C3 partners with Economic Development Alliance

Posted on March 16, 2017

Our Community Capital Club (C3) will grant $20,000 in pre-seed funding to the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County to support entrepreneurial development in the region. 

The grant and additional funding from EDA will form the new Emerge Fund in support of virtual clients of The Underground Incubator and Business Service Center, which will open in April in the basement of Sperry’s Moviehouse.

“We’re proud to be part of the effort to grow our local entrepreneurial community,” said Mike Wendling, chair of C3 and a board member of the Community Foundation. “Local entrepreneurs are often deeply vested in their communities and its people.  If an entrepreneur becomes successful and we are able to be a small part of that, it’s like the gift that truly keeps on giving.  The dividends back to our community have a return on investment that cannot be measured simply in jobs or new business starts.”

Companies that are approved in the virtual program will receive $5,000 grants, a hand-picked advisory board, and access to the incubator’s resources and training programs.

Dan Casey, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance, said early stage funding is critical and the Emerge Fund will provide money entrepreneurs can use to hire consultants to write a business plan, develop a website or file a patent.

“Nationally, the most successful entrepreneurial communities are those that are rich in capital resources for startups,” Casey said. “The Emerge Fund will allow us to invest in early-stage startups.  We’ll then support them with wrap-around services and help them to launch their businesses and tap into angel and venture capital.”

C3 is focused on helping companies reach their growth potential, and the group wants to consider those that survive and grow through the Emerge Fund for future investments. C3 manages a $300,000 fund from area members and is actively seeking companies to invest in – something the new Emerge Fund could help with.

“We’re looking for companies that have big ideas and will create jobs,” Casey said. “This program is all about launching the next generation of businesses in the Blue Water area.”

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