WMU News

How to morph an idea into a business

Oct. 24, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- A Western Michigan University business development expert will coach potential entrepreneurs at a workshop at the Portage Public Library Wednesday, Nov. 8.

William H. Cotton, director of WMU's Office of Business Development Services, will present "Turning an Idea into a Product or Service Business" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Topics such as pricing, target marketing, patents, financing and avoiding scam artists will be addressed in the seminar. Anyone who has an idea for a business is invited to participate.

Attendance is limited to 25 people, and the cost to register for the workshop is $20, which includes all materials. Pre-registration and payment are required. Information and registration forms can be obtained by calling (616) 387-2714 or via e-mail at <william.cotton@wmich.edu>.

Cotton is director of the Office of Business Development Services in the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University, a post he assumed in 1985. A fellow of the American Economic Development Council, he is director of the Michigan Economic Development Course and was recently elected to the national board of directors of the AEDC. In 1998 the Michigan Economic Developers Association presented him with its John Conboy award for outstanding contributions to the development profession. A Certified Economic Developer, Cotton has provided assistance to businesses and individuals for more than 15 years. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from WMU. In addition to his post with the University, Cotton runs a small Internet business with his wife, Merry.

Part of WMU's Haworth College of Business, the Office of Business Development Services is the umbrella organization responsible for the administration and oversight of the Southwest Michigan Technical Assistance Center, the Women's Business Development Center, the Office of Professional Programs and the Economic Development Resource Center. These units provide Michigan businesses and economic development organizations with assistance and program development in areas such as government contracting, workforce development and other initiatives which impact the state's economy.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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