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Lanier Tech business incubator has new owner July 1
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The Manufacturing Development Center, an entity of Lanier Technical College, will become part of Brenau University on July 1, 2018. - photo by Scott Rogers

A center that helps area businesses get started or gain momentum is changing hands Sunday, July 1.

Brenau University is taking over Lanier Technical College’s Manufacturing Development Center, which serves as an incubator and accelerator for small businesses.

The Business Incubator at Brenau University will remain at the Featherbone Communiversity at 999 Chestnut St., Gainesville, which houses multiple programs from Brenau, Lanier Tech, University of Georgia and Georgia Tech.

“This move will grant the center the opportunity to continue to expand its reach beyond the foundation we’ve laid during its time at Lanier Tech,” Lanier Tech President Ray Perren said.

“We are eager to see the center solicit new clients who are ready to make a lasting impact on our community. It has been an incredible project.”

Brenau President Ed Schrader said Brenau appreciates the “robust foundation” established by Lanier Tech at the center, which has provided clients rental space, access to assistance with managing business financials and other management resources since 2007.

“Our vision ... is to create maximum opportunity for business and education partnerships addressing complex ideas and information and discovering innovative applications of technology, best practices and creative trends in business formation, wealth building and job creation,” Schrader said.

“These entrepreneurial efforts ultimately will all support the economic development of Gainesville and Hall County.”

Educational formats may include one-on-one coaching, expert support, student internships, projects, special events and “networking that teaches innovation and enables real-world results and jobs,” according to a press release from Brenau and Lanier Tech.

Lanier Tech, which is starting classes in January at its new campus off Ga. 365 at Howard Road, will continue to have some ties to the center, said Robert C. Shippey Jr., Brenau’s associate vice president for development.

“They want to keep a minimal presence there,” said Shippey, who is overseeing the transition.

Also, faculty and students of Brenau will be involved with businesses “on various and appropriate levels,” the two schools said.

“What the incubator needs is student engagement at the (Master of Business Administration) and undergraduate levels and faculty whose expertise is in strategy, management and return on investment,” Shippey said.

“We have a better platform to help these small businesses get started. It’s just not where Lanier Tech’s focus is.”

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