After about a year of planning, nearly everything is in place to bring an entrepreneur-in-residence into North Canton to work with business programs at and the main campus of Kent State University.
The hope is to bolster entrepreneurial opportunities in the area and connect local entrepreneurs to resources around the city.
What’s needed now is a person to fill that spot, said Doug Lane, president of the , which is advertising for the EIR position.
“We are ready to go,” Lane said. “Walsh is on board. Kent is on board. We’re on board.”
He said the chamber has seven good applicants who would like to become the EIR, which will engage entrepreneurial development around North Canton and will guide students within the two universities’ business programs. The person will have experience as a successful entrepreneur.
The city of Kent has advertised for its own EIR position, too. Kent Patch reported .
The North Canton chamber will accept applications through March 1. To apply, send a resume to Doug Lane at 121 S. Main St., North Canton, OH 44720, or DLane@northcantonchamber.org. The chamber, Kent State and Walsh together will determine the best candidate.
The EIR will work between 15 and 20 hours a week, and Walsh and Kent State will each pay $5,000. The chamber hasn’t decided what contribution it will make yet.
The person will be on each campus one day a week, starting with Kent immediately and then Walsh in the fall. The EIR will meet with other EIRs (who already are established in Twinsburg, Aurora and Orrville), serve as a director for the student business programs and spend about 10 hours a week in North Canton.
It’s important the person goes into the job knowing it’s about giving back to the community, and they must like interacting and speaking with students and community members, Lane said.
“To be able to talk to a Kent class and a Walsh class, as well as the entrepreneurial types, it’s going to take a certain level of comfort with that, too,” he said.
Lane describes the EIR position as an “exciting opportunity” that would benefit the city of North Canton.
“For us, the person would serve as a mentor to people who want to start or expand businesses here,” he said.
Another advantage would be the possibility those business students would stick around North Canton and start their own businesses here, he said.
Julie Messing, instructor and coordinator of entrepreneurship at Kent State, said the EIR will meet with students and offer valuable advice. That will put them ahead of others who haven’t been involved in this type of program.
“We want our students to go out in the market with strong experience,” Messing said. “The experience will help set them apart in the job market.”
It also will help them decide if entrepreneurship really is for them.
“It helps them recognize what they like and don’t like,” she said.