Bucking Tradition-SVL Client Creates Niche for Success

Gary Fry, Business Coach at The NIIC

Statistics paint a picture of entrepreneurship as traditionally being a middle-aged man’s game.. The Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), a longitudinal survey of nearly 5,000 companies  legally formed in 2004, indicates that the mean and median age for the founders they surveyed were both 45 years.

While this data doesn’t shock me, I feel it underlines the necessity to challenge the status quo. The youth are our future, so it only makes sense to invest in them. The Student Venture Lab (SVL) Program at The NIIC does just that.

I am proud to manage this program, which gives entrepreneurs in high school and college a chance to start and grow their own business in the supportive, structured and success-focused environment of The NIIC.

Students accepted into the program gain full access to The NIIC for up to three phases of their venture’s launch. Each phase typically lasts six months. Participants receive  seed investment, venture advisory services, peer-to-peer learning and mentorship from experienced business coaches and local innovators.

Additional to the business support isthe  empowerment aspect!. Some of our SVL graduates have gone on to grow their ventures and gain credibility in the marketplace. One example that comes to mind is Jay Johns of 3r Interactive LLC.

The company has found its niche in creating an audiobook distribution website. It’s similar to Audible, with better residual rates for independent authors. In addition, 3r Interactive LLC has taken part in generating digital images and small animations for an online curriculum.

The SVL means different things to different people, but for Jay it has been expanding his sphere of influence. He has found the networking opportunities made available by the NIIC to be especially helpful. As a result, he has expanded his network and, therefore, his visibility.

What impresses me the most about Jay is his attitude. His unofficial mantra is “Learn, Create, Teach.” This approach has served him well. He’s hungry and ready to take challenges head on.

If you are a young entrepreneur like Jay and want to act on your drive, contact me. If you or someone you know is interested in financially supporting the SVL Program to provide support for students to start and grow their dreams, please contact me at 260-487-3298 or gfry@niic.net.


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