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Lake Erie College Business Plan Clinic assisting fuel cell start-up

Lake Erie College Center for Entrepreneurship is introducing its most recent endeavor – the Business Plan Clinic.
With collaboration from Lake Erie MBA students, faculty and the new Entrepreneur-in-Residence Cliff Somerville, the Business Plan Clinic works to assist a new or growing venture in the formulation of their business plan.The team is “coached” by Somerville and students earn course credit under the supervision of a Lake Erie faculty member. Somerville brings to the Center extensive experience as a software entrepreneur as well as leading several new international technology ventures for General Electric and IBM.
The Lake Erie College Center for Entrepreneurship’s Business Plan Clinic is currently assisting a new local fuel cell business. The alterative energy start-up was introduced to the Business Plan Clinic by the Lake County Economic Development Center (LCEDC). “Whenever an individual starts a business, resources are scarce, so the entrepreneur often times is unable to complete tasks that are critical to the success of the new business,” said Cathy Haworth, executive director of LCEDC. 
The group involved with the Clinic met with Norma Byron, the owner and founder of the fuel cell venture to begin the process of developing a formal business plan. “Partnering with the Center for Entrepreneurship Business Plan Clinic has enhanced Norma Byron’s ability to succeed because her business plan will become a working document, mapping her strategies and providing her potential partners with an overview of her project,” said Haworth.
Dean of Management Studies and Instructor of Business
Administration Robert Trebar added, “The Business Plan Clinic is a great opportunity for our MBA students to focus all of their skills, knowledge and experience on an intensive project that could have a major impact on a real company and all of its stakeholders.”
The first group of students working with the fuel cell start-up strongly agrees with Trebar. “I chose to participate in the Clinic because I wanted to apply the knowledge, skills, and techniques of many of the classes that I have taken in the MBA program and use them all in a practical application,” said Robert Krieger.
Krieger believes that formulating this business plan will allow him and his teammates to do just that and much more. “Furthermore, I wanted to be a part of project that will have a large impact on our area. The technology being developed and taken to market, is going to play a significant role in the future of energy. It is exciting to be able to contribute,” said Krieger.
Waiting in the wings for help from the Business Plan Clinic is an art gallery, a video store, a day care services operation and a local church. These organizations are all hopeful that the Center for Entrepreneurship can assist them in taking their ventures to the next level.
For more information on the Center for Entrepreneurship or the Business Plan Clinic please contact, John Meehl, director of the Lake Erie College Center for Entrepreneurship at 440-375-7111.
Note: This is a news archive and may contain outdated information.


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