14 Six Step ProgramFayetteville Technical Community College has formed a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A partnership with Bunker Labs RDU and EntreDot, the CIE will share space with the FTCC Small Business Center. It will function as an instructional and co-working hub for entrepreneurs participating in CIE and SBC programs. 

The CIE will provide business startup and growth strategy services to active duty military members in transition, veterans, spouses, students and the general public using EntreDot’s proven Six Steps to Success process. The focus will be on early stage Main Street businesses, bringing business startup process strategies and trade education together. The FTCC CIE classes will combine class meetings, internet instruction and one-on-one mentoring.

Over 450 entrepreneurs have gone through this program in the Triangle. Clients range from ages 25 to 65, and about 70 percent are women. One entrepreneur remarked that “we could not find a structured program with a strong mentoring component that focused on my kind of business — a Main Street business. If you want to start an accounting firm or a physical therapy practice or a restaurant or make a new consumer product, there is no one who specializes in this space except EntreDot. EntreDot cares if you are starting a dry cleaner or a trucking company. Most other incubators don’t want to waste their time on these kinds of companies even though they create 65 percent of the new jobs in the country each year.”

Entrepreneurs always have ideas in their heads. Step one, Ideation, creates the opportunity to analyze which idea should be worked on first and which should be placed on the shelf for now. Six Steps to Success is a lean innovation process, designed to save time and money by asking the right questions at the right time and providing connections to the right resources to fill in the gaps. This process cuts the time needed to get to commercialization in half.

For some clients, they may have been in business for two to five years, but the business is more of a hobby than a serious enterprise. This situation is often a result of the client having a good day job or family obligations and not having time to work on the business full-time. Changes may occur, causing the client to find themselves in a position to want the business to be the primary activity and source of income. 

When this occurs, clients need a “reboot,” and Six Steps to Success is the perfect process to do that. For many clients, the program helped them focus on the right market segments, evaluate earnings potential and build a business with an exit value. Even clients with a mature business should begin with Step One Ideation to review what has been learned and evaluate what needs to be adjusted to be successful.

The FTCC CIE ribbon-cutting was held April 6 at the General Classroom Building at FTCC’s Fayetteville campus. The first 10-week Six Steps to Success class began April 10. Registration is through Corporate & Continuing Education at www.faytechcc.edu. For more information, call (919) 522-0722, or email innovationcenter@faytechcc.edu.

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