Since the announcement that General Motors ending production at its plant in Lordstown, people have been asking questions about how to get businesses back here to the valley.
A question the Youngstown Business Incubator is hoping to answer.
Wednesday afternoon, the company announced they would be partnering with another company to bring more money and jobs into the city.
The Business Incubator has partnered with a company called Gener8tor. They’re what’s called a startup accelerator. They’ll provide everything from investment money to mentorship and customers.
“We have got to get everybody on the playing field we don’t have the luxury of sitting back and if we’re going to rebuild the economy, we really have to start creating more companies faster,” said Barbara Ewing, YBI CEO.
“We really are attracted to communities that have a fire in their belly and want to prove they can be the best place in the country for additive manufacturing for example,” said Abby Taubner of Gener8tor.
Additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing, is a major part of what Gener8tor will focus on.
Ewing largely credits this partnership to 13th District Congressman Tim Ryan.
“This program really is a direct outcome of that larger initiative from the comeback fund,” Ewing said.
Two years ago, Ryan held a Comeback Cities Tour, going around the Midwest looking for business opportunities to bring to the valley. He then announced a $2.25 million investment plan, known as the Comeback Fund.
“So far through our program based in Wisconsin and Minnesota and of those 71 companies, we have 2,000 jobs that have been created since 2010 as a result of them,” Taubner said.
Gener8tor will offer two options:
- gBETA – A free 7-week program for early-stage companies working one on one with them to help them grow, connect them with other investors.
- gALPHA – A 4-week course to help students and faculty create high-growth startups.
“Get them to market, put them in positions where they have access to different technology resources and investors that we have,” Ewing said.
Gener8tor says it will still be a few months before they can begin helping companies.
They plan to start providing training to those who pass the application process starting next summer.