Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Stories

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Grassroots

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Grassroots

Spring 2013

Making it Work

Making machine parts for friends turned into a thriving business in just two years for one local entrepreneur, thanks to training at Fox Valley Technical College.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect this business to take off so quickly,” says Chuck Duginski, owner of Grassroots Shop Services in Neenah, a quality-focused industrial repair and machine services shop. “We’re already looking into adding more space, but we don’t want to grow faster than what we can handle.”

Grassroots Shop Services began in Duginski’s garage as a part-time hobby. “I was a machinist all my life and friends were always asking me for favors,” he recalls. “When a total stranger came to see me, the light bulb went on that this could be a full-time business.”

Before launching his new enterprise, Duginski looked into training options through the Venture Center at Fox Valley Technical College, at the insistence of his wife, Mary Beth. “I was a little intimidated at first,” he states. “However, the e-seed™ program quickly taught a hands-on, 50-year-old guy like me how to run a business. Just learning to be aware of the different tax laws, for example, has saved my company a lot of money.”

Once launched, the business quickly outgrew his garage space. Within six months of moving into a larger space, Duginski hired his first employee, and six months later, his second. “Word has spread that we’re a quality shop, and we’re now in demand,” he says. “We have a full range of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines to handle every project. We want to be a company that keeps work in the United States rather than having it outsourced.”

Amy Pietsch, director of the Venture Center, points to Duginski as a true success story. “Chuck is a great person who had a vision, and then he took that dream and made it into a practical approach toward small business ownership,” she states. “The American economy needs more people like Chuck.”

The Venture Center is now working to encourage more entrepreneurship across the country by offering other colleges a license to provide the e-seed™ program in their areas. “More than 40 schools nationwide attended our launch last December,” Pietsch says. “Many of them are now taking the next steps in a train-the-trainer model to successfully implement the program.”

Duginski is also working with Pietsch to promote e-seed™. “In the future, I plan to go back to Fox Valley Technical College to attend some seminars and possibly receive more training,” he says. “I would do it now, but frankly, I just don’t have the time!”

E-seed™: Growing Entrepreneurs

Developed by Fox Valley Technical College, e-seed™ is a signature entrepreneur training program offered through the Venture Center. This hub of entrepreneurial activity has:

  • Launched more than 300 businesses, in industries like renewable energies, restaurants, organic clothing, eye care, home health care, retail, manufacturing, shipping and distribution, and many more.

  • Created a national training model that is being offered by other higher education institutions.

FVTC President's Blog


New This Week

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Welcome, International Students

Welcome, International Students

Sep 12, 2017

Thirty-nine new international students are studying this academic year at Fox Valley Technical ...

Congrats Dean’s List Students

Congrats Dean’s List Students

Aug 1, 2017

Fox Valley Technical College announces its latest Dean’s List.

Engineering Student Earns National Scholarship

Engineering Student Earns National Scholarship

Jun 6, 2017

Eric Kovacevich, a student in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology program, received a ...

Featured Photos

Featured Videos

Spring 2017 Focus Magazine

It's all about employability in the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students, alumni & employers in Accounting, IT, Automation and much more.

Spring 2017 Focus Magazine

Upcoming Events

16 Oct 2017

19 Oct 2017

21 Oct 2017

Fall Festival & Halloween Party | Oshkosh

10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Oshkosh Riverside Campus

Fall Festival & Halloween Party | Oshkosh

Join us for games, prizes, candy & more! Saturday, Oct. 21, Oshkosh Riverside Campus

Calendar

«October 2017»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
24252627282930
9/30/2017 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
79648

Heart Walk - American Heart Association

Saturday, Sept. 30 | Join us for the 2017 American Heart Assocaition Heart Walk. 

Read more
123
4
5
10/5/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
79237

On Campus: Lakeland University

Thinking of transferring to Lakeland University?

Read more
67
10/7/2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
63749

Free Legal Assistance Clinic

Need help with a legal issue? Attend our free legal assistance clinic, offered by the FVTC Paralegal Student Organization. Saturday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.-Noon

Read more
8912
10/12/2017 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
79941

Speaker Series: Michael Miller

Thursday, October 12, 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., & 2:30 p.m. | Michael Miller: The Power of One: Civil Responsibilities

Read more
1314
10/14/2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
78266

Cooking Demo: Brunch Egg Ideas

Brunch Egg Ideas | Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-Noon

Read more
1516
10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017
17
19
20
10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017
21
10/21/2017 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
81195

Fall Festival & Halloween Party | Oshkosh

Join us for games, prizes, candy & more! Saturday, Oct. 21, Oshkosh Riverside Campus

Read more
222324252728
10/28/2017 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
81642

Fall Festival & Halloween Party | Appleton

Join us for games, prizes, candy & more! Saturday, Oct. 28, Appleton Campus

Read more
29311
2
11/2/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
79239

On Campus: Lakeland University

Thinking of transferring to Lakeland University?

Read more
34
11/4/2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
63750

Free Legal Assistance Clinic

Need help with a legal issue? Attend our free legal assistance clinic, offered by the FVTC Paralegal Student Organization. Saturday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-Noon

Read more

FVTC Social Media

Connect With Us banner

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up








CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above: