Business Incubation as a Regional Resource for Entrepreneurs

SCOTTVILLE – Entrepreneurs in Lake, Manistee, Mason, and Oceana counties looking for support to start or expand a business have a new place to turn for assistance. West Shore Community College (WSCC) has partnered with the Center for Business Acceleration and Incubation Studies (CBAIS) at theUniversityofMichiganto evaluate the regional interest in a business incubation program and/or facility.

All community members are invited to a town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 11, from 5-6 p.m. at the North Lounge of WSCC’s Administrative and Conference Center, for a short presentation and discussion of the new West Shore Incubator Initiative.

The West Shore Incubator Initiative is supported with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development.  WSCC and CBAIS, are working along with a steering committee comprised of leaders from Mason County Growth Alliance, Manistee Alliance for Eco­nomic Success, Lake County Economic Development Committee, Oceana County Economic Development Corporation, MSU Extension, MI-SBTDC, SCORE, and The Starting Block, who provide insight on all project incubation phases.

A business incubation program is designed to accelerate the devel­opment of entrepreneurial firms through an array of business support resources and ser­vices, developed and coordinated by the incu­bator management, and delivered by both incuba­tor staff and its networks. These programs usually provide client firms access to shared basic services, improved access to capital, and business management training.

An incubation program is also often paired with a multi-tenant facility with onsite management. It benefits client firms by providing flexible space, often with below market rent. In addition, the proximity of multiple entrepreneurial firms coupled with on-site management creates increased opportu­nities to share knowledge, develop networks, and strengthen the regional economic ecosystem.

To evaluate the need for a local business incubator, the West Shore Incubator Initiative is currently surveying entrepreneurs, small business owners, and students in the area who are interested in being involved with a regional incubator. These surveys will help assess the feasibility of an incubator and determine the programmatic and facility resources an incubator should offer.

Anyone interested in the incubator initiative is encouraged to contact the project managers. The event is free, and light refreshments will be served.

Julie Van Dyke
ProjectManager-WestShoreIncubator Initiative
WestShoreCommunity College
231.843.5903 (ph) | jlvandyke@westshore.edu

Catherine Laurion
ProjectManager-WestShoreIncubator Initiative
Center for Business Acceleration and Incubation Studies
UniversityofMichigan
506 E. Liberty St., 3rd Floor
Ann Arbor,MI48104
734.998.6218 (ph) | cathann@umich.edu

Thomas A. Hawley
Director of College Relations
West Shore Community College
231.843-5803 (ph) tahawley@westshore.edu

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One Response to Business Incubation as a Regional Resource for Entrepreneurs

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