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DBJ Features SBDC Counselors in Entrepreneur’s Open Story

Entrepreneur’s Open: Startup culture alive and well in Dayton (Full Story)

Staff Reporter- Dayton Business Journal

Nothing shows the nervousness and excitement of starting up a new venture than your first networking event.

I was one of 200-plus who made their way to The Entrepreneur’s Center Saturday for the gathering of local startup companies — and local organizations seeking to help support them.

The passion was palpable in the building throughout the day.

People at all stages of starting new businesses were on hand.

Peter Gardner only needed a tablet to show off Startgrid, a venture he’s begun with the assistance of the Dayton Development Coalition’s Accelerant initiative. Gardner’s program will be a network for startup entrepreneurs to share information and get advice, something he says has been missing from other networking sites such as Linkedin.

“For an entrepreneur struggling to stand up a company, we’ll give them access to a team of people in the area with the wisdom to help them. It’s about connecting people at the speed of entrepreneurship,” Gardner said.

University of Dayton senior Emily Meyer, an entrepreneurship major, told me about “College Base Camp,” a project to offer summer classes between high school and college to help students find courses and careers they enjoy, a project she’s been working on with UD student Justin D’Arcy. Meyer and D’Arcy’s plan is one of five finalists in UD’s business plan competition, and next month they’ll be competing for the $25,000 grand prize.

“It’s an opportunity help us get off the ground,” she told me. “If we hadn’t had a competition like this I don’t think we would have been able to take our idea as far as we have.”

A variety of organizations were on hand to give out expertise as well, Earl Gregorich and Pat Newcomb of local small business development centers gave tutorials on building a Web presence and a business plan, while specialists from Dayton Metro Library, University of Dayton, Bad Girl Ventures and more were on hand to talk about what kinds of help are available in the area.

And even in the event of a meltdown, Newcomb said, the spirit of a startup should not fade.

“Failure is not the end, it’s a part of the process now, and it’s a different culture which will better embrace that” Newcomb said. “Fail fast, fail cheap.”

Categories: WSU SBDC In the News
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