A nano chance for profit

By Chris Gill
News Editor

February 21, 2013

A new opportunity is opening up for all students to make some money on the side. Lock Haven’s nano-incubator has recently become available to students of any major where originally it was only available to business oriented undergraduates.

Assistant Professor Marlene Jensen is the director for the nano incubator. She describes it as, “an incubator for small businesses, which can be a business that a student may want to start after they graduate or that they might want to start a piece of it.” The purpose of the incubator is to help students take an idea they may have or a passion and turn it into a side business.

There is no set scheme for students to follow; it is up to them what path they take with their business. Jensen said, “we tried to set up a formalized process and just found it did not work at all, because students are so different in what they want. I had a student who I worked with quite a bit who was interested in doing a publication and we explored should it be a newsletter, should it be a blog, how should he monetize it, and he just basically wanted me as a sounding board. “

She goes on to describe other students who wanted help setting up websites in order to sell their products, and how they were able to get him in touch with the right people to make it happen. She said, “it depends on what the student needs.”

She goes on to tell me that often times students have a passion or idea that they just aren’t sure how to get off the ground and the incubator program is there to help them do that. “Each student has some particular knowledge that’s driving their idea of a business, but their likely missing something…whatever it is our nano incubator tries to put you with someone who can help you with that part of it,” explains Jensen.

Professor Jensen’s expertise is marketing, she has published books on pricing, and is a self proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” having started seven or eight businesses herself.

For those students who are outside of a business major and are concerned that might affect your chances of success Jensen advises, “You have to have an idea, you have to have a field of interest, and if its music or if its art or if its whatever, you’ve already got some idea of something that you think people might like. You probably don’t know the finance aspect, you probably don’t know how to market it, but those are things we can help you with.”

For any students interested in starting their own business you can get in contact with Professor Jensen at mjensen1@lhup.edu or call her at (570)-484-3016.


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