Creating an International Student Business Coalition
Asheville-Buncombe Technical College’s Center for Business and Technology Incubation launched a new program called the International Student/Business Growth Coalition in Fall 2005. This program originated from incubator clients who needed low cost, innovative ways to enter global markets and compete successfully with foreign competition.
This program creates profitable partnerships among disparate groups—rural Western North Carolina companies, students at a small community college, MBA students at a state university, business incubators in China, South Africa, Mexico, India Belgium, Asheville, NC, and businesses and students in these countries. These partnerships are focused on opening the world to all groups; to showing them how to compete and cooperate, and how to achieve significant economic impact on a global level.
In 1999, the head manager of BASF, a major international company, approached AB Tech with an incredible offer; they were closing their Asheville plant and wanted to donate their space to them, this included 37 acres and 277,000 square feet of building space to help create an economic engine for the region. Long story short, AB Tech accepted, and after millions of dollars of renovations paid for mostly by the county, they opened the corporate/economic development division that includes the 141,000 square foot incubator. After establishing the basic incubator programs, Director Russ Yelton turned his attention to the international market, hoping to bring international business back to the area—an appropriate way to honor this international company’s former space. He knew that based on the incubator’s assets—the incredible, large space, their infrastructure, and solid programs—they could have a global impact.
Handouts will include sample leases, overview of regular, virtual and student incubators, program development ideas and other internal operating document examples.
250 word description of presentation, the topic’s importance to attendees, as well as handouts. Please include interactive elements, “models” and how-tos to create added value.
Russ Yelton, Executive Director, Entrepreneurial Ventures and Business Incubation, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, NC
Dr. Betty Young, President, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, NC
Dr. Bruce Berger, Business Instructor, Western Carolina University, NC