The first client of the Jump Start Incubator program in Reading graduated Wednesday at a celebratory luncheon at the Berks County Community Foundation.
Marilu Rodríguez-Bauer, owner of the bilingual law firm of RB Legal Counsel LLC, is the first graduate of the Jump Start Incubator program, a jobs creation and economic development initiative that began in 2012. Its programs are supported by the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center and the Berks County Community Foundation.
The program provides entrepreneurial coaching and training to startup and existing business owners looking to grow their operations. It is funded by charitable contributions through the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program.
Rodríguez-Bauer was the first client to join JSI in February 2012. Her law firm specializes in business law and the development and protection of intellectual property.
Prior to starting her firm, Rodríguez-Bauer spent more than a decade in legal practice. She worked in her native Puerto Rico as an attorney until 2000, when she enrolled in the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H., to pursue a graduate degree. She also held a number of positions in the Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia areas.
Upon graduation, Rodríguez-Bauer will relocate to an office on Woodland Road in Wyomissing.
JSI is a two-year program in which clients receive premium office space along with 24 hours of university graduate student support and professional staff support per month, up to 20 hours of conference facility use per month and ongoing mentoring from advisers.
Clients also receive a mailing address, presence on the Jump Start Incubator website and free wireless Internet.