In the world of business, the ability to successfully transition ideas into action is the key difference between promise and success. Yet in today?s financial climate, obtaining the right advice, direction and support in a timely fashion is critical when cultivating innovative products.
Entrepreneur Quest, a demonstration program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is designed to provide aid and access to those individuals and small companies seeking to develop new or revamp existing products. The program is housed in the Pomona Technology Center, one of two business incubators in the Center for Training, Technology & Incubation (CTTI) operated by Cal Poly Pomona?s College of the Extended University.
Applications are currently being accepted for the next session, scheduled to begin on Monday, Feb. 24. The program?s initial group is expected to complete its session in late January, with sessions for additional groups to continue every 3-4 months during the next two years. Those chosen to take part will be provided one-on-one support, formal advising, work space and classroom instruction. And it all comes at no cost to the participants to assist in moving their new products to introduction. The only requirement of those individuals or small businesses selected will be a dedicated commitment of time.
At present, 100 percent of Entrepreneur Quest?s funding comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, totaling $1.059 million over two years.
?History proves that commitment and ideas drive innovation,? says Julie Holland, director of technology commercialization centers at CTTI. ?Entrepreneur Quest adds structure and support to this powerful combination.?
Each session will help participants through a series of tasks intended to progress their product from premise to production. Included will be market identification, competitive analysis, pricing and distribution channel modeling, marketing and sales strategy development, exploration of intellectual property potential and customer base profiling. All gathered information will then be evaluated and a final market assessment created. If the potential product is determined viable, the collected data will then be used to generate a business plan, then continue through the ensuing development process.
Participants will also be provided technical assistance, mentoring, and access to fully equipped workstations in a dedicated office suite.
?This isn?t like some weekend seminar where individuals pay hundreds of dollars to sit through a couple of lectures and come away with nothing more than a three-ring binder filled with suggestions,? explains Holland. ?Entrepreneur Quest won?t be just an academic exercise. Participants will be provided continuing professional support and assistance to complete their market assessment for their product idea. And the classroom instruction is structured so the concepts and skills discussed are reinforced with training.?
One of the key purposes behind the Entrepreneur Quest program is to expose product development opportunities to entrepreneurs across all segments of society. And because product-based enterprise has the greatest promise for rapid growth leading to higher-wage job creation, it also hopes to demonstrate the merits of supporting formation of high-growth companies with strong job creation potential.
Entrepreneur Quest provides a viable extension of the university?s ?learn by doing? philosophy. Students and faculty will directly assist program participants and interact with the area business community. And it continues the university?s commitment to leverage its resources into the broader community in a way that significantly contributes to the economic vitality of the region.
For more information on Entrepreneur Quest, call (909) 869-4699 or visit www.entrepreneurquest.cpp.edu.