How PHCC Started a College Grown Venture Forum
With a successful certificate and degree granting Entrepreneurship/Small Business program it seemed logical to look at providing funding and business mentoring for new and emerging businesses. As a result the Patrick Henry Community College Small Business Investment Forum had its first competition from Fall 2008-Spring 2009, ultimately awarding cash and business mentoring to two entrepreneurs.
Providing start-up capital for entrepreneurs is the next step for community colleges that want to provide the ultimate support to their entrepreneurs. This session will describe the process used by Patrick Henry Community College’s Foundation to create the Patrick Henry Community College Small Business Investment Forum (the Forum), a public/private partnership resulting in a competitive process used to award cash and business mentoring to new and emerging companies. The presentation will include a discussion regarding selling the idea to the college, and convincing public and private organizations to provide resources, The Forum’s commitment that an entity had to “pay to play” to be part of the judging panel, an important decision for any venture forum, will also be discussed. Finally, expectations and changes that the Forum hopes to integrate into its second year will be presented. Hand-outs include judging forms used during the competition, correspondence to “winners” and “losers”, and media coverage.
Natalie Harder, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation, Patrick Henry Community College, VA