UT establishes Minority Business Incubator to help early-stage companies

September 29, 2009 | Events
By Bob Mackowiak

The University of Toledo, already instrumental in assisting the transformation of ideas into commercial businesses in the alternative energy and technology fields, is extending its expertise to other businesses with the establishment of a Minority Business Incubator.

A grand opening of the Minority Business Incubator will be held Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 10 a.m. outside of the Engineering Technology Center on the Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation.

“The University of Toledo is deeply committed to both diversity and playing a leadership role in the rejuvenation of the northwest Ohio economy,” said UT President Lloyd Jacobs. “This new incubator serves both initiatives well.”

UT’s business incubators nurture entrepreneurial and economic development by providing office space and conference rooms, furniture, utilities, data package/broadband Internet, security, a mentoring program and a network of professional advisers.

The Minority Business Incubator will provide accommodations for six businesses at a time; however, it also will serve other minority businesses as a resource for information, networking and source for specific business needs.

In addition, the incubator will support UT’s educational mission by offering student internships that provide real-world experience, as well as potential school credit in the marketing, finance and accounting fields.

“Community collaboration is particularly essential to the ultimate success of the Minority Business Incubator,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity. “That is why we have been working with several local organizations, including the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Toledo African-American Bureau of Commerce and the Northwest Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.”

Applicants wishing to be located within the incubator must meet several criteria, including having up to six months of working capital, sound management and/or product development team, the potential to produce both local jobs and significant revenues, and the intent to remain in the Toledo business community.

Applications for entry into the Minority Business Incubator can be found at utoledo.edu/diversity or may be obtained by calling 419.530.5538.

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