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Business incubator fosters innovation

(Julie McCabe and Marlon Eilts of Happy Hedgehog LLC shown in Pontiac)

Those wanting to try out broadcast media don’t have to travel far.

Marlon Eilts has set up a podcast studio inside of his Happy Hedgehog LLC building at 741 West Washington Street.

“I want to give people that would like to get into either broadcasting or some kind of media an outlet and podcasting seems to be a very popular one now,” explained Eilts.

Though he says podcasting isn’t necessarily for him, Eilts realizes local broadcasting is not always easy to come by. Services include audio recording along with video work.

“We are creating a media outlet for people that want to get into that business and give them a place to try it.”

Happy Hedgehog LLC is a business incubator which essentially tries to foster local innovation. Eilts notes there is plenty of local talent in Pontiac and he has been approached by others who don’t know how to necessarily transform that talent into a business.

Hedgehog has the resources to support businesses such as Lola’s Homestyle Filipino Cooking, which is one of their biggest partners. They also have the Break Room wi-fi lounge.

“I have a lot of crazy ideas so I need an outlet for them,” admits Eilts.

Eilts relies on marketing director Julie McCabe and his wife, Stacy, who does all of the books, to keep him in line and organized. They gave their blessing to the podcast venture.

“That was one of the projects that actually came through that they approved.”

While it is not always easy to chase your talent or passion and it will take plenty of work, there are opportunities out there.

“Part of why Hedgehog started was I got kind of tired of people saying there’s nothing to do in Pontiac,” recalls Eilts. “I want to remove that excuse for people.”

A few of the podcasts can be heard and seen at They include an episode about Happy Hedgehog and what it entails, another episode about Lola’s and even a recent segment with Eye On Central Illinois’ Kent Casson about his plans for small-town news coverage in the area.

Eilts has more ideas which they may be able to do down the road.

(The podcast studio within Happy Hedgehog LLC in Pontiac)


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