Friday October 10, 2014 0 comments
GREELEY - The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has awarded a $150,000 grant to the new UNC BizHub Collaborative business incubator.
The University of Northern Colorado and East Colorado Small Business Development Center teamed to develop the incubator to provide a range of services to entrepreneurs and startup owners in a 13-county region in Eastern Colorado.
"This new incubator structure is a great example of the forward-thinking, innovative ideas that occur when collaboration across industry and regions take place in Colorado," said Gov. John Hickenlooper.
"By leveraging our existing assets and resources from the Small Business Development Center, the University of Northern Colorado and the community college system to serve a large geographical area in northern and eastern Colorado, new jobs and businesses will grow."
The first year of the OEDIT grant will provide $75,000 in funding with incubator operations expected to begin in early 2015. The remaining grant funding will be provided in 2015 and 2016 if conditions are met, UNC said.
"We are excited about this funding source that will help us implement our plans in delivering another level of services to businesses within our region," said Dick Pickett, executive director of the BizHub Collaborative and East Colorado SBDC.
"Because the incubator will be able to deliver services virtually, it will afford the same services to businesses on the Eastern Plains as those offered to businesses along the Front Range."
UNC said the project to form a collaborative incubator is part of its focus on innovation. Last spring, Provost Robbyn Wacker announced the first round of innovative projects funded out of 74 submitted.
Another university initiative, Innovation Development and Enterprise Advancement (IDEA), is also underway to help UNC researchers bring their innovations to the marketplace.
"Innovation is becoming part of who we are at UNC," Wacker said. "We are tapping into the creative ideas of our faculty and staff to bring innovation into our classrooms, our research and the opportunities we offer students beyond the classroom."
More information on the new incubator will be provided during an open house on Oct. 14. The free public event will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the UNC Financial Education Center, 800 17th St.