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Northeast State November Blog

Posted By Lynn Anderson, Friday, November 28, 2014

R. Lynn Anderson, CPA

Associate Professor, Business Technologies - Accounting

Northeast State Community College



Center for Entrepreneurship


The proposal presented by Northeast State Community College at the NACCE 2014 Conference focused on the development of a Center for Entrepreneurship.  The Center will function as a highly interactive, collaborative learning center for customized entrepreneurial and leadership training.  Faculty, staff, local entrepreneurs and students will participate in the training.   The ECIA grant and assistance from the Coleman Foundation and NACCE encouraged us to expand our vision for the Center.  Future plans for the Center include making the Center mobile.


The Center will house:


·         a 3-D printer and associated software to enable inventors/innovators to produce prototypes of products.


·         top of the line tablets/laptops loaded with QuickBooks, business planning and Microsoft Office software


·         facilities for training, workshops and interaction.


The committee designated to develop the Center and outline its initial activities has undertaken the following tasks, using the "Bird in Hand":


·         Determine an appropriate, temporary location for the Center.  This location will be the Center's "home" until the permanent facilities are completed in the Advanced Technologies building, (occupancy expected in 2017)


·         Identify potential sources of additional funding


·         Identify potential contributors/workshop leaders


·         Identify campus resources - staff, contacts, expertise


·         Identify Center resource requirements in terms of staffing, supplemental equipment


·         Identify ways to market the Center


The formation of an Entrepreneur Club and holding informal "coffee clubs" in addition to the structured training and workshops will engage students in the development, staffing and utilization of the Center.


We are developing a contact list which includes local Chambers of Commerce, ACCELNow, Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC), Kingsport Office of Small Business Development Subcommittee (KOSBE) and other local groups and individuals.  We will also involve the Advisory Committees, the Northeast State Foundation, local entrepreneurs, faculty, staff and students who are potential contributors or users of  the Center.


Lessons Learned:


·         The formation of a Steering Committee which would include members from outside the immediate "campus community" will create buy-in from the region.


·         The resources available can extend well beyond those we first consider.  We need to keep building our "crazy quilt".


Key Takeaways:


·         Find creative ways to get others engaged and involved.  Entrepreneurship is not limited to the business community.

·         The Northeast State community has many talented individuals in various disciplines who have much to contribute.  We need to hone our "ask" to get them committed to the Center.





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Christine Pigsley says...
Posted Saturday, November 29, 2014
The idea of a mobile innovation lab is thrilling. Have you considered getting your automotive/transportation faculty involved? I just think their knowledge and contacts from their advisory boards would prove invaluable to making this happen and funding it. Keep up the great innovations.
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