Open for Business: The Business Network

Open for Business: The Business Network

Fall 2020

| By: Britten, Casey

The Venture Center has been helping businesses launch and grow since 2000.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the popular E-seed™ series—an entrepreneur training program that builds business plans and launches enterprises. In two decades, the program is responsible for helping more than 500 new businesses or expansions in the region.

E-seed proves that business is not about your net worth, but about your network, as hundreds of E-seed graduates have stayed connected over the years. Recent graduate Megan Tomcek opened Bridal Runway, LLC just before the pandemic hit, and wishes she had taken the class sooner. “Just do it,” she says. “Do it for the knowledge, the networking, the experience. You gain everything. Amy was such a positive, high energy motivator and instructor.”

Amy Pietsch, director of the Venture Center at Fox Valley Technical College, is a nationally recognized expert in entrepreneur training and mentorship. “Equipping startups to launch and small businesses to sustain and grow is as needed today as it was when FVTC launched its first E-seed series in 2000,” says Pietsch. She explains that in addition to the networking, the confidence and clarity that participants gain from E-seed is invaluable.

And despite the current economic downturn, she adds, “Considering the critical role startups and small business occupy in our economy, our work to support them will only continue to evolve.”  

Opportunity Knocks

The pandemic has reshaped the United States economy, creating demand for new products and services and opening up opportunities. Americans are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in more than 10 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. 

Thinking about starting a business? Attend one of our upcoming free workshops. Learn more >>