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Local Economy Gets A Boost From COC

Advanced Technology Incubator Back in Business at College of the Canyons

With a mission to attract, launch, grow and graduate advanced-technology businesses into the local economy, while integrating education with entrepreneurship, the College of the Canyons I3 Advanced Technology Incubator has reopened with a new location in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center.

A component of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by College of the Canyons, the I3 program ‘incubates’ technology-based start-up companies by offering access to a wide range of support services focused on each client’s long-term success.

Originally launched in early 2007, the program was put on hiatus in 2009 as a result of the state budget crisis and ongoing economic climate. However, by utilizing a transition grant from the state Chancellor’s office Economic and Workforce Development program and incorporating I3 into the larger SBDC, the program will now have the resources needed to grow and help boost the local economy.

“The reemergence of the I3 Advanced Technology Incubator at COC will provide local entrepreneurs with yet another innovative way to learn, compete and grow in the current economy,” said Steve Tannehill, director of the SBDC hosted by COC. “Allowing the resources of the SBDC and its 15 professional business advisors to be deployed on behalf of our I3 clients will reenergize the program and allow it to finally reach its potential.”

Specifically targeted at technology-minded entrepreneurs in the early stages of a business start-up, the incubator utilizes the knowledge and experience of SBDC business advisors who are available to provide I3 clients with a number of services including:

·     Assistance drafting an effective business plan
·     Ongoing workshops and seminars on a variety of new business subjects
·     Access to entrepreneurial-related college curriculum
·     Connections with student interns
·     Introductions to potential business investors
·     The use of University Center offices, meeting rooms and video-conferencing facilities

Additionally, client companies will receive support from an I3 mentor organization comprised of local subject-matter-expert business professionals that provide pro bono services designed to complement those offered by SBDC advisors.

“Housing I3 in the University Center as an SBDC program will provide local entrepreneurs with a range of unique benefits including the potential for new and innovative partnerships between entrepreneurs and educators and increased opportunities to cross-pollinate ideas and successful business strategies,” said Joe Klocko, Interim Director of the I3 Advanced Technology Incubator.

College officials also feel that housing I3 in the state of the art University Center will help the program attract businesses from key high-technology industries — including biotechnology, nanotechnology, digital manufacturing, aerospace, IT services and ‘green’ technologies — which the college hopes to attract to, or see their presence expanded in, the Santa Clarita Valley.