In a wide open office at MAGNET
, a manufacturing advocacy organization situated on the Cleveland State University campus, groups of students are fomenting new ideas. They include an innovative pothole patch, social media tools for landlords, an information technology startup and a biofuels company.
These emerging entrepreneurs have found a new launching pad in The Beta Space
, a business incubator and coworking space that offers entrepreneurial support, mentoring and advice from industry experts at MAGNET. David Crain, Director of Entrepreneurial Services at MAGNET, says that he came up with the idea as a way to help student entrepreneurs start companies in Cleveland.
"Students are comfortable starting businesses in their dorm rooms, and yet while they might hear of all these great resources within the region, they're often not sure where to go," says Crain. "Once you have a relationship with someone here, it's really easy to walk down the hallway, ask a question and get an answer."
Students admitted into the Beta Space program have access to a wide array of resources at their fingertips. Not only can they use the physical space anytime they want, but they also have access to coaching services from MAGNET's mentors. Finally, they can brainstorm with other student entrepreneurs.
"We coach them on what they're up against and help them put together a business plan," says Crain. "The entrepreneurial education taking place at the college level is starting to have an impact, and we're seeing a quantum leap in student ideas."
The Beta Space also offers free legal, finance and marketing advice to any entrepreneur, a resource that Crain says is unavailable elsewhere.
Source: Dave Crain
Writer: Lee Chilcote