HOUGHTON — Commercializing a new technology can cost more time and money than entrepreneurs can afford. Along with the fear of failing, these issues are often cited as reasons many great ideas never make it to market.

To help beginning-stage inventors determine early if their idea will turn into a successful business opportunity, MTEC SmartZone in Houghton created SmartStart.

SmartStart is a practical, hands-on, learning program designed to help entrepreneurs hone the skills needed to create, manage and grow a successful business.

The six-week program meets at MTEC SmartZone Lakeshore Center and combines facilitator-guided sessions, small group exercises, guest speakers and idea sharing with peers.

SmartStart serves as a pre-incubation program for technology founders before they become MTEC SmartZone tenants.

Each SmartStart session covers a different topic or activity. Founders work on their own business ideas or existing ventures throughout the course of the program — taking their ideas to reality.

Certified coaches — trained in Wendy Kennedy’s nationally acclaimed entrepreneur education methodology “So what? Who cares? Why you?” — help guide founders through the step-by-step process of clearly identifying and articulating the business value of their technology.

SmartStart is open to entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists and engineers who are passionate about growing a business, product or idea. To apply for the program, call Program Director Julie Melchiori at (906) 487-7000 or email jmelchiori@mtecsz.com.


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