01 Mar

New Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Holds Open House at Housatonic Community College to Inspire Next Generation Entrepreneurs Featured

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New Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Holds Open House at Housatonic Community College to Inspire Next Generation Entrepreneurs

Housatonic Community College (HCC) held a spring open house on February 8 for its new Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, offering students and the community an exciting fresh resource for starting or building a business.

“It’s been an amazing start with enthusiastic and engaged students,” said Housatonic Accounting Professor Pamela Pirog. “Some students are starting a business, others are exploring their ideas, and we’re ready to work with them and mentor them, one-on-one.”

HCC, an Achieving the Dream Leader Institution located in Bridgeport, CT, through the HCC Foundation was the recipient last year of a $1 million donation from philanthropist and business owner, Peter J. Werth Jr. The largest gift from an individual in school history allowed the college to distinguish itself as the first community college in the state to establish this type of entrepreneurship and innovation center.

The center provides space for business incubation, offering business coaching, access to networking opportunities, and admission to business workshops and entrepreneurship certification programs. Students may participate in elevator pitch competitions, student entrepreneur pop-up showcases, and market their business in the Student Entrepreneur Gallery.

Center resources such as a Makerspace with 3D printers, silkscreen, a UV imprinter, electronics, a workbench with hand tools, and a fashion center with sewing and embroidery machines are offered to assist in developing product prototypes. Additionally, access to an offsite music studio and commercial kitchen is also available.

Housatonic second-year student Donavan Peart of Bridgeport attended the Center’s open house to learn about opportunities to develop his idea of starting a mobile juice bar.

“Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. With the center, it will help people feel like they’re not on their own, there are people to aid them in their entrepreneurship journey who are entrepreneurs themselves with real-world experience,” said Peart.

Membership to the Center is free, but only open to students until later this year. Members are eligible to compete for encouragement grants and loan guarantees. Additionally, the Center promotes member products and services through two brick-and-mortar outlet stores and an online platform.

“To be able to form new businesses, these are the seeds of economic growth in the community, said Community Economic Development Fund Business Advisor Frederick Welk Jr. who teaches a “Launch a Business” course to students from both Housatonic and Gateway Community College.

To learn more about the Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Housatonic Community College, please visit www.housatonic.edu/werth or call 203-332-5140.

About Housatonic Community College
Serving southern Connecticut for over 50 years, Housatonic Community College (HCC) offers a student-centered, high quality, and accessible education through over 75 associate degree programs to prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The college also offers occupational associate degrees and certificate programs, and the non-credit division partners with local businesses and industry to offer workforce training and customized professional development. HCC is distinguished as an Achieving the Dream Leader Institution and is ranked by the Aspen Institute among the nation’s top 150 community colleges.


Caption For Photo Above: Students receive business coaching at HCC’s Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

 

Housatonic Community College students work with resources available at the new Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Caption For Photo Right: Housatonic Community College students work with resources available at the new Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

 

Housatonic Community College students work with resources available at the new Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Caption For Photo Right: Housatonic Community College students work with resources available at the new Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

 

Housatonic Community College students work with resources available at the new Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Caption For Photo Right: Housatonic Community College students work with resources available at the new Werth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

 
Read 608 times Last modified on Tuesday, 01 March 2022 16:08