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 email@example.com.
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.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
Why should you consider TechLink? To date: More than 1,270 technology transfer partnerships brokered between companies and 110 DoD labs or centers, including all 65 DoD labs that generate patented inventions More than 600 license agreements facilitated between DoD and companies nationwide, transferring over 1,000 DoD inventions to industry Facilitated 60% of total DoD licensing agreements over the past 10 years What does TechLink Specialize in? TechLink specializes in 10 technology areas: Energy, BioTech, Materials, Sensors, Photonics, Software/Info Technology, Military Technology, Electronics and Environmental Technologies. 4 Ways TechLink can help you: Actively market DoD inventions to industry nationwide Help companies evaluate these inventions and submit license applications Facilitate communications between DoD labs and companies leading to “win-win” license agreements for both parties Maintain the nation’s only comprehensive database of DoD-patented inventions, fully searchable through techlinkcenter.org Why should you believe in TechLink? Check out the TechLink technology database and the Technology Spotlight for regular updates on available technologies and contact information for the related Technology Manager. The Manager will help you assess the technology for your company needs, facilitate your connection with DoD, and walk you through the licensing process. Most DoD inventions have civilian and commercial applications. DoD technologies licensed by TechLink have generated