January 18, 2011
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Center for Innovation living up to its name
Center for Innovation Director Mick Jackowski was recently recognized by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
On Jan. 14, Metropolitan State College of Denver Center for Innovation announced a first-of-its-kind franchise ownership program that will build partnerships for the College and help solidify Denver nationally as a key test market for small business development.
This unique program, supported by its first seed gift of $100,000 from global financial services company BNY Mellon, establishes a formula that will benefit investors, franchisees, franchisors and the College.
“A few colleges have classes directed at franchise management, but none provide the investment for students to purchase a franchise as well,” says Mick Jackowski, Center for Innovation director. “The Center for Innovation recognizes that successful franchises require ongoing training and support beyond the start-up phase, and ongoing training is a key component to this unique formula.”
The concept has already gained national recognition from the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the association’s annual conference in Hilton Head Island, S.C. with an award for Best Practitioner Paper for innovative fundraising.
Program franchisee participants benefit by obtaining seed capital and two months of intense start-up training for a small initial investment of $5,000 to $10,000. As the franchise continues, the participant will gain equity by generating revenue and making payments, allowing for full ownership of the business they manage after 10 years.
Program investors will benefit through the opportunity to contribute to a business development cause that not only creates jobs and economic growth, but also produces a projected net return of 10 percent. Franchisors receive a dedicated stream of new talent to open new locations, establishing a team of fully trained franchisees with a support infrastructure in place.
For the first phase, the franchise program will raise approximately $1 million to establish an initial funding pool, supporting between four and eight future owners. The funding will come from a variety of sources including grants and investors’ contributions.
“We are delighted to support the College and the Center for Innovation’s effort to create jobs and strengthen the economy in Denver and throughout Colorado,” says Jon Stuck, Rocky Mountain regional president for BNY Mellon’s wealth management group. “We hope that these types of collaboration become the standard across our country.”
The Center for Innovation, less than three years old, hopes to raise enough funding to support three franchise classes per year, with 12 – 24 new business owners, depending on the capital cost of each franchise.
“From our preliminary research, we anticipate the application process to be highly competitive because in today’s market there aren’t as many options for securing funding,” adds Jackowski. “Our program will match interested entrepreneurs with groups of investors willing to offer start-up capital for new locations, supporting the franchisees during their first 10 years of operation.”
Read the program's FAQs for more detail.