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Bakersfield College recently took the next step in expanding its entrepreneurship program with the opening of its Launchpad Entrepreneurship Center.
The Launchpad is located in Room 106 of the Weill Institute in Bakersfield. It is open to students from Bakersfield College, Cal State Bakersfield, and Kern High School, as well as community members.
The center will provide business plan assessments, referrals to partner services and programs, one-on-one business coaching, and meeting spaces.
"Bakersfield has a lot of skills and what we need to do is harness those skills and provide support," Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian told Bakersfield.com. “This collaboration is about finding so many solutions for our local problems and encouraging economic growth.”
The Launchpad opened in September with a ceremony attended by community college students, faculty, administrators, local businesses, and community leaders. Speakers at the event included Christian and JP Lake, founder of the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE).
Bakersfield College partnered with KITE to establish the Launchpad. KITE provides support for people looking to start a business in the Bakersfield area, which needs new companies to continue growing.
"Launchpad is one of the first visible outcomes from bringing people together," KITE founder JP Lake said.
Moving forward, organizers hope to offer seminars and other events at the Launchpad to further engage students and community members.
For more information about the Launchpad, visit bakersfieldcollege.edu/launchpad.