The Beta Space Resource for Entrepreneurs Plans May 2012 Launch
Here at The Incubator at MAGNET we’re busy getting ready for the launch of a new regional resource called The Beta Space that has two main purposes:
Provide a landing space for college/graduate entrepreneurs once they outgrown their dorm room or graduate from college.
Provide regional access to a portfolio of financial, legal and marketing service providers who will offer pro bono consultations in their subject-matter areas.
We are targeting the beginning of May for a soft launch of the program for companies currently housed in The Incubator at MAGNET and a summer roll out to all the region’s manufacturing-oriented technology entrepreneurs and SMBs.
How to Participate
The Beta Space has multiple opportunities to participate. Here’s a quick overview of the audiences we are targeting and the value we hope to offer.
Student Entrepreneurs: Our primary audience for the bulk of the space is student entrepreneurs. Officials at the Burton D. Morgan Foundation told us that while students feel comfortable starting businesses while on campus, once they graduate they feel somewhat adrift and unconnected. They may have heard about all this great assistance available in the region, but they’re not quite sure how to get plugged in.
The Beta Space is intended as a safe landing zone for those student and graduate entrepreneurs. The space will be free and will help connect them not only with the onsite service providers, but the larger JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network. Consistent with MAGNET’s mission and the focus of The Incubator at MAGNET, The Beta Space will be targeted at student entrepreneurs whose start-up is product- or engineering-focused.
Regional Tech Entrepreneurs and SMB Businesses: The service provider portion of The Beta Space is intended to be a regional resource, aimed primarily at technology entrepreneurs and small- to medium-sized businesses. The needs of these two groups are much different than that of mature, established companies. All the service providers participating in the Beta Space service program have been vetted to insure they are comfortable working with entreprenurial clients.
Once the new Beta Space web site launches in May, technology entrepreneurs or Northeast Ohio SMBs looking for financial, legal or marketing assistance will be able to schedule a one-hour initial consultation with a Beta Space service provider on a pro bono basis. Fees for any ongoing work would be negotiated separately between the parties.
Service Providers: Financial, legal and marketing service providers who are interested in participating in The Beta Space should be comfortable working with entrepreneurs and SMBs. We already have 15 slots filled, about half of the available weekly calendar. So if your company is interested, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philanthropists: While our initial funding was sufficient to get the program up and running, we have many ideas on how to extend and expand the program. This could be anything from a small grant fund to help the student entrepreneurs with early expenses to underwriting a full fledged business plan competition, not to mention the ongoing expense of maintaining a space conducive to our high program goals. Mike Morgenstern, MAGNET’s Chief Development Officer, will be happy to assist companies who want to support this work with a grant.
Myself, the service providers already involved, our funders and other interested parties are all committed to make this program a success and a value-added resource in the growing regional support network for entrepreneurs.
E-mail me if you want to receive the new Beta Space newsletter that will keep you informed of the growth of this unique entrepreneurial resource.
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