3C Institute | Raleigh, NC
UPDATE: Since the 2012-2013 featured below, Dr. Melissa DeRosier, founder and CEO of 3C Institute, was honored with an Award for Excellence for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship by the US Small Business Administration.
In 2001, clinical psychologist Melissa DeRosier, Ph.D., founded the 3-C Institute for Social Development (3C), a developer of cutting-edge web- and game-based applications and technology solutions designed to improve the health and well-being of youth and families. These researched-based tools help teachers, families, and researchers work with children to address difficult social problems, such as bullying and teasing, and to succeed in their personal and academic lives. 3C’s work bridges the gap between research and the real world to foster social, behavioral, and mental health on a broad scale.
Melissa successfully leveraged the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) to fuel the initial growth of her company. After receiving her first SBIR award in 2002, Melissa came to the SBTDC for help to strategically grow her emerging business. Since then, the SBTDC has provided one-on-one counseling on a variety of business issues including business planning, strategic planning, marketing, legal issues, human resources, government contracting, and technology commercialization.
The technology commercialization guidance and assistance that Melissa received from the SBTDC has contributed to 3C’s success at being awarded a record number of 45 SBIR awards. The SBTDC’s technology commercialization team helps clients like 3C understand R&D grant programs, strategically incorporate the grant process into their business plan, learn how to write successful proposals, and actively pursue awards.
“We would not be here without SBIR,” Melissa says of the program.
The SBTDC also helped by procuring highly-skilled and knowledgeable graduate business students from local university business schools, including Duke University, NC State University, and UNC-Chapel Hill to assist 3C with business planning, market research, legal audits, and human resource audits.
One of Melissa’s great strengths as a leader is that she doesn’t believe she can do it all herself—she takes the initiative to seek out critical feedback, different perspectives, and input from others such as the SBTDC. As a result, 3C’s foundation and potential is much stronger.
“The ability to call on experts for help and guidance with planning and facing new challenges is invaluable and has helped me grow 3C strategically.”
Melissa has grown 3C from one person to over 75 employees, and their technology applications and resources are now used in schools, outpatient hospitals, and research institutions across the United States and in eleven countries. Even in the very difficult economic times of the past several years, 3C has continued to show increasing revenue with sustained and growing employment. 3C will continue to be a successful North Carolina business, growing revenue and providing a stable, family-friendly, and productive workplace for current and future employees.
More Success Stories
First Flight Adventure Park
When we came to the SBTDC, we were so frustrated. We had tried everything, but they just looked at us and said, “We can help!” Our schedule was so tight and stressful. We didn’t even get our Occupancy Permit until Friday at 4:30 p.m. They were right, though, they were able to help. Our counselor was so supportive and flexible, even showing up at the construction sight to make sure things got signed. Without the SBTDC, we wouldn’t have found out about the Revolving Loan Fund, and we wouldn’t have been able to open at the critical moment.
We were aware there was a communication issue, but we’ve been able to fully understand the deeper issues, we have a plan to improve, and assurance that those improvements would take hold. There isn’t a finish line for this sort of thing, but the improvements have been recognizable and have made an impact on the company. Since working with the SBTDC, we’ve had a 20% increase in employees, and our revenues are increasing as our changes begin taking effect.