written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Janice Riley grew up in the small community of Gardners, Pennsylvania which is located just outside of Carlisle. She spent a lot of time “picking apples, picking up potatoes, weeding gardens, picking strawberries and trimming trees” on a farm owned by her grandparents.
It’s where she “learned how to maintain a garden and orchard, learned a work ethic and learned how to be effective and efficient all at the same time.” One such lesson was delivered by her father when she was about ten years old and it remains etched in her memory to this day.
They were picking in a strawberry patch together when her Dad prompted her to do better by saying “We don’t have all day. We’ve got ten rows to do. And, I don’t want to have to go back and do the same rows that you just picked. Learn to do it right the first time!”
Janice attended Harrisburg Area Community College and went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Shippensburg University. She married and then moved to Maryland. “I’ve been a Maryland girl ever since.”
In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, biking and running. In fact, she has completed two triathlons this year! And, at the time of this writing, she is in training for a Niagara Falls half marathon. This comes at less than a year of serious training!
Jan also enjoys mission travel with her church. She has been to the Dominican Republic about ten times and has also been to India. “It’s going and serving,” said Jan, “whether it’s construction, an Evangelical crusade or some kind of outreach.” She left for a nine-day mission to Honduras on October 8th to help put some roofs on in a village called Rosario.
She is currently the Business Incubator Manager at the Technical Innovation Center at Hagerstown Community College where startups can benefit in several ways.
Benefits For Startups Working With Janice At TIC
* Basic Business Services
* Business Coaching and Mentoring
* Brainstorming With Experts
* Fundraising Support
* Marketing and PR
* Business Development Resources
* Advanced Technologies
* Office Space
* Manufacturing Space
* Connection to Quality Work Force
The Road From Farm Field To TIC Manager At HCC
Janice started her own business, Janley Consulting, in 2008. The focus was on strategic marketing for startups and small businesses. She stepped onto her current path when she worked on a software startup project in Rockville doing marketing outreach with National Space Grant.
National Space Grant is NASA’s outreach program for colleges. What began with “four kids in a basement” evolved into “fifty employees and contractors mixed” over the next three years. It was then time to “get back into the startup world and really make a difference in that space.”
Serendipity wasn’t done yet. Her resume landed on the desk of the Dean of Continuing Education at Hagerstown Community College (HCC). She was invited to interview for the position of Business Incubator Manager. The rest is history.
What Does A Business Incubator Manager Do?
“My job as a Business Incubator Manager is to help people take their innovation — take their idea — and bring it to life.” It’s sitting down and planning a strategy.” And, Janice serves as a liaison for any necessary resources. She provides guidance, contacts and referrals to help move the startups along.
It all starts with a consultation to determine what the entrepreneur needs. “If it’s not something I can help with, I connect them with somebody who can help.”
The startup businesses are actually located in the Incubator. “We’re supporting startups, providing their facilities to grow their business. We have office space. We have 10,000 sq ft of manufacturing floor space and eleven wet labs.”
The Biggest Challenge As Business Incubator Manager At TIC
“My biggest challenge is the fact that the majority of the community doesn’t even know that the Technical Innovation Center is here. So, they don’t know how we can help.”
Janice continues, “I’ve been figuring out how to do branding, promoting and marketing in 2016 where you can’t just go put an ad in the newspaper anymore.”
When asked what advice she would give to her former self if she could turn back the clock, she replied “You have what it takes to do this.” Indeed, she does!
One Example Of Janice’s Expertise Making A Difference For Startups
One particular client comes to mind. She moved to this area about a year ago to start a consulting business. As of a few months ago, “she had landed several different contracts, was truly generating revenue and seeing her dream come to life.”
Janice has been an integral part of that journey. She walked her through the move, the business plan and getting everything started. Now she gets to witness the excitement as the client can now consider hiring somebody else, growing her business and expanding to the point of needing more office space.
“It’s really cool to know I had a hand in that.”
What Internet Resource Or App Does This Business Incubator Manager Rely On?
“Google Maps. That’s what I use for my GPS for all of the meetings and functions that I go to. If I’m going to a Maryland Business Incubation Association meeting in Baltimore, I definitely need to know how to get there and how to get back out to 695!”
An Inspiring Quote by Howard Thurman
[Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.]
Can Your Startup Benefit From Working With TIC?
It’s easy to find out! Contact Janice at TIC today to discuss your entrepreneurial goals and the specific needs of your startup. In many cases, the resources are free to small businesses.
There is no direct funding from TIC. However, Janice shares “we actually partner with several different entities that have access to funds. We work with the startups to groom them, get them ready for their pitch, work on their pitch and their investor slide deck and get them connected to possible funding.”
* Workshops and Seminars are open to the public. Everyone is invited to attend. Are you a small business owner looking to expand or someone contemplating a tech startup? Are you in Maryland, West Virginia or Pennsylvania? Check out the website to see what’s coming up!
Contents Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #074: Eric Verdi Interviews Janice Riley