The Blue Collar Innovation Center is an educational and ideation facility that can also serve as a design, engineer and build facility. The opportunity for this venture arises from the incredible talent and creativity that exists in the hearts and minds of the over one million Michiganders who have been displaced in the turmoil surrounding the decline of the auto industry.
The Blue Collar Innovation Center offers a haven for several distinct types of entrepreneurs:
– thinkers, who strive to find answers and who can develop workable, practical solutions to a wide range of problems and scenarios.
– inventors, whose ideas need to be vetted or refined in order to get to the point where a new business venture could be launched.
– functionaries, role players who need a team to join to practice their skills. These are the accountants, the marketers, the analysts who are ready to make a contribution, and the need the team to join to be able to make a difference.
– artists/designers, who can visualize concepts and put physical form to ideas
Many entrepreneurs have great ideas, but do not have the equipment or the support network necessary to fill all the roles necessary to launch a successful business. The BCIC is uniquely qualified to be both a source of innovation and a an alternative training ground for entrepreneurs for a number of reasons. The BCIC:
- Trains students, entrepreneurs and others in the art of innovation. Increases creativity through training, through hands-on instruction and through the introduction of creative problem-solving techniques and methodologies
- Provides equipment, training and a support network to develop new concepts and ideas
- Assists other entrepreneurs and existing companies in the development of models or prototypes, and can provide rudimentary testing for new products or concepts.
- Expands the reach of craftsmen by focusing on the creative side of problem-solving, and through the collaboration of craftsmen with artists, hobbyists, designers, managers and others whose collective perspective is often radically different.
- Provides a service for companies and organizations that need problems solved. Think of a “Blue Collar” version of IDEO, and you get the concept.