Tactical Advice

Business Organizations Offer Opportunities to Young Students and Entrepreneurs

Whether it’s for students looking to break into the IT field, or an up-and-comer with a great new idea, businesspeople are ready to support the next generation.
This story appears in the Fall 2012 issue of BizTech Magazine.
Business Organizations Offer Opportunities to Young Students and Entrepreneurs

So often in the world of business IT, discussions revolve around speeds and feeds, return on investment and total cost of ownership. But often, the real story is about the people who put their heart and soul into making their companies successful, and their passion for the technology they use to make that happen.

For Paul Valentino and Tim Oudin, the story starts with a conversation at a conference. The two were discussing an attendee at the event who was able to be there only through the generosity of friends and family who paid his way.

“For someone who’s trying to break into the industry and who’s not working at a senior-level engineer position, that can be hard to scrape up,” says Oudin, who runs a technology consulting firm.

That realization led the two to a big idea. What if they could encourage technology careers by providing those in need of funding for training with access to the resources they need to get started? From that idea was born vCommunity Trust, a nonprofit organization that offers free training to those working on virtualization certifications so they can start or strengthen careers in the IT field.

Valentino, who is an enterprise infrastructure architect at a student loan guarantor and the chairman of vCommunity Trust, is encouraged by the program’s potential and the reception they’ve gotten from the IT community. “It’s been an amazing experience to see a thought turn into something as well known as it is and see it grow,” he says. For more about the vCommunity Trust program, turn to “Community Support.”

Getting Started

In addition to the training and funding provided by nonprofits such as vCommunity Trust, incubator programs are also encouraging innovation by helping startup companies get off the ground. For example, 1871, a small-business incubator in Chicago, has 50,000 square feet of office space in the downtown Merchandise Mart that it is using to provide fledgling companies and their leaders with low-cost rental space, educational seminars, advisers and networking opportunities.

“The big difference between what others have done around the country and what we’re doing here is this is a nonprofit, an economic development tool,” explains Kevin Willer, president and CEO of the nonprofit Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which operates 1871.

To learn more about 1871 and how it’s helping to support emerging startups, turn to “Growth Spurt.

Sign up for our e-newsletter

About the Author

Ryan Petersen

Editor in Chief

Ryan has covered a variety of bases for BizTech since the magazine’s inception in 2005. As Editor in Chief, he works on creating editorial calendars, develops story ideas and is always on the lookout for new writing talent. Ryan previously worked at the Kane County Chronicle, the Moline Dispatch and the Rock Island Argus newspapers. Against his better judgment, Ryan is raising his children as Cubs fans. E-mail Ryan and follow him on Twitter.

Security

Heartbleed: What Should Your... |
One of the biggest security vulnerabilities has almost every user and every industry...
Why Businesses Need a Next-G... |
Devices investigate patterns that could indicate malicious activity.
Review: HP TippingPoint S105... |
Next-generation firewall can easily replace a stand-alone intrusion prevention system....

Storage

The New Backup Utility Proce... |
Just getting used to the Windows 8 workflow? Prepare for a change.
How to Perform Traditional W... |
With previous versions going unused, Microsoft radically reimagined the backup utility in...
5 Easy Ways to Build a Bette... |
While large enterprises have the resources of an entire IT department behind them, these...

Infrastructure Optimization

Businesses Must Step Careful... |
Slow and steady wins the race as businesses migrate IT operations to service providers,...
Why Cloud Security Is More E... |
Cloud protection services enable companies to keep up with security threats while...
Ensure Uptime Is in Your Dat... |
Power and cooling solutions support disaster recovery and create cost savings and...

Networking

Securing the Internet of Thi... |
As excitement around the connected-device future grows, technology vendors seek ways to...
How to Maximize WAN Bandwidt... |
Understand six common problems that plague wide area networks — and how to address them.
Linksys Makes a Comeback in... |
The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Mobile & Wireless

Mobility: A Foundational Pie... |
Other technologies rely on mobile computing, which has the power to change lives, Lextech...
Now that Office for iPad Is... |
After waiting awhile for Microsoft’s productivity suite to arrive, professionals who use...
Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.

Hardware & Software

Review: HP TippingPoint S105... |
Next-generation firewall can easily replace a stand-alone intrusion prevention system....
New Challenges in Software M... |
IT trends such as cloud, virtualization and BYOD pose serious hurdles for software...
Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.