Construction Begins on Business Enterprise Center: Partnership Between PSU and Grafton County

December 4th, 2012 by blyndes

Plymouth, N.H. –A joint partnership between Plymouth State University and the Grafton County Economic Development Council (GCEDC) to create new businesses and jobs is under way. The Enterprise Center at Plymouth (ECP), located at 149 North Main Street, is a business incubator and accelerator that will support entrepreneurship, small businesses, and economic development in central New Hampshire by providing services, including leased space, mentoring, and networking to new and existing businesses. The GCEDC is providing the physical location and building, using $2 million in federal, state and corporate funding; PSU will provide incubator staffing, business services and intellectual capital. Essentially, the ECP provides a “one stop shopping” location for businesses throughout the region seeking advice and counseling. At the December 4 ground breaking ceremony for the new Center, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen characterized the project as a partnership between learning and economic development.

“What today is about is how people can come together–public, private, higher education and community to make something important become a reality for New Hampshire,” Steen said. “Today is a wonderful step forward.”

GCEDC Executive Director Mark Scarano added the Enterprise Center hopes to be a catalyst for local business success stories.

“The whole idea of the Enterprise Center is to assist businesses that are either getting started or when they are going through a growth stage. This is a great American tradition that we want to assist – America was built by entrepreneurs,” said Scarano. “We are also very grateful for the relationship we have with this great University up on the hill. Plymouth State University has been a crucial ally.”

The Enterprise Center’s new Executive Director and PSU faculty member, Michael Tentnowski, said using a joint effort to assist the region’s businesses will be an effective way to create jobs.

Left to right, Grafton County Commissioners Omer Ahearn, Jr. and Michael Cryans, Executive Councilor Ray Burton, Enterprise Center Executive Director Michael Tentnowski, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen and Grafton County Economic Development Council Executive Director Mark Scarano at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Enterprise Center at 149 North Main Street, Plymouth.

“Public-academic partnerships create the perfect environment for stimulating economic growth by focusing on business formation, job creation, and community revitalization,” Tentnowki said. “With the leadership of PSU’s College of Business Administration and GCEDC, assistance from PSU faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and from local business leaders and entrepreneurs, the Center will provide technical support to ECP clients.”

Tentnowski has been involved with business development for start-up companies for nearly twenty years, and has expertise in commercializing defense technologies, in promoting renewable energy initiatives, and with entrepreneurial ventures. His experience includes having been Director of Incubator Programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Executive Director of the Physical Science Institute, Vice President of an e-commerce energy trading platform, and teaching experience in graduate-level business courses. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA at the University of Montana.  He co-authored The Virginia Entrepreneur’s Guide, and has practical knowledge by way of starting and managing two successful small businesses.
Unique features of the ECP include a sales skills development video production room and space dedicated to professional focus group services. Both of these are currently provided by PSU’s College of Business Administration and are very popular with students and entrepreneurs alike. The ECP will also act as a headquarters for an enhanced business outreach effort in central New Hampshire by PSU staff and graduate students.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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