Coaching for successExperience meet aspirations. Under a year-old program, the Dickinson State University’s Strom Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation has been teaming experienced business coaches with area entrepreneurs, and now it’s going one step further — it’s compiling resources for a website expected to go live early next week.
By: Klark Byrd, The Dickinson Press
Experience meet aspirations. Under a year-old program, the Dickinson State University’s Strom Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation has been teaming experienced business coaches with area entrepreneurs, and now it’s going one step further — it’s compiling resources for a website expected to go live early next week.
The Strom Center Business Incubation Program was developed in the spring of 2010 through a grant from the Economic Development Administration’s University Center program, said Steve Glasser, executive director of the Strom Center.
As part of the program, the Strom Center started pairing up area entrepreneurs with experienced business mentors to help foster economic growth and business expansion.
Starting on Tuesday, participants will have access to an electronic resource library that provides information about financing, human resources, accounting, marketing and various other aspects of business.
So far, 10 participants have been linked up with seven coaches.
The implementation of mentors has been a great enhancement to the incubator and provides useful information for the online resource, said Clay Kraby, Strom Center marketing specialist.
“That is really a great relationship to build on and pick the brain of area professionals and get some guidance in how to further their own business and entrepreneurship initiatives of their own,” he said.
Kyle Thiel, owner of the early-stage web development and mobile application service company Frontrunner Technologies, was paired up with Steffes Corp. CEO Paul Steffes.
Thiel said using the website resources will be an improvement over traditional business information gathering and added that the mentoring program offers unique perspectives.
“To be able to work with someone like Paul (Steffes), who has been there and started in the garage and turning that venture into a multi-million dollar company, it is just great to be able to have someone like him as an additional resource,” Thiel said.
Mentors are not paid and there is no charge, but participants must be registered.
Steffes said the altruism of trying to help others succeed is rewarding. Mentors provide advice and guidance, but have little involvement with the operation of client companies.
“We are not the problem-solver and we are not a crying shoulder and we don’t supply money,” Steffes said. “We are just here — based upon experience we have had in life — and willing to share with a client and bounce things off about being strategic and honest.”
For more information or to apply to the program, visit www.stromcenter.com/incubator.