Chandler is trying to help fledgling high-tech entrepreneurs form viable businesses in the Valley with a series of classes at its business accelerator.
The 10-week program begins April 10 and will put business owners in touch with high-tech and business experts who will address some of the stumbling blocks that often challenge start-ups.
The course includes topics common in other start-up programs, said Sanjay Dhole, technology coordinator for the Maricopa Community Colleges Small Business Development Center.
But Dhole said he believes this is the only program that addresses whether a technology is ready for the market. Dhole, who has founded his own technology companies, said too many start-ups focus on their technology without figuring out how to make money from it.
“It’s very important because it gives you as an entrepreneur a road map of how to commercialize your product in the marketplace,” he said. “A lot of times entrepreneurs have a very narrow vision of their business.”
Each session focuses on one topic. The areas include intellectual property, business analysis, investor strategies, business process, human resources management, financial management and accounting. Aside from formal instruction, participants will have access to individual consultations with various experts. The classes cost $120, and include 3-hour courses every Tuesday morning from April 10 to June 19. The sessions are limited to 15 people.
Chandler is hosting the classes as part of a larger effort to develop more local high-tech firms, which it views as potential job creators that typically come with high wages. The classes are held at the Innovations Incubator that Chander opened in mid-2010.
The city is holding the classes to increase the off of success for start-ups at the accelerator that focuses on technology-related companies, Chandler spokeswoman Jane Poston said.
No companies have left Innovations yet as full-fledged business, but Poston said Chandler expects start-ups will stay in the incubator three to five years.
Several have made significant progress with their technology, by adding employees or by securing funding.
H2 Pure Power, which makes hydrogen generators for gasoline and diesel engines, recently received $150,000 in funding, Dhole said.
And Navitasmax, a renewable energy storage company, was awarded a $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for its research.
“We have some companies in there that are really moving forward in the way that we had hoped,” Poston said.
Innovations has grown faster than anticipated. It’s 100 percent occupied now, though the city estimated it would take 3 years to fill up. Chandler is expanding Innovations by more than 50 percent, to 63,000 square feet. The incubator is in a former Intel building at the San Tan Tech Center, 145 S. 79th St.
To register, visit www.chandleraz.gov/ed under Innovations.
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