Indiana Daily Student

InVenture starts new business program

"Genius Groups" aims to help small businesses get ideas

South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center and inVenture will partner Feb. 8 to present Genius Groups, a 10-part entrepreneurial development series to help small business owners prosper.\nTerri Brown, the center's office manager, said Genius Groups will provide 35 small business owners with information, ideas and support. \n"All small businesses have issues," Brown said. "These sessions will provide information on how to take small businesses to the next level."\nSmall business owners who attend Genius Groups will meet the second Wednesday of each month through December, except for August, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bloomington Convention Center. Brown said attendees will listen to an expert entrepreneur talk about a particular field of business. \nJohn Goode, who owns MSP Aviation, a company that manufactures avionic clamps, is scheduled to serve as the February speaker, and he is to provide attendees with information on how to prepare a small business for sale. After listening to the speaker, attendees will discuss specific problems they have run into while managing their businesses, Brown said.\n"They'll have the opportunity to learn from other attendees," Brown said. "It's going to be the same group of people each month. It will be a great networking opportunity for small business owners."\nInVenture, located in the IU Research Park in downtown Bloomington, has a mission to provide entrepreneurs with business support, to provide a professional facility and to initiate a business venture with limited financial exposure, according to the inVenture Web site.\nBrian Kleber, the director of inVenture, said he hopes Genius Groups will offer entrepreneurs a fresh perspective on real-world problems. \n"Small business owners will be able to discuss their problems with each other and to help each other come up with solutions," Kleber said. "We plan on covering a specific business topic each month."\nKleber said he thinks it is important for small business owners in Bloomington to have a place to go and talk about business. He said he hopes Genius Groups will provide a safe and secure place for Bloomington small business owners to talk about their problems and concerns.\n"The guest speakers will have a chance to tell their story. We'll learn how they succeeded," Kleber said. "But then small business owners will also have the opportunity to learn from each other and to create a support network. This is something Bloomington needs."\nKleber said a limited number of spaces are still available for Genius Groups, and small business owners interested in attending can contact the South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center at 339-8937. IU students who have their own businesses are welcome to apply.

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