The IDEA Center’s mission is to inspire an understanding of entrepreneurial thinking and innovative practices to promote creativity, innovation, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
We are here to connect students to resources to help them nurture and grow their ideas, whether they be business enterprises or non-profit organizations – if you have an idea or a solution to a problem, we want to help you explore and develop.
Need to do Market Research? Check out this Market Research guide to get the full story on why you need it, the two kinds it includes (primary and secondary research), and tools to help you do it. Find it here at the MCC Library or download it: Market Research Guide
Want to open a business? Here are a few essentials:
- Merrimack Valley Small Business Center (MVSBC) Start-up Checklist
- Small Business Administration (SBA) – Plan your business
- LivePlan – write your business plan to get financing
- Strategyzer Business Model Canvas – plan your business model to evaluate your opportunity
Need to develop a prototype or do small-scale manufacturing via making and creating your product?
- LowellMakes – a membership based maker space in Lowell with a 3 D Printer!
- Supplier Directory – search for a manufacturer in Mass
- Want to know what government regulations may affect your product? Check out the CPSC.gov site.
Do you need to protect your intellectual property?
- United States Patents and Trademarks Office – learn more about trademarks and patents and the costs!
- Trademark Definition
- Intellectual property – 3.5 hour course provide for FREE by the Michelson 20MM Foundation
Are you interested in making a food product?
- Take a look at Massachusetts rules about at home kitchens.
- Need a kitchen space to rent? Check out UTEC.
- New England Food Entrepreneurs – lots of resources
Are you interested in making beauty products?
- Check out the Federal Drug Administration’s Fact Sheets
Explore what your state and local governments offer
- Step-by-Step Checklist to starting your business from mass.gov.
- Mass.gov Business Resources
- Go to your town or city’s economic development website. Lowell example
Looking for funding? Stop by the IDEA Center and we can help you navigate what would work best for you!
- Check out the Launch Your Business Now program and Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund at www.launchatmcc.com.
- MCC Student Venture Fund
- Small Business Administration – funding programs
- City of Lowell – specific programs for Lowell
- Merrimack Valley Small Business Center – a great space for workshops, one-on-one counseling, and a Microloan Fund
Looking for additional mentoring/counseling? And networking?
- SCORE – retired business owners who volunteer via the Small Business Administration (SBA)
- E for All – network and enter pitch contests
- Friends of Kevin – great networking events
- Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce
- Massachusetts Small Business Development Center –
Northeast Regional Office
Looking for incubator space?
- Greentown Labs – for green tech coworking space
- UMass Lowell iHub – space for innovation
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