Georgia Southern College’s Enterprise Innovation Group (BIG), a spot the place innovators and entrepreneurs in southeast Georgia can acquire abilities and coaching to rework their companies, has teamed up with one among its personal shoppers to supply enhanced sources to the group.
BIG has been working alongside Garrett Clark — a Georgia Southern alumnus, Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce board member and native enterprise proprietor — as its Group Catalyst, a job BIG has had since its inception in 2014. On this position, Clark shares his management, problem-solving experience and advertising technique in an advisory capability to BIG’s management workforce and fellow entrepreneurs within the area.
Founding Director of BIG and Affiliate Provost for Innovation and Commercialization at Georgia Southern, Dominique Halaby, DPA, stated as the present Group Catalyst, Clark, a visionary and innovator, has been an integral a part of the setting.
“He’s actually a progress minded entrepreneur, so it’s not simply concerning the enterprise that he has in place and profiting from that enterprise, for him it’s about creating methods for progress to make that enterprise scalable and the steps it’ll take to get it there,” Halaby stated. “Having that perspective from the boots on the bottom, having an entrepreneur that’s actually considering a few steps forward about what the information wants are going to be to assist drive these determinations actually helps us in excited about which course of we put for different entrepreneurs.”
Clark, who owns Rolling Monkey Ice Cream in Statesboro, started working with BIG in 2019 after he and his workforce started to outgrow the enterprise’ authentic storefront workplace area attributable to speedy success. Clark seemed to accumulate a bigger workplace area in Statesboro the place he found BIG’s amenities and its operations.
With a background in engineering and because the proprietor of a thriving enterprise, Clark started considering of how he might add worth to BIG’s operation.
“I get pleasure from including worth and bettering any group that I’m part of. After I got here into the BIG, I noticed the great potential and was excited to make enhancements that may yield synergy between shoppers and incubator workers,” Clark stated. “As a visionary and innovator, it’s of my nature to query what at the moment exists, see the place its foundational alternatives are and map a path ahead.”
From there, Clark used his worth stream engineering expertise and the mannequin he used to create his personal profitable enterprise to develop a framework tailor-made to BIG’s setting that may assist BIG leverage essentially the most out of its incubator-accelerator infrastructure.
“I used a framework that was particularly designed to unravel advanced issues, to map and perceive what the Enterprise Innovation Group’s largest gaps had been,” Clark stated. “From there, I studied incubators corresponding to The College of Waterloo’s Velocity Incubator to grasp what made them world-class after which mapped out a future state for the Enterprise Innovation Group to progress into primarily based on these confirmed fashions.”
It was this that led to his present position as Group Catalyst.
“Via that framework and future state map, we’re now properly on the best way of bringing the imaginative and prescient to actuality as a few of these elements have already been applied, such because the VIP Studying Administration System and the BigX accelerator program,” Clark stated.
The Studying Administration System program was designed to successfully incubate startup corporations by means of a self-paced, on-demand mannequin to assist them obtain their objectives. It gives them with an in depth studying program that walks them by means of the expansion cycle inside a selected timeframe. Mentors and workers of BIG present coaching and training help inside explicit sections of this system.
Clark was additionally instrumental within the launch of the BIGx accelerator program — a peer-to-peer advising group with a structured face-to-face cohort mannequin with month-to-month accountability classes — which launched in 2021. He additionally was a participant within the first cohort of entrepreneurs to undergo this system with a purpose to take a look at the mannequin and supply suggestions for optimization. This system has now been shared on the worldwide degree the place it has been applauded for its innovation.
Each packages had been well-supported by the BIG management, who additionally invested in leaders to execute the 2 initiatives. Halaby stated Clark’s data-driven strategy to entrepreneurship has been very invaluable to the leaders and different entrepreneurs within the area.
“He does a implausible job in scouring the market and seeing what else is going on, particularly with regards to making knowledge pushed selections and bringing that again in actually an advisory capability,” Halaby stated.
Since utilizing this framework for progress in his personal enterprise, Clark stated sharing it with others and serving to them downside clear up is a part of what brings him pleasure.
“It’s a really rewarding course of to offer by means of doing what I really like,” Clark stated. “My hope is to proceed to deliver a optimistic affect to these I collaborate with.”
To study extra about BIG and its packages, go to GeorgiaSouthern.edu/BIG.