In Search Of Manufacturers

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This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Connecticut-- The state of Connecticut is looking for a few good manufacturers or potential manufacturers to participate in a two-year product commercialization pilot program.

The Connecticut Entrepreneurial Resources of Technology pilot program is sponsored by the Connecticut State Technology Extension Program (ConnSTEP) in conjunction with the Federal Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The goal of the program is to find five technology-based companies that are in various stages of development and are interested in commercializing a new product. ConnSTEP financial and technical consultants will provide free guidance throughout each stage of the commercialization process.

Eligible companies must be Connecticut-based manufacturers that routinely consider such issues as quality control, pricing and market placement in the process of taking their products to market. The business must also have the potential to eventually reach at least $10 million to $20 million in sales.

The companies will be selected this summer. Interested entrepreneurs should call (860) 832-4600 for an application.

Universities Join The Venture Capital Game


By educating students, colleges are investing in the future. Now four universities are investing in small business by establishing venture capital funds to make equity investments in businesses started by students, alumni, faculty or staff.

  • The $1 million Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund at Columbia Business School enables MBA students to submit a business plan for funding consideration. Those approved can obtain seed grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 per project in the form of debt, equity or a combination of the two.
  • The Hal S. Goldman Fund at Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management invests up to $50,000 per year in a company owned by a current student or recent graduate. The business can be a start-up or ongoing concern, but the applicant must operate the company full time. The university takes a small equity position in the firm.
  • The New Venture Fund, operated through The Anderson School at University of California, Los Angeles, is open to graduating students and recent alumni seeking start-up or early-stage financing.
  • The Wolverine Venture Fund at the University of Michigan Business School is available to alumni, students, staff and faculty. The fund lends to any type of business but is primarily interested in technology firms and ideas that leverage the university's research strengths. Applications can be submitted any time but are reviewed twice annually; the next review will be in November. The amount invested varies, but no one company will receive more than 10 percent of the $1 million fund. Those companies funded are also required to raise an equal amount from other sources.

New Center Adds Color To Your Business


There's more to coloring your products than adding a few drops of dye. And if you prefer to naturally color the food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals or any other items you manufacture, the Natural Color Resource Center at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, may be able to help you.

The center is assembling a collection of research papers, newsletters and other resources on natural colors. Entrepreneurs can find free information on such colors as carmine (bright red); annatto (yellow-orange); anthocyanins (red or blue); and paprika (orange-red). The information includes a history of each color as well as the pros and cons of using particular hues in processing foods and other products.

The assistance is provided free. Call the center at (909) 869-2051 or e-mail director Dr. Gabriel J. Lauro, an adjunct professor at the university, at

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