LC Bulletin: Arrowhead debuts Studio G

February 25, 2011. Retrieved online March 1, 2011 from Gabriel Vasquez, Las Cruces Bulletin

NMSU is looking for the next great business concept

It’s called Studio G, and it’s a place where students can grow their business ideas into profitable companies.

Located inside the Entrepreneurship Institute at the Arrowhead Center on the New Mexico State University Campus, Studio G gives entrepreneurial students access to business consultants, dedicated office space and a wealth of business startup resources offered in a collaborative working environment.

“This is a place for students to think, a place where they can get serious about their company,” said Sara Pirayesh Sanders, Entrepreneurship Institute director. “There is a trend for student incubators popping up across the country. Students are really interested in becoming their own boss rather than working in the corporate environment.”

Officially launched Monday, Feb. 21, the student incubator opened to coincide with National Entrepreneurship Week, Feb. 19-26.

“We started discussions on the incubator in December and it took us about two months to get everything set up,” Pirayesh Sanders said. “We saw a definite need for this.”

Pirayesh Sanders said in the last six months, more students have begun to visit the Entrepreneurship Institute asking for help with their business ideas, one of the main reasons for opening the incubator.

“We provide all the traditional business assistance services, but this is also a safe place where students can exchange ideas with like minded students who themselves are trying to start a company,” she said. “It’s a space for collaboration.”

Studio G has five dedicated office spaces, an entrepreneurship library, a conference room and students have access to three entrepreneurship specialists and more than a dozen graduate student researchers who can conduct market and feasibility studies on students’ behalf and help them build their business plans.

“We’re asking for only students who are prepared to be committed to their idea,” Pirayesh Sanders said. “They have to be dedicated and willing to spend at least 10 hours a week here.”

Eligible students must be in good standing with the university, and students who graduated within a five-year window can also use Studio G, although the application process is competitive and there are a limited number of spaces available.

Pirayesh Sanders said since opening, the incubator already has one student client, an engineering major who has designed a unique prototype he wants to turn into a business.

“We can work with both – students who think they have a proven product and want to build a business around it, and students who have a great business idea but need help making the product,” Pirayesh Sanders said. “We can also help with funding assistance.”

During the current economic slump when jobs are increasingly harder to find, Pirayesh Sanders said entrepreneurship is an attractive proposition for many students today.

“This allows them to pursue an opportunity they may have never had, and it’s because of the current job market,” she said.

Unlike Arrowhead’s traditional incubator, Studio G is not geared toward high-tech startups, it’s open to all academic disciplines, Pirayesh Sanders said.

“Students may want to run an art studio, start a design company or even a nonprofit or social business,” she said. “There’s no limit to what they can do.”

Read the Las Cruces Bulletin article.

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