Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center has received a $5,000 grant from AT&T Wisconsin to support the expansion of a program designed to help grow small businesses in Waupaca County.
The announcement was made on Monday, Jan. 20, at FVTC’s Waupaca Regional Center.
The AT&T contribution will be used to support the Venture Center’s Pro-Seed: Small Business Design, Plan and Grow program in the greater Waupaca region.
Kathy Fehl, of Wega Arts in Weyauwega, completed a previous Pro-Seed pilot program offered by the Venture Center.
Her business exemplifies the program’s goals of encouraging, supporting and providing training to Waupaca County entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Fehl opened Wega Arts in 2008, bringing performing arts, film workshops and visual arts to the Waupaca region.
“Our goal is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Waupaca area gain the knowledge, expertise and skills they need to start their own businesses and be successful,” said Amy Pietsch, director of the FVTC Venture Center. “We are grateful for the support from AT&T to help us launch this program in Waupaca County.”
The Pro-Seed: Small Business Design, Plan and Grow Program is an experiential combination which includes a two-day Business Model Workshop and an eight-week E-seed Express Entrepreneurship Training Series, one-on-one coaching and networking.
The program is designed to develop and enhance the managerial and personal skills of early-stage entrepreneurs and small and medium business owners.
The program focuses its outreach on low-income and underserved populations to educate them on the resources and assistance available to help them start their own small businesses and show them the path to small business ownership.
“Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center is doing important work to connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need to get their businesses up and running,” said State Rep. Kevin Petersen, of Waupaca. “This program is a great way to help those individuals who have small business ideas gain the training and skills they need to help grow our economy.”
Pietsch said the two-day workshop will be launched in mid-March and will be limited to 10 business owners.
The AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award program provides funding to local organizations which enhance and give back to their communities.
The program is focused on providing funding to organizations and programs that improve the community by advancing education, enhancing the environment, promoting economic development, or delivering other community services.
“We are very proud to support Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center in its efforts to provide critical training and resources to Waupaca County entrepreneurs,” said Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin. “As a company, AT&T is committed to helping advance entrepreneurship and grow our economy.”