Claremore Daily Progress

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July 4, 2013

RSU launches The Hatch for small business owners

CLAREMORE —

Rogers State University’s Innovation Center recently added a new collaborative office space known as The Hatch. 
The Hatch is part of the Innovation Center’s approach to help develop entrepreneurs and RSU students into succesful business owners and job creators, said Innovation Center Director Jeri Koehler.
She said the office space is meant to provide entrepreneurs with a cost effective, professional place to work and host meetings with clients.
Unlike traditional office space rentals, The Hatch encourages entrepreneurs to work in a stress free environment with other determined entrepreneurs, leading to potential collaborations. Entrepreneurs will also have the ability to work with RSU students selected for the Hatch’s student enterprise program.
Participating students have the opportunity to earn up to 12 RSU credit hours, said Koehler. 
The student enterprise program, housed in the same room, is based on an innovative curriculum that uses state-approved business principles with real world experiences. 
Interested students meet one-on-one with Koehler and the team of specialists to discuss their goals for the development of a business model.
“Students work out an overall plan with us before enrolling in the program. We introduce the student to the team and then they interact with each specialist as needed,” said Koehler. “It’s like an internship for entrepreneurship.”
Koehler said she believes in teaching students to become job creators, not just employees. Encouragement and collaboration creates an ecosystem within The Hatch, fostering prosperity and job creation.
The Hatch offers start-up entrepreneurs a network of resources from business counseling to funding sources, for businesses to leverage and develop a system for success.
Current Hatch business client David Moore said he learned about The Hatch after searching for small business resources in the area. He said the experience has been helpful. 
“The staff members are very knowledgeable,” said Moore. “They provided me with the tools to succeed, and I took it from there.”
Moore’s website development and search engine optimization business Driven Design is based in Claremore, but he also has an office in Dallas. 
He said he spends several days out of the month at The Hatch, utilizing resources to achieve his small business goals. 
To apply for The Hatch program, email lwilson@rsu.edu. RSU students can now enroll for The Hatch by speaking with their advisor.
For more information, visit jointhehatch.com. 

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