UNC launches BizHub incubator to help businesses succeed, add economic vitality to region

By: Steve Friday October 18, 2013 Tags: Alexa Williams, BizHub, Gene O'Hara, Greeley, Roy Otto, Ryan Speir, UNC

By Steve Porter


GREELEY - BizHub, a business incubator dedicated to helping new and small businesses find the resources they need to successfully market their products and services, was launched Thursday in Greeley.

Located at 807 17th St., BizHub is just across the street from the University of Northern Colorado campus. The incubator is a program of UNC, with support from the Monfort College of Business, the region's cities and counties, local chambers and economic development organizations.

Ryan Speir, an entrepreneur, investor, business development consultant and  former interim CEO of the Rocky Mountain Innosphere in Fort Collins, is director of BizHub. Speir said the incubator's mission was a basic one.

"The mission is to provide all of our eligible companies with the best available resources," he said. "We want to help them build more sustainable businesses and ultimately benefit the entire community."

Greeley City Manager Roy Otto was one of dozens who visited BizHub during Thursday's open house. Otto said he was excited to see it start.

"It's just another example of the partnership we have with the university," he said. "We're hoping some of the businesses that get incubated here will become part of the Greeley business community."

UNC BizHub logo 340wOtto said UNC is a "major anchor" for the city's downtown area revitalization efforts. He said UNC's BizHub has the potential to help students transform their ideas into reality.

"There have been lots of business ideas (that) kids have had, and this allows them to take it to that next level," Otto said. "I think that makes Greeley pretty unique."

Gene O'Hara, director of Monfort's Executive Professor program, said BizHub could become a pivotal point of community connection and economic activity.

"I'm really excited about how this connects us more closely with the business world, but also from a Greeley perspective how it could help in bringing in more companies and job opportunities," O'Hara said.

Alexa Williams, UNC's MCB Professional Experience coordinator, said the incubator should help her find intern experiences for College of Business students who must have a professional work experience to graduate.

Williams said BizHub also offers companies affordable help when they're just getting started.

"In terms of my program, this is a great way to find student interns," she said. "It's an opportunity for students and for the companies."

Williams praised UNC for launching the incubator off campus.

"I think it's really strategic and helpful to get more engagement on the college side," she said. "I know it will get me more connected to the community."

Speir said economic development is the ultimate goal of BizHub.

"To me, the real impact is -- over the next three years -- to serve 25 companies, create 100 new jobs and bring in revenue," he said.

For more information, call 970-351-4272 or email [email protected].

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