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September 18. 2013 9:36PM

John Flatley firm offers free rent to high-tech startup company

The owner of a Nashua technology park is offering a year of free rent to a high-tech startup company with the most promising business plan.

The winner will get up to 5,000 square feet of free space in Gateway Hills, the business-residential-commercial park that John Flatley Company is building out of the former Digital campus in south Nashua.

“They’re on their own after that; we just help them get started,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, spokesman for John Flatley Company. Of course, Gateway Hills hopes the company will succeed and grow while staying at the technology park.

The company said the offer includes $10,000 in fit-up costs.

And the winner will be able to recharge his or her entrepreneurial juices by working alongside some 30 tech companies, including Dell, Aspen Technology and Skillsoft.

“Working within a master-planned technology campus with other like-minded companies has been extremely beneficial for our growth and our employees’ productivity,” said Peter Vicars, chief-executive of VGO Communications. VGO was one of two companies to win last year’s Flatley Challenge, the company’s first.

VGO is a robot-like device that allows sick schoolchildren to participate in classes remotely.

The contest calls for applications to be submitted by Oct. 31. The applications must include portions of the company’s business plan, projected financial resources and growth potential for the next three to five years.

Finalists will interview with Massachusetts-based John J. Flatley, who owns Gateway Hills, and other members of his executive team, McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said Gateway Hills has about 30 tenants in its Nashua Technology Park and six in an associated Nashua Office Park.

The Gateway Hills website says it has 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, but McLaughlin said some of that is being developed.

The development also includes 450 luxury apartments and a 35,000-square-foot retail center at the development’s entrance off Spit Brook Road.

mhayward@unionleader.com



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