If you haven't yet heard of Sprout Lab
and you're into big ideas and the future of the region, it's something you might want to check out.
Sprout Lab is a public-private partnership with several colleges and universities in Michigan, along with government agencies, business foundations, small business agencies and other groups interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
They're holding a series of idea boot camps and seminars all over the state, including one that took place in Bay City in mid-February.
The boot camps are designed to help innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs move their ideas forward, especially in the realms of agribusiness, natural resources, tourism or renewable energy.
Among the local partners are the MI-SBDC, East Michigan Council of Governments, Saginaw Valley State University, Grand Valley State University, and the Isabella Bank Center for Entrepreneurship at Central Michigan University.
Sprout Labs also is forming longer-term rural entrepreneurship courses in areas where there is enough interest, called Co.Starters. One such course is forming in the Bay City area starting in March, and costs about $150 for nine weeks of seminars and mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs. They are designed for people a little farther along the road of building a startup, and have the goal of creating a solid startup community in each area.
Sessions will include examining assumptions and work styles, knowing your customer, marketing and building customer base, scaling the business, business structure and hiring, startup and ongoing needs for finances, accounting, goal setting, planning and pitching.
Other initiatives planned through Sprout Labs include a pitch showcase with financial prizes in 2015, and making connections in more communities in Michigan.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Sprout Lab