Pittsburg State University’s Center for Innovation and Business Development will give grants to start-up businesses.
Lori Horton, the owner of Celebrations by Lori, said when her bakery started sixteen years ago, having seed money would have been a big help.
Horton said, "I thought I need ovens. I need sinks. But, what you may not think about, you need signage. You need advertising. You need promotion right at the beginning when you're building clients, just starting out, so it can be hard to find those extra dollars at the beginning."
But now seed money is exactly what the PSU Center for Innovation and Business Development has to share with student and community entrepreneurs. PSU is getting one hundred thousand dollars from the Kansas Department of commerce for a Jump Start program.
CIBD Executive Director Shawn Naccarato said, "Of the total funds, sixty-five thousand will be dedicated to seed or grant funding in five and ten thousand dollar increments to entrepreneurs."
The other thirty-five thousand goes to administering the grants.
Naccarato said, there's a goal to create a culture of innovation, for ideas that might not happen without the grants.
Naccarato added, "I think a lot of folks who have great ideas that might be a great business idea, they get stymied. Get stuck. And maybe an extra five or ten thousand of that initial kind of kick start money might get them over that initial hurdle to try it out. Maybe it means they get a piece of equipment they might not otherwise afford. Maybe they get some services they otherwise couldn’t afford. It’s the thing that gets them over the hump to further explore their ideas."
While student entrepreneurs will have priority, they will be open to the community. And city officials said it’s good for the community when you nurture any business in town.
City Manager Daron Hall said, "You have all those contacts already and most of them are local. So, if I try to attract a business form Atlanta, Georgia. Their paper supplier, their accountant, all of their back office help is gonna be from somewhere else. If you start a business in Pittsburg, you're probably gonna start with a local accountant, local marketing firm, those things "
Naccarato said the Jump Start program ties in with several other efforts to nurture entrepreneurship in students. The CIBD started a new group of student entrepreneurs and innovators this year called student disruptors. And it’s also converting two old dorms rooms into open space for the activator program, a student focused incubator to work on business plans.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas