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Entrepreneur Bootcamp Part of Movement in Eastern Indiana


Friday, April 25, 2008

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On June 13th, the Eastern Indiana Regional Workforce Board, along with its partners and sponsors, brought an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp to Richmond at the IU East campus.

The program, designed by Techpoint, the state's trade association for high tech companies, is designed to provide intense instruction to small businesses trying to start or grow a new business. The event is expected to attract business founders, professional service providers and business and finance experts from across the region and the state.

One such expert is Bill Joos, Principal of Go To Market Consulting based in Palo Alto. He works with early stage startups, venture capital firms and their portfolio clients. Joos was a venture partner for six years at Garage Technology Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm that he co-founded with Guy Kawasaki, for six years.

But the Bootcamp is not just an isolated event. Its part of a growing movement to grow new businesses here in Eastern Indiana. Several organizations from across the region are launching programs to identify and nurture these new businesses.

The Eastern Indiana Regional Workforce Board, headquartered in Muncie and serving a nine county region, is driving this agenda through a project called StartUp Indiana (http://www.startupindiana.com/). Funded by a grant from the state Office of Community and Rural Development (OCRA), StartUp Indiana seeks to match new and expanding businesses with investors.

In Richmond, a Kaufman Foundation grant helped Main Street Richmond-Wayne County, Inc. start an incubator and service program called the Uptown Richmond Innovation Center. In addition, OCRA has awarded a grant to Henry County officials to drive a program there as well.

"Between the state's commitment, through the Small Business Development Centers, and grants to groups like ours, the work of our universities, and the local and county leaders, this theme is clearly becoming a top shelf economic development priority," says Barbara Street, CEO of Economic Growth Region #6, Eastern Indiana Regional Workforce Board.

Indiana University East, located in Richmond, is home to the Center for Entrepreneurship program. Tim Scales, the director of IU East's program, calls this movement critical and much overdue. "We welcome this event and the growing sense of appreciation in this region for creating a climate of opportunity and innovation," says Scales.

Rick Barnett is the new Program Director of the Community Education Coalition, based in Connersville, and the owner of his own consulting firm. According to Barnett, "Turning this region into a platform for entrpreneurial development is new and exciting work. This kind of an event is a good start."

The Indiana Entrepreneur Bootcamp is open to anyone interested in learning more about starting or growing their own business, as well as professionals, economic development officials and others who support the success of entrepreneurs.

To learn more about how to access investment capital and assistance go to http://www.startupindiana.com/.

For more information contact:
Tracy Dishman, Regional Director of Marketing
Eastern Indiana Regional Workforce Board
PH 765-282-6400 x113