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College hosts BES grand opening

Though it has actually been up and running for several months now, the Business & Entrepreneurial Services (BES) program at Minnesota State Community & Technical College (MSCTC), Detroit Lakes, held its grand opening on Monday.

The festivities included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with ambassadors from the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees also had an opportunity to view -- and vote upon -- three different proposed designs for the office space that will be used by incubator businesses. The designs were created by MSCTC architecture students.

Part of the future plans for the BES program is to establish incubators where businesses can start and grow. Business plans will be submitted and reviewed for the prospective incubator businesses next year, and according to Helene Hedlund, dean of academic affairs at MSCTC-DL, the first incubators should be ready to open in the fall of 2009.

"This is an exciting day," she said at Monday's ceremony.

"It's been a fun journey," added Cris Valdez, campus provost for MSCTC-DL. However, he added, "we've still got a ways to go."

The mission of MSCTC's Business & Entrepreneurial Services is "to discover and develop the talents of individuals in order to enhance business and community through the creation and development of academic, research, outreach, and support initiatives that encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and support entrepreneurs of all ages."

The BES vision is "to enhance, educate and empower entrepreneurs throughout the state of Minnesota."

The BES program includes a resource center and computer kiosks for research availability.

Its Speaker Series presentations are held the first Friday of every other month. Speakers include entrepreneurs, business owners, or experts to help with both. The next presentation in the series will be on Friday, Dec. 5, by "Famous Dave" Anderson.

There is also an AAS degree in Business Entrepreneurship available at MSCTC-DL.

"There are so many things we're doing here," Valdez said -- and now that the BES program is officially open, "we're looking forward to more things to come."

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454