that fills Dan and John – and the Growth Center – with pride.

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