AMAZING SUCCESS: Entrepreneur Support Center Assists 33 Entrepreneurs in 6 Months

HANCOCK, Michigan (November 7, 2011) – The Entrepreneur Support Center (ESC) opened last spring to provide local entrepreneurs with an office and mentors to guide them. The ESC, located on the sixth floor of the Jutila Center, was made possible through a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) grant and collaboration between MTEC SmartZone and Finlandia University business incubators. In just six months, an amazing 33 entrepreneurs have signed up for ESC services, 18 LLCs have been filed, six companies are either selling their product or taking orders, and two companies are completely operational.

Through the Entrepreneur Support Center, entrepreneurs have access to video conferencing, computers, high speed internet, printers, fax machine and business phone line. Participants have filed with the State, set up their books and recorded promotional videos. The ESC offers nearly 100 recorded business webinars and also has a mentorship program with 10 local business experts. Entrepreneurs are strategically matched with a mentor. “Together, they identify a list of milestones to meet in six to nine months. The mentorship program has proven to be especially valuable and extremely well utilized,” states Jonathan Leinonen, MTEC SmartZone Program Director.

Harbor View Foods, makers of a natural salsa, are working with Karyn Olsson, owner of Marketing Department Inc., to develop a product brand that carries through to packaging. They are also attending local shows and events to offer samples and sell their fresh salsa.

GreenSand Corporation is an established company seeking services from Entrepreneur Support Center. GreenSand developed a technology to recycle copper-laden stamp sand to create durable, waterproof roofing shingles. GreenSand is also semi-finalist in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and stands to win $500,000 in prize money.

Entrepreneur Support Center opened just months ago with the goal of assisting people with ideas, developing and mentoring them to become full-fledged, capable entrepreneurs. Through a pooling of institutions and business professionals, ESC has become a staple in the community for fostering entrepreneurial growth.

For more information about Entrepreneur Support Center, contact Jonathan Leinonen at (906) 487-7004 and visit