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Technology incubator manager completes business coaching training

Chris Marschner, manager of Hagerstown Community College’s Technical Innovation Center, recently completed training on business coaching in Baltimore. The two-day intensive clinic was adapted from materials designed by Corporate Coach U, the recognized leader in the coaching world.

Economic development staff and incubator managers from around the country, including three from Montgomery County, spent the two days practicing coaching skills, based on actual issues each participant was facing at the time. David Terry facilitated the training.

The program was designed to help participants sharpen their focus when working with clients. Too often the issues facing early stage firms are so numerous and varied it is difficult or impossible to help the client firms address all those issues at one time. The program helps to dissect the issue into “chunks” that are attainable and measurable. For many entrepreneurs, issues that once seemed insurmountable became manageable and attainable after coaching.

The program also helps to unburden the incubation professional from feeling responsible for other people’s outcomes. Incubator managers can only help entrepreneurs develop solutions to complex issues. They cannot ensure that a positive outcome will result even with the best advice, if the client is unwilling to take the necessary steps for personal success.

“Learning and developing additional skills is something we all must do; it’s part of our DNA at HCC.  Having a professional coach work with us to refine and master some of the skills we need to use every day only helps us to improve the business development assistance we offer to our incubating and affiliate clients,” Marschner said. 

The Technical Innovation Center (TIC) is Washington County’s full-service technology business incubator at Hagerstown Community College. The mission of the TIC is to foster entrepreneurship and technology business creation in the region to help diversify the local economy and to promote the creation of higher wage employment opportunities for HCC students and the citizens of Washington County.  For more information on the Technical Innovation Center call 301 790-2800, ext. 399.  The Web site is www.technicalinnovationcenter.com.

David Terry leads the WTAMU Enterprise Center as executive director. He is treasurer of the National Business Incubation Association board of directors and a member of its executive committee. In 2009, David was chosen by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce as a recipient of the inaugural Top 20 Under 40 award for business leaders. He attained his MBA from West Texas A&M University in 2000, and has received CEG certification in 2009 through Coach University.