Sunday, November 06, 2005

Promoting an Incubator

“We used your book in our economic development class” caught my attention on my talk in Jackson, MI. Lauren M. Kruer-Driscoll, Community Development Specialist for Hastings, MI (population 7,095) was getting my signature for her copy of the book. She later sent me an email about her ideas for an incubator in Hastings, which I thought made a lot of sense from a targeting sense. Here is what she plans to do.

“So here is my idea....we will change our current industrial incubator in
to an entrepreneurial incubator. I am going to put a "sales pitch" together
about Hastings, the quality of life we have to offer, our business
environment, plus any incentives the city has to offer financially. I will
then take this pitch to Universities that surround us like; UofM, MSU, GVSU,
Calvin, K College, Western, and more. We will also probably do a special
session with local kids from the high school to keep there interests through
college or for right after they graduate. At the schools we want to reach
out to the entrepreneur groups, sometimes there are small business
associations, business student, and other related groups that might have
something to gain. We will use the incubator facility that the city already
has and create a start up environment for these businesses with extremely
low cost. The plan would be that they would grow not only their businesses
but also there families in Hastings. I think a fellow peer showing them
that they can achieve a good life style, a growing business and bright
future is what most college grads want as they walk out into the "real
world." A project like this meets 2 of the 7 key factors; raising strong
leaders (getting them involved and familiar with the city in their 20's and
30's) and encouraging the entrepreneurial approach (bringing entrepreneurs
in we diversify our manufacturing and commuter employment pattern and
possibly helping us to find a "business trend" that works for this area as
we move into a non-industrial future)”

I think that she is on the right track with her idea. I hope to stay in touch and see how she develops her plan.

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