New Entrepreneurship Center Bolsters Berwyn’s Small Business Community
Berwyn Tech Entrepreneurship Center Offers Workspace, Expertise and Encouragement
We’ve all participated in the annual tradition of setting resolutions that challenge ourselves personally – to become more physically fit, save money or take up a hobby. Most successful entrepreneurs also agree that it’s good business to develop resolutions for your company as these goals are the foundation to clearing a path for the year ahead. Berwyn Tech Entrepreneurship Center (BTEC; berwyntech.com), 2137 Oak Park Ave, has launched their “gym for business growth” that aims to be a hub for providing support services from technical assistance to mentorship at any phase of a business’s life cycle including pre-start, start-up, growth or transition. BTEC held a ribbon cutting in partnership with the City of Berwyn and the Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) on February 2, 2017.
At its core, BTEC aims to be a diverse community center founded on connecting entrepreneurs to formal educational resources and experienced advisors as well as to tapping into peer networks for both learning and camaraderie. In a phrase, they “expose, educate, employ and empower” their clients to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and to innovate together. Expect to see the team working with students who want to learn more about business, with newcomers looking to test their ideas and with companies looking for reinvention. This all happens in a 6,000 square foot building that offers 10 offices along with meditation and media rooms. Future plans include rooftop and first floor patios for meetings and al fresco workspace.
The center provides memberships which include access to workshops, proprietary training materials and networking events that help entrepreneurs develop personally and professionally. What’s more, BTEC offers co-working and private office space packages that include options for 24-hour access, WIFI, copy/fax machine, receptionist and mailing address. These affordable memberships play an important role in helping to control overhead for start-ups that may be strapped for cash or credit. At full capacity, the building can accommodate up to 100 people, and future expansion plans will increase the occupancy by approximately 20%.
BTEC’s menu runs the continuum, offering everything from the early-stage nurturing that gets businesses on their feet through the strategic focusing and planning that is needed to thrive and grow. In a climate where nine out of 10 start-ups fail and economic forecasting predicts that 45% of new jobs will be in the freelance economy by 2020, business incubation services are critical for dreamers that need help determining if there is sufficient market need for their talents and ideas along with recruiting a talented team, raising capital and differentiating their products and services from their competition.
BTEC hopes to be an engine both for the invention abounding from hungry millennials and the reinvention of established businesses in our rapidly shifting economy. For BTEC, the concept of “innovation” isn’t just a trend, it’s the future. And the center intends to be a stabilizing force as entrepreneurs struggle with breaking from the pack and growing their businesses. In a sense, BTEC can provide independent, idea-generating individuals and small shops with ground level access to the same planning tools and fundamentals applied by corporate powerhouses.
A typical engagement starts with a complimentary 360 degree business assessment that evaluates the business concept, organization, customer relations and operations. From there, a targeted plan is developed to hone in on issues, and the client is connected to BTEC’s menu of inspirational workshops, mentorship programs, relationship building events, and state-of-the-art innovation programming. BTEC’s competitive advantage is in identifying customers, developing value propositions and planning for continuous improvement.
Beyond incubation services, BTEC has a team of technology experts that can be engaged for consulting services to develop social media marketing campaigns, apps, websites, e-commerce and audio/visual collateral. The center will also develop partnerships with community organizations and individuals interested in paying it forward through involvement in their mentorship activities.
The Center was founded by Diocelino “Chico” Rangel. Chico is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience solving workforce challenges for companies and communities. An expert in recruiting talent, Chico has assembled a well-rounded team with backgrounds in finance, operations and technology. The team is a powerful support system for entrepreneurs that look to be faster, more efficient and more agile. The environment is welcoming and hopes to alleviate some of the intimidation that comes from taking risks and taking full advantage of cutting edge research and processes.
BDC Board President Jousef Mondragon stated, “Berwyn Tech bridges the gap between education and business. Small business is the backbone of our community, and BTEC’s focus on innovation is a phenomenal resource for Berwyn.”
Mayor Robert J. Lovero welcomed the team, “BTEC has a welcoming environment where everyone treats you like you are part of the family while helping you take care of business. This is another step forward in helping our business community succeed.”
Chico concluded, “I take great pride in being a part of Berwyn and appreciate the partnership that I’ve experienced with the City and the BDC. I also give credit to my team because I couldn’t do what I do without them. We welcome anyone to stop in. Let us sit down together to see where you are at and to help you find the path to where you want to be.”