SEEDspot Announces the Inaugural Class of Entrepreneurial Ventures
SEEDspot, the local business incubator, announced the first group of ventures to participate in the eight-month curriculum. At the SEEDspot kick-off event last week, each of the 16 ventures addressed a crowd of hundred of attendees who gathered in the Levine Machine Building on Grant and Sixth streets.
The inaugural group of entrepreneurs includes a wide range of business types from web-based ventures to products developed for people with special needs. Since announcing the opening of the program earlier this summer, SEEDspot combed through more than 200 entries before selecting the 16 finalists.
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The program, which includes mentorships, general resources and training for the up-and-coming businesses, began on Monday and will run for a total of eight weeks. In addition of access to office space, the businesses will gain access to community members and have opportunities to forge corporate connections on both local and national scales.
Scott MacDonald, the entrepreneur behind the startup HearBudz, says he hopes the program will help him develop distribution plans for his product. McDonald taught himself to read and write patents and wrote the patent for his product himself.
His company makes attachments to regular earphones that move the speaker outside of the ear canal. The small adjustment of the earphone makes listening to music safer while performing other activities such as skiing and hiking. He describes listening to music with his product as similar to having on background music.
"SEEDspot is a fantastic opportunity to grow," says Jon Irons , president and founder of SitGREEN, another of the 16 ventures in the first SEEDspot class. Irons' company aims to replace plastic chairs with environmentally friendly chairs made of 100% recyclable materials.
He started his company in 2010, but hopes that his time in the SEEDspot program will help him launch his idea into a more scalable business.
"It feels like I've been sitting at the starting line waiting for someone to pull the trigger - I think SEEDspot is going to be that person."
To help fund the SitGREEN startup, Irons is selling a number of limited edition eco-friendly chairs, which are available for purchase at a special rate at the SitGREEN website.