Route Two Innovation Corridor Initiative to Bring Key Trainings to Entrepreneurs

December 14, 2022

Franklin County-area entrepreneurs looking to develop their own business will now have a new tool to help them through a partnership between Greenfield Community College, LaunchSpace, Inc., in Orange, and Greenspace Co-Work in Greenfield.

Greenfield Community College is launching the Route Two Rural Innovation Corridor (R2IC), an initiative to help entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities in the region launch their business dreams. The initiative is being powered by a $98,648 Community One Stop Grant from the Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The grant funds will help GCC provide 10 entrepreneurs with services including business training, coaching and consulting that will help strengthen and hone their business and financial skills. The R2IC is being provided in partnership with LaunchSpace, Inc., and Greenspace Co-Work.

"The Route Two Innovation Corridor will help us address some of the persistent challenges facing our region by providing the infrastructure entrepreneurs need to scale and sustain their work," Max Fripp, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at GCC, said. "And we'll be doing this through an aligned action network of civic leaders, non-profits, schools and regional employers."

"Partnering with innovative organizations like Greenspace CoWork and LaunchSpace is one of the keys to a comprehensive strategy by GCC to remain as relevant as we can be to the needs of the communities we serve," Keith Bailey, Director of Grants and Government Relations at GCC, said.

"Providing training, resources, and support for entrepreneurial start-ups in the region is really critical, and this R2IC grant from Commonwealth Corporation is a step in that direction," Bailey added.

According to Fripp, the R2IC will focus on three main areas that are core to GCC's mission and vision: Supporting rural education, workforce development, and economic development.

The R2IC training will be led by GCC staff, notably Fripp, and will be provided at no cost over six months for 10 entrepreneurs.